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

College Students and Thanksgiving Break

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Social Lights
Tips for enjoying the holidays with your adult children.

Wean Your Kids and Yourself Off Fear

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Trouble in Mind
The obsession of iGen teens with safety is one cause of their unhealthy levels of anxiety and there's something adults can do something about.

Guidance on the Graduate School Application Process

Did you know there are about a dozen kinds of graduate programs for psych majors? Did you know that many programs offer tuition help? Read on for inside take on the process!
Carl Pickhardt Ph. D.

Adolescence and Conflicts between Constancy and Change

The art of parenting an adolescent is knowing the difference between what needs to change and what needs to stay the same.

On Being Treated Unfairly: Don’t Let Them Win Twice!

By Robert Enright Ph.D. on November 11, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Too often when people hurt us, we get so angry that we hurt others. "The bad guys" then win twice: first in their hurting us and then in our becoming injurers of others.

A 12-Year-Old Is Watching Porn

By Nick Luxmoore on November 11, 2017 in Young People Up Close
If, realistically, we have little control over children watching porn, how do we help them understand what they're watching so that they're not damaged when it comes to real life?

Meet the Teen Who Discovered the Secret of Social Capital

The design of children's social life teaches them to create a world of status where people are left out and mistreated. One teen is trying to change that––with an app.

Finding Solace Through Stories

By Robyn Fivush Ph.D. on November 10, 2017 in The Stories of Our Lives
Remembering our loved ones through stories helps us heal and bonds our families and friends together in times of grief.

Do Smart Phones Make Us Smarter?

By Tim Elmore on November 09, 2017 in Artificial Maturity
If you’re like most, you will consult your phone about 80 times a day. Find out what the latest research says on how this influences your mind and your life in general.

Empowering Your Anxious Tween

Anxiety is a beast that can be contained, if not completely slain.

Phubbing-The #1 Phone Habit to Drop For Better Relationships

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on November 08, 2017 in Feeling It
Here's what happens to your relationships when you ignore others for your phone.

Young and Cueless: Thinking about the Big Rise in Anxiety

By Scott M. Stanley Ph.D. on November 07, 2017 in Sliding vs. Deciding
Anxiety and depression have increased sharply for teens and young adults. Why? Does cuelessness about relationships play a role?

Adolescent Identities and Our Biases

Are you wondering what it can mean to affirm adolescence? Let's talk about identities adolescents are coming to understand, and the biases that may be directed towards them.

Why Don't Doctors Ask LGBT Kids About Their Identities?

Does your child's sexual orientation receive short shrift from their doctor?

How to Talk to Kids About Terrorism

Talking about the harsh realities of life shouldn't be an attempt to toughen kids up, but it can be an opportunity to help them build mental strength.

How to Lower Your Teen’s Anxiety

Learning how to cope with anxiety is an important part of growing up. Here are a few ways to help mitigate teenage angst.

Profiles in Persistance: Oren

By Mendi Baron on November 06, 2017 in On the Verge
Struggle to find inspiration to pursue your dream? Check out other dreamers and how they do it!
Rebecca [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Who and What Is a Pansexual?

Pansexuality offers teenagers an opportunity not to rule out anyone solely because of sex or gender. It explodes traditional categorical identities straight, bisexual, and gay.

American Cinema Has Produced Its First Woman Auteur

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on November 04, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Greta Gerwin is the first great American woman "auteur" director - so what's a century to two?

Batman and How Real Heroes Respond to Bullies

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on November 03, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
Whether it’s from being a lion at heart or Batman here and now, we need to spread the effects of inspiration far and wide.

10 Reasons American Teenagers Are More Anxious Than Ever

We're robbing American teenagers of the mental strength they need to stay healthy.

Preventing and Calming Kids’ Technology-Fueled Anxiety

Technology is implicated in rapidly rising rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide in children and adolescents. Mindful parenting approaches can help your kids be resilient.

Why Are Teens So Stressed and What Can Break the Cycle?

By Daniel P. Keating Ph.D. on November 01, 2017 in Stressful Lives
Dramatic increases in teen stress are fueled by a broader stress epidemic. We need to understand both to break this cycle.

Popular Teen Apps and Sites

Teens may be one step ahead when it comes to technology, but that doesn’t mean parents have to be two steps behind.

On Teenagers, Helplessness, and Anxiety

By Bruce Poulsen Ph.D. on October 30, 2017 in Reality Play
How does an understanding of normal childhood anxiety help us make sense of anxiety disorders among teenagers?
Pixaby

Teaching Teens Why Sexual Harassment and Assault Is Wrong

By Azmaira H. Maker Ph.D. on October 30, 2017 in Helping Kids Cope
Tools for schools and parents to teach teens about sexual harassment and assault as an abuse of power.
Carl Pickhardt Ph. D.

Adolescence and the Positive Power of Mistakes

Painful though it can feel, mistake making is part of everyone's learning process in life. So the challenge is to make the best educational use of mistakes you can.

Global Collaboration at Its Purest

When teenagers from Vietnam to Slovakia dream, creativity really does cross borders.
Matt Quinn on Unsplash

Misdirection

By Stephen Gray Wallace on October 25, 2017 in Decisions Teens Make
Many young people thrive in college environments: new relationships, challenges and independence. Others find the shift to college a mixed blessing or even a downright disaster.

Pragmatics: The Ultimate Buzzkill

By Mendi Baron on October 23, 2017 in On the Verge
Hate being the one to point out the obvious or push things along? Get your teen or young adult moving in the right direction with a culture shift!