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 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

Young, Confident, Bisexual

By Nick Luxmoore on September 02, 2015 in Young People Up Close
More and more young people are slowly gaining the confidence to resist being defined as one thing or another. More and more say that they 'might be bisexual'.

The ABCs of Child Behavior

Temper tantrums... pushing... mouthing off! When a child misbehaves, parents usually just want them to stop. But by analyzing the patterns of behavior of their children, parents can shape that behavior in more positive directions. These patterns are the keys to unlocking a family's stress-free discipline plan.

The #1 Parenting Tip to Change Rebellious Teens

By Linda Esposito LCSW on August 31, 2015 in From Anxiety to Zen
Teens need calm, firm discipline in order to thrive during adolescence. Learn how to be his success ambassador.

Entitled Teens: 3 Causes, 3 Solutions

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on August 29, 2015 in Fixing Families
Entitled teens feel they can do what they want and get away with it. Unfortunately to their own detriment often do. Three causes and their antidotes for reining in runaway teens

Life May Never Be the Same: Parenting Kids in Recovery

Parenting an adult addict is a difficult path. How different is parenting the recovering adult addict?

Frosh Week and Dangerous Drinking: What Can Parents Do?

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Nurturing Resilience
While we know young people are likely to drink during frosh week, the real danger is that they could be dramatically under-estimating the amount of alcohol they're consuming. Here are some suggestions for parents who want to prevent their kids from developing a drinking problem.

My Daughter Steals And Lies

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on August 25, 2015 in The Teen Doctor
How To Manage Defiant Daughter

Online Activities of Youth who Engage in Self-Harm Behaviors

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in Connected
In our new infographic, we explore what young people who engage in self-harm behavior do online. Compared to youth who do not engage in self-harm, youth with self-harm behaviors use the Internet in different ways.

When Parents and Adolescent Get Stuck in a Hard Place

One trap for parents and teenager when in a hard place with each other is to think hard thoughts and feel hard feelings. By doing so, matters get worse. To make them better it helps to violate negative predictions and disempower feelings from influencing decisions.

Thank You For Not Sharing

By Nick Luxmoore on August 22, 2015 in Young People Up Close
Young people have to learn that there are degrees of privacy, that not sharing is normal.

"Like" Me: Why Girls Need More Breaks from Social Media

As a parent you are probably thinking that this constant pressure to be “Liked” sounds like an exhausting way to live. Who can relax when everything you say and do is analyzed, photographed, posted for an audience, and evaluated? To feel you have to be on at all times,and if you go for too long without checking your phone or computer, life might leave you behind?

Helping Kids Thrive in Middle School and High School

Early adolescence is a time of vulnerability and possibility, and whether they realize it or not, young people need their parents as much as they did as toddlers. Kids are moving toward independence, but parents still have an enormous role making sure they are safe, and increasing their chances of creating happily productive adult lives for themselves. Here are 10 ideas.

Breaking Research on the Risks of E-Cigarettes

By Rubin Khoddam on August 20, 2015 in The Addiction Connection
With the rising popularity of e-cigarettes and recent proposals to adjust regulation of e-cigatrettes, it's important to understand the risks associated with e-cigarette use, particularly in adolescence. A recent article published in the Journal of American Medical Association is the first study to examine how e-cigarette users may be at greater risk for smoking.

Connecting With Your Children in a Disconnected Culture

While parents are more kid-focused than ever, it seems ironic that today’s children say they feel disconnected from their parents and wish their parents would spend more time really listening to them. It is also ironic that in a culture in which we are constantly connected via technology, families have become ever more disconnected...

Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Murder?

Psychologist Tobias Greitemeyer from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, one of the world's leading authorities on the link between violent video games and real world aggression, has just published results from a new study entitled, 'Intense acts of violence during video game play make daily life aggression appear innocuous: a new mechanism'.

The Mismatch Between Teen Sleep and School Timing

A CDC study shows schools start earlier than pediatricians recommend.

The Key Role of Intuition in Students’ Decisions

By Tim Elmore on August 13, 2015 in Artificial Maturity
I just had a difficult conversation with my son Jonathan. He is an intelligent 23 year old who loves to serve people. Our discussion was hard because it concerned the mismatch with his recent summer job waiting tables at a high-end restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. Even though it involved serving people...

Self-Awareness: How Kids Make Sense of Life Experiences

How do children gain a deeper understanding of how they think, feel, and act so they can improve their learning and develop meaningful relationships? Classroom teachers make a difference.

Mental Health 101

What if psychological principles guided the entire academic experience for college students? With ongoing mental health innovations, the possibilities are plentiful.

Back to school dread: Beyond first day jitters

There are some kids for whom the idea of going back to school can create sheer panic and overwhelmingly angst. These tweens typically revel in the relief associated with summer. As the first day of school gets closer they become more anxious. This often results in increased irritability, agitation and sometimes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

How Detachment Changes Both Adolescent and Parents

Adolescence alters the child, the parent in response, and the relationship between them. Adolescence changes everyone.

The Tangled Transition to Adulthood

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on August 04, 2015 in The Prime of Life
How can we expand the possibilities of contemporary adulthood, without making it a class privilege?

6 Reasons Teens Won't Tell Parents Their Violent Thoughts

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on August 04, 2015 in Just Listen
What struck me from reading about rampage killers was how common it was for caring parents to not know about the dark suicidal and violent impulses that lived within their teenage sons (nearly all the rampage killers have been male).

Life and the Essence of Adolescence

By Daniel J. Siegel M.D. on August 03, 2015 in Inspire to Rewire
During a summer vacation on a lake in Wisconsin, I look at my son and daughter, my nieces and nephews, and soak it all in. Life is a passing of these moments, I know, ones we cannot hold onto. A startling discovery of exploring this important adolescent period of life is that the ESSENCE of adolescence is also the key way to keep our brains vital and growing.

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are pediatric psychologists with expertise in treating children and adolescents with chronic pain. This blog is for parents who want to help their child better manage chronic pain.

We Pay Adults To Work, So Why Not Pay Kids To Learn?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 02, 2015 in Ambigamy
It's crazy: We expect children to be motivated by abstract arguments that wouldn't motivate adults, even though children are much worse at abstraction.

The Baby and the Butterfly

How do you fight the urge to solve the kinds of challenges that are necessary for your child’s healthy emotional growth?

Depression and Suicide in Black Youth

Depression is a serious mental health issue that significantly impacts the lives of many youth. Among Black youth 3.2% report suicidal thoughts and 1.4% report attempting suicide. Given the serious risk, it is important to learn early warning signs.

Punk Music Isn't "Bad"

New research explores whether extreme music (e.g. heavy metal and punk) makes you angrier, or helps you process and regulate your anger.