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Related to Formative years: adolescent


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 ?
Mostly B This guy's formative years were back in the 1980s.
A common variation of the bildungsroman is the Kunstlerroman , a novel that deals with the formative years of an artist.
This disc collects 16 of those rarities, culled from the formative years between 1999 and his 2005 breakthrough.
We envision a school where the focus is on the early formative years when the foundation is really being set for all future learning.
These sketches of the formative years of distinguished individuals reveal amazing insights into factors that can contribute to greatness, particularly in todays demanding and ever-changing world.
The England Under-21interna-tional,born in Nigeria but who spent his formative years in the north-east, has signed a deal to keep him at St James'Park until the end of the 2008-09 season.
we follow Gerald Nickelby's formative years, with a seesaw of abuse and neglect balanced by the supportive, loving care of the aunt who raises Gerald after his mother is imprisoned for leaving him alone to face a deadly house fire.
The latter, Godman's ballon d'essai, "considers questions raised by the Inquisition and the Index during their first, formative years from the standpoint of Galileo's judge" (p.
Between 1957 and 1964--the formative years, as it happens, of much of the boomer generation--the Peter Gennaro Dancers were regulars on music shows like Judy Garland's and Polly Bergen's, as well as Your Hit Parade, The Kraft Music Hall and The Entertainers, a variety hour that starred Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart.
Much of her work is informed by the absence of a mother in her formative years and what that might mean for her in her adult years.
His program for the fledgling IMMA was avowedly opposed to the model of the modern art museum as a temple for the veneration of canonical artworks, and he was seen as ideally qualified to guide a national museum with no preexisting collection through its formative years.
Main findings were: (1) education is important, but its true value is not fully understood; (2) Ohioans appreciate the benefits of early childhood education and preparation for school; (3) individualized attention in the formative years is important; (4) the public perceives an educational crisis in Ohio; (5) some populations at risk may go unnoticed; and (6) Ohioans overestimate the number of adults who have completed a college degree.