adolescence

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adolescence

 [ad″o-les´ens]
the period between the onset of puberty and the cessation of physical growth; roughly from 11 to 19 years of age. adj., adj adoles´cent.

Adolescents vacillate between being children and being adults. They are adjusting to the physiologic changes their bodies are undergoing and are working to establish a sexual identification and to use these changes for their personal benefit and for the benefit of society. They are searching for personal identity and wanting freedom and independence of thought and action, but they continue to have a strong dependence on their parents and suffer feelings of loss in separating from them. In reaction to this they identify with their peers and tend to yield to peer pressure and conform to peer group values, behavior, and tastes in such things as clothing, food, and entertainment.
Developmental Tasks. During the period of time between childhood and adulthood, as for other life stages, there are certain developmental tasks to be accomplished before one can move on to the next stage of maturity. The developmental tasks of adolescents include (1) becoming comfortable with their own bodies, (2) working toward independence from parents and other adult authority figures, (3) building new and meaningful relationships with others of the same and opposite sexes, (4) seeking economic and social stability, (5) developing a personal value system, and (6) learning to verbalize conceptually.
Health Care Needs
. Young people in today's society have special needs related to their lifestyle and health habits. About half of those between the ages of 15 and 19 years are sexually active, predisposing them to sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Approximately 10 per cent of the girls in this age group do become pregnant, and many of their newborns are born prematurely or have difficulty at birth. The major causes of injury and death in adolescents are motor vehicle and other accidents, homicide, and suicide. Obesity, substance abuse, and nutritional deficiency also are common health problems in adolescents.

A major goal in the health care of today's youth is education so that adolescents can become knowledgeable about the relationship between their lifestyle and their physical and mental health. They also need help in achieving the maturity essential to choosing a healthy lifestyle and accepting responsibility for their personal health.

Adolescents need health care providers who are able to communicate with them in a manner they can understand, and who respect them as unique individuals. In surveys of adolescents and their health care needs as they perceive them, adolescents have said they want health care providers who are warm and compassionate, have a sense of humor and are able to show emotional responsiveness, can be objective and nonjudgmental when dealing with adolescent health problems, are able to demonstrate flexibility, tolerance, and enjoyment in working with young people, can maintain their adult identity and serve as role models, and are knowledgeable about the special needs of adolescents.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

ad·o·les·cence

(ad-ŏ-les'ĕnts),
The period of life beginning with puberty and ending with completed growth and physical maturity.
[L. adolescentia fr. adultus essere, becoming an adult]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

adolescence

(ăd′l-ĕs′əns)
n.
1. The period of physical and psychological development from the onset of puberty to adulthood.
2. A similar period in nonhuman animals, ending at sexual maturity.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Adolescence

The period of developmental maturation between puberty and young adulthood; teenagerhood.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

adolescence

Adolescent medicine A period that begins with the onset of 2º sexual characteristics–puberty and ends with the cessation of growth–adulthood, in the vernacular, teenagehood, generally between 13 and 18. Cf Adulthood, Childhood.
Adolescence–signs of psychological problems
Problem behaviors,
eg substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, delinquency
Interpersonal isolation
from friends and family
Cognitive dysfunction,
eg decline in academic performance, irregularities in expressive or receptive language
To be normal during adolescence is, by itself abnormal–Anna Freud.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ad·o·les·cence

(ad'ŏ-les'ĕns)
The period of life beginning with puberty and ending with physical maturity.
[L. adolescentia]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

adolescence

The period of life from PUBERTY to maturity.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

ad·o·les·cence

(ad'ŏ-les'ĕns)
The period of life beginning with puberty and ending with completed growth and physical maturity.
[L. adolescentia]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
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