Adolescence

Adolescence (from Latin: adolescere meaning "to grow up") is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood (age of majority). The period of adolescence is most closely associated with the teenage years, although its physical, psychological and cultural expressions can begin earlier and end later. For example, although puberty has been historically associated with the onset of adolescent development, it now typically begins prior to the teenage years and there has been a normative shift of it occurring in preadolescence, particularly in females (see early and precocious puberty). Physical growth, as distinct from puberty (particularly in males), and cognitive development generally seen in adolescence, can also extend into the early twenties. Thus chronological age provides only a rough marker of adolescence, and scholars have found it difficult to agree upon a precise definition of adolescence. A thorough understanding of adolescence in society depends on information from various perspectives, most importantly from the areas of psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology. Within all of these perspectives, adolescence is viewed as a transitional period between childhood and adulthood whose cultural purpose is the preparation of children for adult roles.

The end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood varies by country and by function, and furthermore even within a single nation state or culture there can be different ages at which an individual is considered to be (chronologically and legally) mature enough to be entrusted by society with certain tasks. Such milestones include, but are not limited to, driving a vehicle, having legal sexual relations, serving in the armed forces or on a jury, purchasing and drinking alcohol, voting, entering into contracts, completing certain levels of education, and marriage. Adolescence is usually accompanied by an increased independence allowed by the parents or legal guardians and less supervision as compared to preadolescence.

In popular culture, many adolescent characteristics are attributed to physical changes and raging hormones. There is little evidence that this is the case, however. In studying adolescent development, adolescence can be defined biologically, as the physical transition marked by the onset of puberty and the termination of physical growth; cognitively, as changes in the ability to think abstractly and multi-dimensionally; or socially, as a period of preparation for adult roles. Major pubertal and biological changes include changes to the sex organs, height, weight, and muscle mass, as well as major changes in brain structure and organization. Cognitive advances encompass both increases in knowledge and in the ability to think abstractly and to reason more effectively. The study of adolescent development often involves interdisciplinary collaborations. For example, researchers in neuroscience or bio-behavioral health might focus on pubertal changes in brain structure and its effects on cognition or social relations. Sociologists interested in adolescence might focus on the acquisition of social roles (e.g., worker or romantic partner) and how this varies across cultures or social conditions. Developmental psychologists might focus on changes in relations with parents and peers as a function of school structure and pubertal status.

Read more about Adolescence:  Cognitive Development

Other articles related to "adolescence":

Seventeen (novel) - Reviews
... called it a “humorous and touching story of adolescence…It has a touch of immortality that most popular works lack ... “Real adolescence, like any other age of man, has its own passions, its own poetry, its own tragedies and felicities the adolescence of Mr ...
Adolescence - Culture - Transitions Into Adulthood
... A broad way of defining adolescence is the transition from child-to-adulthood ... In some countries, such as the United States, adolescence can last nearly a decade, but in others, the transition—often in the form of a ceremony—can last for only a few days ... transition into adulthood or the entrance into adolescence ...
Positive Adult Development
... The achievement of complete development at the end of adolescence was suggested by Freud, Piaget, and Binet among others ... in Positive Adult Development questions not only that development ceases after adolescence, but also the notion of decline after late adolescence postulated by many gerontologists ...
John Coleman (British Author And Psychologist)
... is an English psychologist whose primary interest is adolescence ... He is best known for his textbook The nature of adolescence ... He is the Editor of the Routledge series "Adolescence and society" and is also the Editor of a new John Wiley series called "Understanding adolescence" ...
Late Bloomer - Adolescents
... During adolescence a child goes through physical and mental changes that lead to them becoming an adult ... Adolescence is usually considered to start with the first stages of puberty and to continue until physical growth is complete, although the World Health Organization defines adolescence simply as the period ... Adolescence is often a period of turbulent emotions and mood swings combined with rapid intellectual development ...

Famous quotes containing the word adolescence:

    If you expect complete honesty, you’ll be disappointed. And don’t expect gratitude for your parenting efforts. Do expect that you’ll feel like you’re on a yo-yo—intimate with your child one day, distant the next. As long as she’s safe, don’t invade her world. Remember: most teens end up being closer to their parents after adolescence than they were before.
    Ron Taffel (20th century)

    Most literature on the culture of adolescence focuses on peer pressure as a negative force. Warnings about the “wrong crowd” read like tornado alerts in parent manuals. . . . It is a relative term that means different things in different places. In Fort Wayne, for example, the wrong crowd meant hanging out with liberal Democrats. In Connecticut, it meant kids who weren’t planning to get a Ph.D. from Yale.
    Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)

    It may comfort you to know that if your child reaches the age of eleven or twelve and you have a good bond or relationship, no matter how dramatic adolescence becomes, you children will probably turn out all right and want some form of connection to you in adulthood.
    Charlotte Davis Kasl (20th century)