Adolescent Development

This page discusses adolescent development.

 

Most of us, with a little thought, can recall certain facts about our own adolescence. We may remember our first romance, some important athletic feat, or an examination passed with flying colors. We may remember some of our hopes and fears, some of our glorious aspirations and ideals, or some of our gloomy forebodings and feelings of despair. To most of us adolescence was not a particularly easy time, but it was a very interesting time.


During adolescence, in contrast to the steady, even growth of the middle school period or latency period, rapid physical and intellectual growth takes place and some instability in emotional growth is apparent. It would, however, be a mistake to look upon adolescence as a very turbulent period and feel, consequently, a little afraid and worried about it. It is true that the conflicts of early childhood, passed over and kept quiescent during the middle school years, tend to rise again and press to the forefront of consciousness for solution at this time. During adolescence the individual's character and personality are being more definitely formed, and it is extremely important that wise leadership and thoughtful guidance be available for every young person. If this is provided, the individual will discover a hidden strength and new talents, and rejoice in a kind of awakening which is the prelude to real maturity.


Adolescence is usually considered to be that period between 13 and 18 years for boys, and 12 and 16 years for girls, when the last general stage of growth is reached and sexual maturity obtained. There is a tendency for the physical changes to be a little earlier and more quickly established in the case of girls than in the case of boys.

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