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time of life from onset of puberty to full adulthood. The exact period of adolescence, which varies from person to person, falls approximately between the ages 12 and 20 and encompasses both physiological and psychological changes. Physiological changes lead to sexual maturity and usually occur during the first several years of the period. This process of physical changes is known as puberty, and it generally takes place in girls between the ages of 8 and 14, and boys between the ages of 9 and 16. In puberty, the pituitary gland increases its production of gonadotropins, which in turn stimulate the production of predominantly estrogen in girls, and predominantly testosterone in boys. Estrogen and testosterone are responsible for breast development, hair growth on the face and body, and deepening voice. These physical changes signal a range of psychological changes, which manifest themselves throughout adolescence, varying significantly from person to person and from one culture to another. Psychological changes generally include questioning of identity and achievement of an appropriate sex role; movement toward personal independence; and social changes in which, for a time, the most important factor is peer group relations. Adolescence in Western societies tends to be a period of rebellion against adult authority figures, often parents or school officials, in the search for personal identity. Many psychologists regard adolescence as a byproduct of social pressures specific to given societies, not as a unique period of biological turmoil. In fact, the classification of a period of life as "adolescence" is a relatively recent development in many Western societies, one that is not recognized as a distinct phase of life in many other cultures.


See T. Hine, The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager (1999).


the stage in the LIFE COURSE between childhood and adulthood marked by the beginnings of adult sexuality but coming before full adult status or final detachment from the FAMILY OF ORIGIN OR ORIENTATION.

In simple societies the passage from childhood to adulthood is often marked by rites de passage (see RITUAL), or by the provision of young mens (and less often young women's) AGE SETS. However, it is within modern societies, with their distinctive emphasis on YOUTH CULTURE, fostered by the MASS MEDIA OF COMMUNICATION, that adolescence has achieved a particular importance. In these societies, in contrast to more TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES, adolescents must choose their CAREERS and sexual partners as well as their general LIFESTYLE. Thus adolescence, the time of educational examinations and entry into work, is also a stage in the life cycle which is associated with individual experimentation in sexual and leisure behaviour. It may also be a time for questioning received values, and of rebellion against parental patterns of behaviour (see also GENERATION). The search for independence, and the heightened sense of self-awareness and uncertainty about SELF, can also lead to psychological crisis and psychological disturbance. See also YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT, DELINQUENCY.


Stage in the cycle of erosion following youth and preceding maturity.
The period of life from puberty to maturity.


novel of young love. [Am. Lit.: Booth Tarkington Seventeen in Magill I, 882]
References in periodicals archive ?
Most patients fear the development of cognitive dysfunction because it can result in an inability to make decisions, remember vital information, and even manage the most elementary responsibilities of daily life.
He made a presentation on cognitive dysfunction to the American Animal Hospital Association at this year's annual meeting in Chicago, and he has conducted clinical trials for Deprenyl Animal Health.
a) Inflammation, sleep disruption and increased levels of acetylcholine (ACh) and serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmitters have been associated with postoperative cognitive dysfunction
The incidence of acute chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction ranges from 15 to 70%/ according to a review article by Christina A.
In addition, patients at risk of cognitive dysfunction may need to be evaluated at baseline to see if intensive therapy is appropriate for them.
Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) for research toward therapies to alleviate Parkinson's disease (PD)-related cognitive dysfunction and mood disorders.
This observation may be particularly important in the clinical management of lead-poisoned children, because it suggests that chelation treatment may need to continue past the point at which blood lead levels have reached an acceptably low level, to achieve the maximal benefit of the treatment on brain lead levels, the primary goal in lessening cognitive dysfunction.
Greater cognitive dysfunction was related to greater emotional distress and greater pain burden.
However, MS-related cognitive dysfunction is a major contributing factor to unemployment, accidents, and difficulty executing daily work activities.
They are prone to mild cognitive dysfunction (MCD) in later life, according to the Dutch Maastricht Ageing Study.
Cognitive dysfunction has a significant impact on employment status (Rumrill, 1996) and counselors may want to consider having a cognitive assessment performed in the absence of previous assessment.
About one-fourth of my residents are confused, forgetful and have some cognitive dysfunction.

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