Home » Ask the Therapist » Are Adults Responsible for Their Own Actions?

Are Adults Responsible for Their Own Actions?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From an adult in the U.S.: I have a general question about behavior. I had a somewhat heated discussion with my boyfriend last night and although it’s political in nature, I am more interested in the psychological/behavioral aspect.

As much as I dislike Trump, my assertion is that regardless of anything the president or any other leader says, we, who are adults, are responsible for our own actions and can’t blame Trump if we choose to do something that we know is wrong. Yes, leaders have influence, but their influence should never outweigh basic concepts of right and wrong.

Children and teenagers are a different story, because they are more easily influenced by adults.

If whoever reads this has links to professional articles stating that adults are responsible for their own actions I would love to have them. Thank you in advance for your time.

Are Adults Responsible for Their Own Actions?

Answered by on -


You’re correct. Adults are always responsible for the choices they make — unless they are under enormous stress (like torture). Even then, people like Victor Frankl were eloquent in their assertion that no matter the horrors of our life, we have a choice what we’ll do in response.

All you have to do is search on the internet for articles on adults taking responsibility for their actions to find lots of articles from many good sources. Most therapies include a strong dose of learning to take responsibility for ones own choices.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Are Adults Responsible for Their Own Actions?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Are Adults Responsible for Their Own Actions?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 10 Apr 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 10 Apr 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.