adolescence


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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.

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]

adolescence

/ad·o·les·cence/ (ad″o-les´ens) the period between puberty and the completion of physical growth, roughly from 11 to 19 years of age.adoles´cent

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.

adolescence

[ad′əles′əns]
Etymology: L, adolescere, to grow up
1 the period in development between the onset of puberty and adulthood. It usually begins between 11 and 13 years of age with the appearance of secondary sex characteristics and spans the teenage years, terminating at 18 to 20 years of age with the completion of the development of the adult form. During this period, the individual undergoes extensive physical, psychological, emotional, and personality changes.
2 the state or quality of being adolescent or youthful. See also postpuberty, prepuberty, psychosexual development, psychosocial development, pubarche.

Adolescence

The period of developmental maturation between puberty and young adulthood; teenagerhood.

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.

ad·o·les·cence

(ad'ŏ-les'ĕns)
The period of life beginning with puberty and ending with physical maturity.
[L. adolescentia]

adolescence

The period of life from PUBERTY to maturity.

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]

adolescence,

n the period of development between the onset of puberty and adulthood. This period is generally marked by the appearance of secondary sex characteristics, usually from 11 to 13 years of age, and spans the teen years.
References in periodicals archive ?
Even then, researchers and clinicians had only a narrow understanding of hormones and explained the problems of adolescence as due to "raging hormones.
The first, already noted, is the importance of gender difference, which is, of course, more important in adolescence even than in childhood or youth because of the incipience of sexual activity.
Within a few years, they reach middle adolescence, when there is an outrigh rejection of adult advice and support.
Additionally, there was a threefold jump in reported sexual experience--from 10% to 34%--between early and middle adolescence.
First, exposure to alcohol or other drugs during adolescence may alter critical ongoing processes of brain development that occur at that time, increasing the likelihood of problems with alcohol later in life.
The technical definition of puberty is to "grow hair," which marks the beginning of adolescence.
Early adolescence is a time of significant and erratic physiological, intellectual, emotional and social change.
Girls come into adolescence healthy and it's our job -- both as parents and clinicians -- to keep them that way," says Lydia A.
In Tern Apter's The Myth of Maturity, the very definition of adolescence is pressed into the service of this all-consuming mandara.
Designed for teachers, counselors, treatment specialists, and law enforcement personnel, Adolescence, formerly available by subscription only, is now on a growing number of bookstore newsstands in over 40 states.
Together the chapters provide a compelling discussion of intriguing issues and broaden our understanding of attachment in adolescence and the basic tenets of attachment theory at large.
Over the past 20 years, there has been a major controversy about the long-term effects of marijuana, with some evidence that use in adolescence could be damaging," study's senior author Asaf Keller, Ph.