(redirected from Big kid)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.


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 ?
Basil, who has been entertaining the nation with his brand of irreverent humour for over 50 years, is asking people to make a real difference and join Acorns Children's Hospice's Great Big Kids Party.
The Pull-Ups Big Kid App is available as a free download via the Apple iTunes App store and Google Play for Android.
Keen to do their bit for Comic Relief's big appeal, the drivers - including this comic crew - came up with the idea of getting passengers to sponsor them to dress up as big kids when they drive them to and from school on Friday.
Big Kid envisaged a contest where each woman poses next to one of the dolphinlike aquatic mammals.
Parents can Celebrate the First Flush inside Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy using these festive tools and resources:
The Great Big Kids Party is a brand new fundraising campaign, and whether it's retro fancy dress, an oldschool disco, or recreating iconic children's games, Acorns is asking people to get party-planning and behave like big kids for a good cause.
I don't know who's more excited, after all my wife always says I'm a big kid anyway.
It was a magical time, when you think about it,'' said Dave Levy, who grew up in Panorama City and now runs the Big Kid Collectible Toy Mall, a retro store in Sherman Oaks devoted to the merchandise of the era.
I'M just a big kid who's never grown up and got the best job in the world,'' says Steve Christian, 48, who tests fairground rides for a living.
With the new pants and updated ritual, in addition to the Pull-Ups Big Kid App, parents can make potty training more enjoyable while establishing a consistent routine - the best way to achieve potty training success.
Whilst children have fun trying on their favourite big kid costumes, mums and dads will get the opportunity to talk to expert potty trainers and leave with some helpful tips, advice and a souvenir photo of their own little Potty Star in their favourite big kid costume as well as a bag filled with goodies to help make the potty training journey fun.