The adolescence is the stage of life from late childhood to adulthood. It begins around the onset of puberty and ends when the person is physically, psychologically and socially mature.
Adolescence is the stage of life from late childhood to adulthood.
Adolescence is often understood as a synonym for the period of puberty, but actually includes parts before and after. Childhood and the juvenile phase lead directly to adolescence and end in the young adult stage. The WHO describes adolescence as the phase of life between the ages of 10 and 20, in the USA it includes the 13th to 19th year of life in the sense of puberty and in German juvenile criminal law the 13th to the 21st year of life.
All of these periods of time can be consistent; ultimately, adolescence also depends on the individual development of the girl or boy into woman or man. It has medical, biological, psychological and social relevance.
Young people in adolescence develop physically to sexual maturity and then mature into adults with all the physical characteristics of their gender. In adolescence, the psychologist observes first experiences with independence, responsibility, love and separation from parents. Friendships and one's own place in society play an increasing role.
Today's adolescence ends when the young adult takes responsibility for his or her own life and is physically well developed according to age.
The childhood phases had the purpose of developing basic functions of the body and setting important psychological processes in motion. The young person already has a lot behind them, such as learning the basic bonding behavior or breaking through the teeth.
Adolescence begins along with puberty and all of the major physical changes that the body goes through in youth. The young person reaches sexual maturity, as a result of which the body is now continuously influenced by male or female hormones and develops or strengthens corresponding sexual characteristics. In adolescence, many teenagers find it difficult to embrace these changes and their appearance as a whole, but in young adulthood most achieve some acceptance of their appearance. Most of the time, the unpleasant symptoms of adolescence such as blemishes or severe menstrual pain have normalized by then.
A fundamental reorganization and realignment of the brain is also characteristic of adolescence. Emotional independence from parents is achieved over the years. Young people also look for their place in the social fabric in adolescence and find ways to create it. Friendships are more important, they shape the learned social behavior. The development of the intellect is clearly noticeable during this time, which is encouraged by attending school.
The benefit of adolescence for a young person is to gradually become more self-reliant and lead an independent life in order to produce and raise offspring themselves. But although independence is the goal, the adolescent person needs support from parents, family and also from peers and society in general in order to develop into healthy adults.
Just like childhood, adolescence is a formative phase of physical, mental and social development. Anomalies in development can therefore lead to permanent consequential damage. The physical development towards a sexually mature adult is particularly important. If sexual maturity occurs too early, it can be as normal as it could be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. As yet undiscovered tumors of the thyroid and pituitary gland, which can remain symptom-free, would lead to puberty being delayed, slowed down or not occurring at all in adolescence. This eliminates male and female hormones that allow the body to mature into an adult image. The consequences can be decreased fertility, a micropenis or undeveloped, androgynous breasts in women.
More common than real illnesses are complaints that are basically harmless, but can be very stressful. In boys, this includes, for example, the increased aggressiveness due to the high testosterone level. The level is not the same for every boy in adolescence, but when they do, they sometimes lead to more aggressive and combative behavior and like to get the adolescent into trouble.
Girls, on the other hand, are more likely to suffer from their menstrual period, which can still be painful, especially in adolescence. This remains the case for a few years and improves in early adulthood or as early as late adolescence. Many young women also struggle with skin blemishes in adolescence and find it difficult to accept changes in their figure.
However, the physical developments of adolescence also trigger a maturation process of the psyche, because the young adult has to learn to accept himself. Even so, emotional distress is perfectly normal during adolescence, even if the teenager seems to suffer from them at times. Regular discussions with parents, exchange among peers, the availability of confidants such as teachers, school psychologists or even the pediatrician help ensure that mental problems in adolescence can be identified and eliminated in good time.