adolescence

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adolescence,

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.

Bibliography

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

adolescence

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.

adolescence

[‚ad·əl′es·əns]
(geology)
Stage in the cycle of erosion following youth and preceding maturity.
(psychology)
The period of life from puberty to maturity.

Adolescence

Seventeen
novel of young love. [Am. Lit.: Booth Tarkington Seventeen in Magill I, 882]
References in periodicals archive ?
Association between socioeconomic status, weight, age and gender, and the body image and weight control practices of 6- to 19-year-old children and adolecents.
Growing up with domestic violence; assessment, intervention, and prevention strategies for children and adolecents.
Malocclusion and temporomandibular disorder: A comparison of adolecents with moderate to severe dysfunction with those without signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders and their futher development to 30 years of age.
Brief intervention for harm reduction with alcohol positive older adolecents in a hospital emergency department.
But from those children who enter Kids Company as hopeless adolecents, many turn out to be success stories.
000 Table 3 Odds of sexual aggression and victimization in adolecents and young adults (a) Men (n= 1850) Perpetration Victimization (95% CI) (95% CI) Sexual aggression - 1.
The others named an expert on reproductive of health or someone who understands adolecents.