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

Adults With ADHD Are More Common Than You'd Guess

By Temma Ehrenfeld on October 06, 2015 Open Gently
ADHD affects 3 to 5 percent of adults.

Can Your Child's Friends Affect How Much He or She Learns?

By Garth Sundem on October 06, 2015 Brain Trust
A study in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology explores how friends influence each other's school skills.

My College Daughter Hates Me

What to do when your college child distances herself.

The Marketing of an Antipsychotic

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on October 05, 2015 Side Effects
Ghostwriters, massaged data, tiny print, and children’s toys—all part of Big Pharma's arsenal of "defeat devices," outlined in Steven Brill's book, America's Most Admired Lawbreaker.

"Is Adolescence Really Necessary?"

In their disenchantment with some early adolescent changes in their child, parents wonder if this transformation really need be? The answer is: Yes, so the process of redefinition for growing up can get underway.

Here is a Powerful Acronym to Help Your Child Manage Stress!

Kids do better in life when they learn how to calm down and solve problems! Borrowing from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) the word "ACCEPTS" provides prompts for valuable coping skills for children, teens, and adults to handle stress. To help your child or teen better deal with stress, take a look at the power of the 7 skills embodied in "ACCEPTS"

Not Going with the Flow

Discussion of the challenges inherent in having to acquire self-observing capacities for the late adolescent/young adult with bipolar disorder..

Fear of Damage to Children in Polyamorous Families

Because polyamory is stigmatized in conventional society, many poly parents or other adults who love children being raised in poly families are concerned about how growing up in a polyamorous family might affect children. In this blog I include a question from a concerned mother and my response to her concerns about how her relationships might impact her kids.

OxyContin for Kids? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

By Dan Mager MSW on October 01, 2015 Some Assembly Required
We know that teenagers are at a higher risk for addiction than adults because of their immature brain development. And we know from significant demonstrated history that even if prescribed with the best of intentions, expanding the availability of opioid pain medications can have unforeseen and tragic consequences.

Four Ways to Foster Ethics in College Athletics

With appropriate attention and desire, college athletics can be an excellent venue for nurturing ethical behavior and character formation. It really doesn't take that much time or money to make it happen. But will colleges make it a priority?

Are People More Interested in Sex Today Than Before?

By Paul Joannides Psy.D. on September 30, 2015 As You Like It
Are you more interested in sex than your parents or grandparents were?

Antidepressants and Violence: A Link in Search of a Cause

A controversial study links higher youth crime rates with antidepressant use. Before making broad conclusions, however, it’s worth reading the fine print.

Variability in Sleep Schedule Hinders Brain Development

Regular sleep can aid brain development in adolescence.

How Do Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers Differ?

Researchers and the media, are seemingly obsessed with pointing out how Millennials are different than any other generation. There are guidebooks and articles that tell you how to deal and work with Millennials, but are they really different?

The Most Remarkable Thing About the Pope’s Visit

By Jean M Twenge Ph.D. on September 24, 2015 Our Changing Culture
Pope Francis' stunning message to nonbelievers

What Does "Behavioral Undercontrol" Mean?

Examining the link between behavioral undercontrol and substance use disorder.

Start a New Relationship the Right Way

By Jeffery S Smith M.D. on September 22, 2015 Healing and Growing
When relationships don't work out, there were usually signs at the beginning. Here's how to recognize them.

Effective Apologies in 3 Easy Steps

Are you tired of hearing "I'm sorry" without any meaning or feeling to it? Do your apologies seem to lack weight? Try this three-part approach to mending things.

Talking to Kids About Dating in a Non-Dating World

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on September 22, 2015 Grand Rounds
Can we still give our kids dating advice if none of our kids are dating?

Lost Girls

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 21, 2015 Shadow Boxing
Reading one of Joyce Carol Oates's story collections brings a jarring sense of what people are capable of, in the form of adolescent girls.

How Long Does Adolescence Last?

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on September 21, 2015 Fighting Fear
Adolescence, the stage between childhood and adulthood, involves progress along a number of developmental pathways.

How Boredom Can Afflict the End of Adolescence

When it comes to leading a more independent path through life at the end of adolescence, finding a working interest to like and taking an active interest in work one doesn't like can both be hard to do.

Accusing an Innocent Child of a Major Crime

By Carrie Barron M.D. on September 21, 2015 The Creativity Cure
Punishing a person with a strong conscience or a child with unusual gifts of creativity, self expression or empathy because of mindless misunderstanding can cause serious damage. Understanding who someone is as well as what they do or have done is important for effective intervention. Rigid rule following can backfire..

My Mother Is Destroying My Social Life

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on September 20, 2015 The Teen Doctor
How To Repair Your Relationship With Your Mother

6 Reasons Why Selfie-Taking Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Another death by selfie: a 66-year-old Japanese tourist fell down a flight of steps at the Taj Mahal while taking a selfie. Questions that arise include reactionary suggestions of governmental requirements for ‘cautionary messages’ on selfie taking and even legislation. If regulatory bodies want to do something useful, they should teach people more biology.

Our Daughter Has Relationship Problems

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on September 17, 2015 The Teen Doctor
How to help your kids with unhealthy relationships.

Young People, Relationships and the Adversity Cliff

By Jonathan Zaff Ph.D. on September 17, 2015 Our Thriving Youth
A new report released by America’s Promise Alliance offers new insights — from the perspectives of young people themselves — into how support from adults and peers can help to close the remaining gap between those who graduate from high school on time and those who don’t.


The “always on” lifestyle of today’s teens proffers images of happy, healthy young people propelled through endless days by a hyperkinetic force field allowing them to achieve almost anything. But lurking behind that façade may be something more sinister.

'Stop Checking Your Smartphone!'

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on September 16, 2015 In Excess
Few people would say that their lives are worse because of mobile phones. However, in the scientific literature, excessive mobile phone use has been linked with self-reported dependence and addiction-like symptoms, sleep interference, financial problems, and dangerous use (phoning while driving). But can disordered mobile phone use be considered as an addiction?

5 Tips for Going Back to School with Chronic Pain

How can you help your child with chronic pain have a positive start to the school year? Check out our 5 tips.