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

Boyhood

By Elaine Reese Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in Tell Me a Story
Richard Linklater's film Boyhood beautifully illustrates milestones in child and adolescent development. The film is required watching for all students of child development, as well as for all parents.

Rock On: Getting Your Teen to Talk

By Elaine Reese Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in Tell Me a Story
Teens need to be able to disclose their thoughts, struggles, and dreams with their parents. Learn ways to communicate with your teen that help build your relationship, and that will make it more likely that your teen will keep talking to you.

Autism and Sleep

By John Cline Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in Sleepless in America
Parents of children with autism often report sleep difficulties for themselves and their children. Research over the past decade has given information about the sleep difficulties faced by these children. Problems falling and staying asleep, having negative attitudes toward and fears related to sleep are significantly more common among these children.

The Adjustment of Adoptees

By A Guest Blogger on March 31, 2015 in Brainstorm
Does the emotional, behavioral and academic adjustment of adopted children differ from that of non-adopted children? New research sheds light on the differences—and similarities—between both groups.

Socioeconomic Factors Impact a Child's Brain Structure

In the largest study of its kind, a team of investigators from nine different universities have identified a correlative link between family income and a child’s brain structure.

Being Misunderstood

By Lynne Soraya on March 30, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
Looking back at my life, if I were to identify a common theme, it is feeling misunderstood. It sounds so much like a cliché, that many roll their eyes when hearing the phrase. “Everyone feels misunderstood,” they say. But what’s interesting is that those in my life who have said that, have gradually come to realize that it is true.

High School and Beyond

As a parent, you understand the desire to help your child succeed in the world and have the best future possible. Many parents dream their child will be successful, obtain postsecondary education, excel academically and most of all: find a career that is rewarding and satisfying. After all, isn't that the American dream?

Get on the Train

By Ariel Gore on March 30, 2015 in Women and Happiness
I'm going to give you some advice your parents and teachers might not: Drop out of high school.

Protective Parenting an Adolescent

With all the media attention devoted to adolescents getting in trouble, getting hurt, and getting killed, it's hard for parents not to worry about their teenager and to act restrictively in her or her defense. However, the best protection parents can provide is self-management preparation for safely functioning in a hazardous world.

10 Things You Can Do as a Bystander

Many schools, corporations and organizations offer ‘leadership training’ courses and seminars, yet they fail to teach the skills and strategies required for ‘bystander intervention.’ Here are a few concrete things that bystanders can do:

Misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Part II

A case study illustrating comorbidity and distinctions between bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and attention deficit disorder.

Cluelessness 101

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
One of the seldom mentioned perks of being a college professor is the opportunity to play a role in the divine comedy of academic life, but we professors are not the stars of the show.

The Argument for Later School Start Times

Schools need to start no earlier than 8:30am, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Middle Age Job Seekers need to get Social to Succeed

By Dwain Schenck on March 28, 2015 in Reset
Many middle age and older workers are taking little comfort these days in the lower national employment rate. Many of those who lost their jobs for one reason or another three to four years ago are still struggling to land even steady part time employment. The “oh boy” moment of how adversely unemployment was affecting me hit in the summer of 2012.

BattleKasting a Path to Literacy

How do you motivate kids to want to read a book? Extend a storyworld into other platforms, such as the mobile game BattleKasters to create multiple entry points into the story. Alane Adams set out targeting reading literacy, but she has created a training ground for essential 21st century literacies integrating reading, gaming and constructing transmedia narratives.

Teenagers Are From Earth

Our black-and-white thinking about adolescence is getting in our way.

Lifespan

By Mario D Garrett PhD on March 27, 2015 in iAge
Why do people confuse lifespan, with life expectancy, with average years of life and years expected to live?

Genetics of Longevity

By Mario D Garrett PhD on March 27, 2015 in iAge
There is a schism between lifespan and theoretical lifespan…human behavior.

Anorexia and the Dangers of Blog Post Titles

By Emily T. Troscianko on March 26, 2015 in A Hunger Artist
Few topics induce stronger emotion than parenting and children’s illness, and where emotions are heightened miscommunication can easily occur. Here I try to clarify my mother’s original argument, respond to some readers’ comments which blur the crucial distinction between personal and scientific ‘findings’, and reflect on the role of choice in recovery from anorexia.

4 Reasons Kids Stop Respecting Their Parents

Just telling kids their behavior is not okay is not enough

What Parents Can’t Do

More than twice as many states required parental consent for mental health treatment than for substance abuse treatment.

Should You Make Choices for Your Kids?

Parents need to be concerned about the choices their kids make. The quality of your presence and support as your child explores and sorts through the options establishes the basis for his and her confident and solid decision-making when he and she are on their own.

The Quiet Advocate Behind Thriving Youth

All youth need supportive adult relationships beyond their parents—mentors who believe in them and their potential. Are you a mentor to young people? Learn how to foster their success.

March Madness

By Jeffrey Lieberman M.D. on March 24, 2015 in Shrink Speak
Students and parents rarely consider that they might need mental health services during college and often urgently. For this reason, they would be well advised to include the quality and availability of mental health services along with traditional considerations as they decide on the college of their choice.

From A-Ha to Success and Beyond

By Kathy Cramer Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Lead Positive
This is the story of retail innovator Maxine Clark and how she answered her Call to found Build-A-Bear, the teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience.

Is Digital Life Risky?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Human Beast
Young people who grew up with digital technologies and cannot conceive of a life without the Internet, digital games, and social media are sometimes called “digital natives” whereas older generations who acquired these technologies as adults are “digital immigrants.” Digital natives have many advantages but “addiction” to screens has its critics.

Dad Publicly Shames his Bully Son

With punishments becoming increasingly difficult to enforce, parents of defiant children are beginning to consider publicly humiliating them

Do As I Say: Be Oppositional!

Oppositional behavior by children would seem to run counter to arguments in my previous posts that family members often do what they think their families want them to, even at great personal sacrifice. But oppositionality can be more apparent than real. People often act that way to accomodate what they perceive their parents to want and need from them.

Adolescent Excellence and Managing High Expectations

When parents either support or encourage their teenager to have high personal performance expectations, they also need to provide guidance about how to manage their feelings when these outcomes are not met, as will sometimes occur.

Slut vs. Stud: Monica Lewinsky and the Shaming of Girls

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on March 22, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Monica Lewinsky is creating another cultural moment - her recent TED talk has garnered over 500,000 views in a few days, and rightly calls for a culture of compassion to combat cyberbullying and shaming. The soon-to-be-released film The Sisterhood of Night also explores shaming and cyberbullying in the lives of teen girls. Here are some thoughts on both.