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

The Credit Lunch

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in Consumed
Using credit or debit cards is associated with more hedonic purchases. Are students more susceptible to this card payment effect?

High Stakes Testing in America

“Thank God it’s over.” That’s what my high school educator friend in Florida says. The fattening-the-pig-by-weighing-it, over-the-top testing, happened almost every day from March to mid-May and impacted every student in his school. Everyone’s overwrought with this mess, most likely including the guy who started it, Jeb Bush.

Mom Humiliates Daughter via Facebook: Discipline or Abuse?

Have you ever seen what emotional abuse looks like? Here's a live example from a story that broke just this past week. What would you do if you saw someone doing this to a teenager?

Room Rights in Adolescence

Parents need to respect the adolescent room for the many personal functions it can provide; the adolescent needs to respect parental needs for that room to fit into what they want in a family home. This is an accommodation that must be made.

The Inconvenience of Tackling and Eliminating Defiance

Parenting can be an inconvenience that every parent has to come to terms with. The parenting relationship is not one that money alone can solve, or one that can be tackled remotely.

The Surprising News about Children's Mental Health

How mentally healthy are today’s children and teens? A comprehensive new survey shows that the current generation of young people are in better shape than we’ve realized. However, trends in medication use continue to draw concern by mental health experts.

No Way Did I Want to Die

Adolescents want to feel pleasure, takes risks and be social. Add in a brain that is impulsive and emotional and you have a set up for potential addiction. This is a story about just such a teen.

The Sad Case of The Duggars

How The Duggars Situation Contributed To Sex Abuse

7 Ways Yoga Helps Children and Teens

Yoga helps teens by developing their strength, creativity, discipline, and awareness. Find out 7 ways yoga helps children and teens.

Game On

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 in In Excess
In January 2015, a 32-year old male gamer was found dead at a Taiwanese Internet café following a non-stop three-day gaming session. I have spent nearly three decades studying video game addiction — but what turns a hobby into a health risk? Find out more in this article on Internet Gaming Disorder.

Friendships Help Kids Cope With Divorce

By Wendy Paris on May 19, 2015 in Splitopia
Your children's friendships can be disrupted by divorce, either because you move or because everyone is too busy and preoccupied to help maintain them. Eileen Kennedy-Moore answers four questions on the impact of divorce on childhood friendships, and gives advice for how parents can foster strong community.

Cannabis Addiction Is Linked to Higher Levels of Cortisol

Heavy marijuana use may trigger a stress response that increases cortisol levels.

Are Teens Going Online to Form Romantic Relationships?

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Connected
Many teens use the Internet to make new friends, but are today's teenagers also going online to find romantic partners? Moreover, do lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) teens use the Internet in different ways than non-LGBTQ teens when it comes to finding romantic partners? These questions and more answered in our new infographic.

To Screen or Not To Screen?

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on May 18, 2015 in In Therapy
Should we keep screens away from kids? Or give them full access and let them work it out? Is there a middle ground?

Are Teenagers Getting Enough Sleep?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Media Spotlight
A new review study outlines much of the research looking at the different consequences of sleep loss in adolescents and why parents need to take this more seriously. The consequences of young people going without sleep can be far worse than you might think.

What It Takes for High School In-Love Relationships to Last

Young people who fall in-love and work to turn it into lasting love can learn some mature communication skills that will benefit them later on, in this relationship if it holds, or in another if it does not.

How to Deal with Your Moody Teenager

How to Get Through to a Moody Teenager Who Doesn't Want and Resents Your Advice or Solutions

The Sexuality Of Schools

By Nick Luxmoore on May 16, 2015 in Young People Up Close
The way a school expresses or represses its collective sexual identity will have an effect on the individuals attending that school.

Do Condoms Impair Erotic Sensitivity?

Despite the lingering “shower in a raincoat” myth, if you enjoy the sex you’re having, condoms don’t impair sensitivity.

The Hidden Costs of Overparenting

Why are today's college students are so anxious and insecure?

Prom Night and the Kids Are Going to Drink: What Do You Do?

Early exposure to alcohol in the home can be harmful to children if it leads to drunkenness, but coaching kids on how to drink responsibly at the prom may keep them safer than just preaching abstinence.

A Lesson From Junior High Exile

By Kaja Perina on May 14, 2015 in Brainstorm
The inner voice is both symptom and salve, partly indicating what you believe about yourself and partly indoctrinating you into a way of thinking, as I discovered in a middle school library long ago.

The Ultimate Price of Our Hyper-Achievement Culture

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on May 14, 2015 in The Power of Prime
In an earlier post, I described the high cost that pushing kids too hard can have on their lives. A truly tragic example of this trend is Madison Holleran, a U. of Penn student and athlete, who committed suicide in early 2014. On the surface, she was a happy and successful young woman. But inside there was turmoil.

School Refusal and Severe Social Withdrawal

By Allen J Frances M.D. on May 14, 2015 in Saving Normal
A kid not going to school is a crisis for family and school. Parents and teachers often feel helpless and perplexed. The kid may quickly spiral down into increased anxiety, avoidance, despair, and gaming. Starting treatment early reduces the risks the child will develop severe school refusal and become completely homebound.

Helping Teenagers who Live in Dysfunctional Families: Part 2

Despite this very real challenge that within dysfunctional families, the fact that parents might be uncooperative or uninvolved in their teenager's treatment, there are issues worth focusing on and ideas that can be processed in therapy.

I'm Caught In A Love Triangle

What To Do About Love Triangles

Mathematics Fluency Training - It Works!

By Michael Hogan Ph.D on May 12, 2015 in In One Lifespan
Numeracy – our everyday play with numbers – is essential to the rhythm of life and our adaptive success as a species. There is a wonderful beauty in numbers that infants and toddlers intuitively appreciate as those around them play with numbers in song, story, dance, and life drama. But why is it that we so often hear an emerging negative attitude in relation to maths?

Sibling Revelry

The qualitative gains of sibling relationships beg the question, “Do friendships forged at summer camp elicit the same positive outcomes?”

Going Old School: College in the 1850s

While there has been undeniable flux in musical taste, fashion statements, hairstyles, and all of the other symptoms of pop-culture evolution, I am more convinced than ever that there is something essentially eternal about being 19 years old.

Sociability: The Core of Social-Emotional Learning

What helps children engage in learning? The cooperative capacity to interact with others—sociability— helps children absorb knowledge both inside and outside of school. Three powerful strategies can increase sociability in the classroom.