All About Adolescence

Adolescence describes the teenage years between 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. The 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 their social life. Peer groups, romantic interests and external appearance tend to naturally increase in importance for some time during a teen's journey toward adulthood.

Recent Posts on Adolescence

10 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Adolescent

There are affirmative actions parents can take to stay meaningfully and satisfyingly connected to their teenager as the process of adolescence grows them apart, as it is meant to do.

Introduction to Investing in Healthy Minds

True or False: As a society we should be investing more in the mental health of young people. I’m guessing you answered “true.” But can you prove it?

Changes in the Family: Impact on Child Relationships

Single parenting carries many responsibilities, not least of which is an even greater need to support children in their understanding for healthy relationships.

The Perfect Storm: Twitter, Marijuana and the Teen Brain

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on April 23, 2015 in Singletons
Young Twitter users favor marijuana. Teen Twitter chatter about “pot” is high and influential for the risk-prone teenage brain. Twitter, marijuana and the developing teenage brain create the potential for a perfect storm.

How Not to Be Boring: Advice for Teen Introverts

By Sophia Dembling on April 22, 2015 in The Introvert's Corner
Teens crave and seem to admire risk taking. What can introverted teens do to scratch that itch?

Four Ways that Online Harassment Can Be Upsetting for Youth

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in Connected
What factors make some incidences of online harassment more upsetting to youth than others? While most Internet-using youth do not get harassed online, a fraction of youth harassed online are upset by the experience. Knowing what to look for can help us assist youth in need.

Developmental Dislike of Parents During Early Adolescence

One function of adolescence is to grow parent and adolescent apart. Dislike of parents is part of what allows this social separation to occur. Most important for parents to remember is that this loss of liking for parents does not mean any lessening of of adolescent love.

I'm Having An Impossible Time With A Break-Up

Breaking Up in The Age of Social Media

"Burn Book": An App for Bullying

For those over 30, or without teenage children, the term “Burn Book” may have no meaning. 0thers will recognize it as the iconic Treasury of Nastiness from the movie Mean Girls. Now it has become an app—one that enables anonymous bullying in specific, selected communities:

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

Meaningfully Salient Parenting

Meaningfully salient parenting can be spoken about, but, in essence, it is a deeply heartfelt and intimate engagement between parent and child, mother and father, and all within the family system.

Honest Sex Ed

What you would say, if you were very being honest, about the role of sex in a life?

Cyberbullying? There’s an App for That

In the 2004 teen comedy “Mean Girls,” a central plot point is a notebook filled with vicious rumors and gossip — the “Burn Book,” it is called. Now the concept has been taken into the social media age with the “Burnbook” app.

Does Thinking You Are Fatter Make You Fatter?

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on April 16, 2015 in Eating Mindfully
Many adolescents misperceive their body size; it is not uncommon for normal weight adolescents to categorize themselves as overweight. What is the effect of this misperception of body size?

The Blue Light Special

Time rules life. Light rules inner time.

Smartphones for Dummies—and Young People

You've hemmed and you've hawed, but finally you've given in and bought your child a smartphone. Now, the challenge begins: how do you ensure that he or she uses it wisely? Here are 10 guidelines to promote respectful, responsible use of your child’s new gadget.

5 Reasons to Go Meat Free Right Now!

In what ways can your mind, body, and spirit benefit from going meatless?

How Much Should Parents Protect Their Children?

A legitimate question about how much risk parents should allow their children to take, and how protective of their children parents should be has been all but drowned out by extreme emotion.

Curiosity: The Heart of Lifelong Learning

What makes children want to learn? Curious children often spend a great deal of time reading and acquiring knowledge because they sense a gap between what they know and what they want to know—not because they are motivated by grades.

The Emotional "Trials" of Trial Independence (ages 18 - 23)

For many last stage adolescents (18 - 23) independence can prove too much of a good thing when they flounder in so much freedom, become stressed out, and experience emotional crisis as a result. At this juncture, parents can be of help.

Working Moms Have Healthier, More Successful Kids

Though we spend more time with our kids these days than decades ago, it may not be improving their developmental outcomes. A study of family time diaries shows that family income is a better predictor of children's academic and psychological outcomes than the amount of individual attention they receive from their parents between the ages of 3 and 11.

The Psychology of Imprinting

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 in A Sideways View
There are fascinating stories of how animals get attached to those of a quite different species because of critical period imprinting. Can this process begin to help us understand why we are attracted to very different kinds of people?

Faulty Reporting on ADHD

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on April 11, 2015 in Side Effects
Newspaper of record criticized for its tardy response to overmedicalization.

End Game

Skills employers say they're looking for can be learned by working at camp.

Do Sleep Issues in Teens Predict Drug and Alcohol Problems?

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on April 09, 2015 in Sleep Newzzz
Despite their seemingly boundless energy—and propensity to stay up late at night—teens need more sleep than adults.

15 Ways to Share Love in the Springtime

Whether it is real or simply a happy time that enlivens us, here are some ways to take advantage of spring fever with someone special in your life.

Jealousy, Simple and Complex

Simple jealousy functions in many adult relationships as a kind of distance-regulator. When the partners drift apart, the pang of jealousy motivates more attention and connecting behavior.

Big Love

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 09, 2015 in In Excess
Macrophilia appears to be an increasingly popular sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual arousal from a fascination with giants and/or a sexual fantasy involving giants. But what do we know about it from a psychological perspective?

Finally, An Online Group For Kids With a Borderline Parent!

By Randi Kreger on April 08, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
Kids need support for the puzzling things going on in their life. Until now, there was nowhere to go to have a borderline parent. Now, thanks to the Personality Disorders Awareness Network, there are place they can go.