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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 ?
when he reaches the age of twelve or thirteen he approaches another stage of growth where he drops some of the savage characteristics and takes on the instability of adolescence.
Both depression in pregnancy and after birth are generally a continuation of pre-pregnancy mental health problems that date back to adolescence.
The paper brought together data from around 200 countries and from more than 140 recent research papers, and highlighted three main areas for action in adolescence in high- and middle-income countries: mental health, obesity and substance abuse.
The condition always requires surgery, can cause significant pain, and often leads to a hip replacement in adolescence or early adulthood.
Puberty, a period of multiple disturbances, is followed by adolescence.
As shown in Table 3, boys showed the strongest positive correlation of fasting blood sugar (FBS) with BF% and FMI during early adolescence and the strongest positive correlation of FBS with WC during late adolescence.
The course briefed participants on the phase of adolescence, discovering the problems facing teenagers, learning the art of dealing with adolescence and directing them with modern educational methods.
The course also aims at briefing participants on the phase of adolescence, discovering the problems facing the teenager, learning the arts of dealing with the adolescence, guiding the adolescent and directing them with the modern educational methods, as well as the skills of building and developing the adolescent character.
However, at the age of 26-27 years, they were no different from people who did not have depression during adolescence in unemployment status, personal income, marital status, or educational attainment, said Kiyuri Naicker of the department of epidemiology and community medicine, University of Ottawa, and her associates.
Adolescence is a crucial time for brain development as cognitive maturation is ongoing into adulthood.
Furman and Buhrmester (1992) examined conflict between parent and adolescent and found that male adolescent significantly reported more conflict from their mothers at the age of middle and late adolescence.
Given the current obesity pandemic, it is important to determine whether elevated BMI in childhood [or] adolescence .