Adolescence, what to expect

Adolescence is the transitional stage in human development from childhood (puberty) through to full adulthood and is the period during which a person biologically can become an adult, but they are not completely emotionally and socially matured.

The assigned age of adolescence is viewed differently in different cultures.  In the United States, adolescence is generally at the onset of puberty: starting at the age of 13 to 24 years of life, the World Health Organisation (WHO) defines adolescence as the period of life from 10 to 20 years.

“Adolescence” is also a cultural and social phenomenon and its definition is therefore not tied exclusively to physical milestones.  The time sees drastic changes in the body, marked with developments in the psyche and in the academic or vocational career of a person.

Whilst through this period of life, most young people’s physical stages of puberty occur, often from about the age of 9 years to 13 years.  In the age group of 13 – to 18-year-olds there will often be the first sexual experience or interest.

Of course there is also a legal age definition of when a young person is sexually mature and also the sense of judicial responsibility.  Not only cultural reasons vary, but each person is different and progress in their own way.  While puberty is mainly related to the physical maturity and the discovery of sexuality, adolescence refers to the development of a professional and social identity of oneself.

Maturity in the body leads to an interest in sexuality and sexual activity. There is a risk that there will be a teenage pregnancy. This can be problematic because adolescents may not (yet) have the necessary maturity to deal with their own children and are also usually in school or vocational training.  In addition, they are financially not able to even pay for the needs of a child.

At this age, the likelihood of drug or alcohol abuse or mental problems such as schizophrenia, identity diffusion, eating disorders and depressive lows are statistically higher. The emotional instability among some adolescents also sometimes causes youth crime, reckless behaviour or suicidal thoughts. The rebellion of change, readiness and desire of adolescents (Storm and Stress) are also seen as important factors in many social movements for positive change in the world.

The way to ultimately stand on their own feet, both financially and to cope with all the requirements of professional, social and sexual nature is therefore often a little firmer and crises. In this case, is spoken by an adolescent crisis.  Too often the child may leave home, earn their own money for a living, and separate from the mother.  The search for identity is one of the problems faced by adolescent youths.  At this age, role models and athletes, film and television actors are very popular, and young people often push out of the desire to be like their chosen role model.  In the past (and still today in some cultures) there were ceremonies to celebrate growing up and were held usually during adolescence.

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