Definition of Adolescent Development

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Definition of Adolescent development:
The development of children ages 12 through 19 years old is expected to include predictable physical and mental milestones. Introduction

Derived from the Latin verb adolescere (to grow into maturity), adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescent is a distinct and dynamic phase of development in the life of an individual. It is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood and is characterized by spurts of physical, mental, emotional and social development. WHO considers "adolescence" to be the period between 10-19 years of age, which generally encompasses the time from the onset of puberty of the full legal age.

During adolescence, children develop the ability to:
• Understand abstract ideas, such as higher math concepts, and develop moral philosophies, including rights and privileges • Establish and maintain satisfying relationships by learning to share intimacy without feeling worried or inhibited • Move toward a more mature sense of themselves and their purpose • Question old values without losing their identity

World Health Organization: WHO defines adolescence both in terms of age (10-19 years) and in terms of a phase of life marked by following special attributes: • Rapid Physical growth and Development

• Physical, social and psychological maturity, but not all the same time • Sexual maturity and the onset of sexual activity
• Experimentation
• Development of adult mental processes and adult identity • Transition from total socio-economic dependence to relative independence. G.R. Medinnus and R.C.Johnson: Adolescence begins when signs of sexual maturity begin to occur in both physical and social development and ends when the individual assumes adult roles and is concerned in most ways as an adult by his reference group. Dorothy Rogers: Adolescence is a process rather than a period, a process of achieving the attitudes and beliefs needed for effective participation in society. The Hadow Report in England: There is a tide which begins to rise in the veins of youth at the age of eleven or twelve. It is called by the name of adolescence. If the tide can be taken as flood, and a new voyage began in the stream and along the flow of its current, we think it ill move on to fortune.




4 Adolescence: A period of ‘Stress and Strain’

Adolescence is typically a time of great stress and strain on the body, mind and emotions. E.A. Peel (1956) is of the view, “The adolescent is beset by problems of divided loyalties, accentuated by the lack of adult privileges and responsibilities. He thus appears excessively aggressive and then excessively shy, excessively affectionate and then quite suddenly detached and cool. These are all problems of the stress and strains of transitions.”

G.Stanley Hall also referred to the period of adolescence as a time of “strum and drang” or “storm and stress”. This is explained by the fact that adolescents experience more life-changing external and internal factors and situations than pre-adolescents. Hall attributed the flood of hormones through the body and the internal changes that are experienced during this period, a major contribution to stress. Some of the external changes, which can happen at any age, could be family related, sickness, death, divorce, or trouble with the law. Some of the other changes that occur during this period can be labelled as school-based, such as trouble with grades, breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, or being cut from a sports team. Overall, there is more of a daily connection to negative events during the period of adolescence than during the periods of pre-adolescence (LeFrançois, 1996). Adolescents begin to “break free” from their parents to find their own identities and in some cases that break create a loss of childhood reality, or the protective nature of childhood.

Adolescence is also...
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