All About Adolescence

Adolescence typically describes the years between ages 13 and 19 and can be considered the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood. However, the physical and psychological changes that occur in adolescence can start earlier, during the preteen or "tween" years (ages 9 through 12). Adolescence can be a time of both disorientation and discovery. This transitional period can bring up issues of independence and self-identity; many adolescents and their peers face tough choices regarding schoolwork, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, and social life. Peer groups, romantic interests, and appearance tend to naturally increase in importance for some time during a teen's journey toward adulthood.

Recent posts on Adolescence

Sending the Wrong Message

By Adam Price Ph.D. on June 24, 2017 in The Unmotivated Teen
How the best parental advice might backfire

Tagging Toxic Peers: How Online Friends Become Frenemies

Online friendship involves self-disclosure, which increases vulnerability. When friends become frenemies, disclosed personal information becomes ammunition for cyber-aggression.

Is There Really a Boy Crisis?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Talking About Men
Some scholars have long stated that we are in the midst of a ‘boy crisis’, manifesting itself in educational under-achievement and poor mental health. But is this the case?

The Question of ADHD

Is ADHD really biologically based? Genetic? Or a socially constructed disorder? Read on for why we should be careful of what we readily accept as true.
"Stoop Storytelling"/Leah Miller/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why We Share Our Private Stories

By Barb Cohen on June 22, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
How do we find our place in the world? By standing up and telling the stories in which we play the starring role.

When People (Appear to) Have No Feelings

By Nick Luxmoore on June 21, 2017 in Young People Up Close
Therapists listen all the time for anger and despair, for sadness and hatred. But when a young person appears to be feeling nothing? To be entirely empty of feelings? What then?

Now What? How to Talk with Your Millennial Kids about Love

Young adults want their parents to talk with them about the complexities of romantic relationships. The "Marriage 101" professor shares some questions to help you get started.

Caution, Moms: Your Daughters Are Listening

It’s summer. For millions of women, wearing a bathing suit in public is agonizing. Do we keep beating ourselves up or try something new this year for the sake of our daughters?

I Am a Teen and Have Feelings Toward a Teacher

How to deal with feelings toward a teacher.
Dexter & Ellie credit: Randi Hutter Epstein

Does Your Child Need Growth Hormone?

New guidelines help doctors, parents, and patients decide.
K. Ramsland

Dangerous Things Kids Do

Adolescents seek out novelty and excitement as they explore their sense of identity, which leaves them vulnerable to dangerous trends and people.

Did Your Father's Advice Shape Your Life?

Even if most fathers mean well, their advice needs a context.
Perri Corvino/Used with permission

Hidden Bias and Racism

A social worker shares his struggle with unconscious attitudes. By Stephen Friedman, LCSW

Playing to Win: Should Youth Specialize in Sports?

Data show that more youth than ever train year-round for a single sport and travel to compete against higher-level teams. But is this good for kids?

Early Diagnosis of Alcoholism

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on June 14, 2017 in Fighting Fear
Alcoholism tends to run in families. It is often possible to recognize a vulnerability during adolescence by the way that your loved one drinks.

Lessons From Summer Camp

By Mendi Baron on June 13, 2017 in On the Verge
Got a teen or young adult on your couch? Want it back? Helping them find a purpose can go a long way.
Frank McKenna

Thick and Thin

It seems, in the end, the character trait most in question is, well, character.

Does White Noise Help You Learn?

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on June 13, 2017 in Memory Medic
How do you promote focus in an environment of distractions?

Our Kids Are Not All Right

By the age of 26, diagnostic rates of addiction were two to three times those in national norms.
"Sewing Machine"/Steffen Zahn/CC BY 2.0

How Does Parenting Work When the Instruction Manual Fails?

By Barb Cohen on June 12, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Maybe x is the problem, maybe x is part of the problem, or maybe x is irrelevant to the problem. With regard to sewing machines, much like my children, I will never know.
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Why Adolescents Lead Double Lives

Adolescents have a private life and a public life, an online life and an offline life, a family life and a friends life. No parent is going to be allowed to know it all.

Icebergs and Childhood Mental Illness

It's time to destigmatize childhood mental illness.

That Crucial "Talk" with Daughters about Relationships

Ideal maternal conversations include an unequivocal plea to never let anyone else define you, limit you, or make you feel small.
Public Use Pixabay

Are You the Parent of a Depressed Child or Teenager?

By Monica N. Starkman M.D. on June 07, 2017 in On Call
Are you the parent of a depressed child or teenager? A psychiatrist and a teenager's mother team up to offer recommendations.

How Can I Help My Child Transition to a New School?

By Janet Hicks Ph.D. on June 06, 2017 in Raising Parents
Is your child unhappy about an upcoming move?
DidiWeidmann (Own work) [Public domain or CC BY-SA 2.5

Bi+: The Bisexual Unicorn

Bi+ individuals adopt a variety of identities, including bisexual, pansexual, bi-curious, fluid, multi-sexual, and others.

A Boundary Overstepped

What should a teenage girl should do if her dad has poor boundaries?

How to Teach Kids Right From Wrong

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on June 05, 2017 in Trust
How to help kids tackle tricky situations.

School's Out for Summer

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on June 04, 2017 in Social Lights
How parents and college students can survive the long break.

Parent's Guide to the Gender Revolution

Three guidelines for discussing gender identity with your kid.