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

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.

Codependency in Five Easy Lessons

Codependency can be confusing for people in a relationship with someone who has an addiction to alcohol, drugs or compulsive behaviors. Here is a simple way to understand what is going on and avoid the pitfalls.

Self-Harm Websites and Teens Who Visit Them

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in Connected
A very small percent of youth visit websites about self-harm. But on the Internet, followings on one self-harm site can number in the thousands. Are these sites harmful for youth who visit them, or do they provide some social support?

Music Training Improves Adolescent Brain Development

Music training during adolescence helps the teenage brain hone skills necessary for academic and life success.

Why High School Stays With You Forever

For some of us, high school shines like an enchanted kingdom; for others, it is remembered as an endless Hell of daily torments. For most of us, it is something in between, but memorable nonetheless. Is it the collision between evolved psychological mechanisms and the nature of the modern high school that is to blame?

Inside Out Movie Focuses on the Importance of Emotions

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Savvy Parenting
Disney's Pixar Inside Out movie teaches through entertainment, the importance of processing and understanding a child's emotions.

Rx Pain Meds and Teens – A Troubling Combination

Do you know about the dangers lurking in your medicine cabinet? Chances are, like many of us, you have one or more unused prescription bottles sitting in your medicine cabinet right now. For parents with teens, this can be a very dangerous scenario.

What Helicopter Parents Need to Know

How can concerned parents help today's college students become healthier, more successful young adults?

Adolescence and the Allure of the Internet

Today's parents must raise children in two worlds, offline and online, and for adolescents freedom on the Internet has a powerful allure.

Freud had DP at the Acropolis; Today Teens at Venice Beach

By Elena Bezzubova on July 22, 2015 in The Search for Self
Physical and physiological stressors - bright light, overheating, dehydration, sudden climate change, spinning or fever - can precipitate fleeting feelings of unreality of oneself and the surrounding world. These transitory non-pathological episodes are characteristic for adolescents. Sometimes the episodes foreshow the full blown depersonalization-derealization syndrome.

7 Key Signs of a Lying Child or Teenager

Psychologist Adrian Furnham identified a variety of ways to detect whether an individual may be dishonest. We can apply some of the tips to communication situations with young persons. Here are seven ways to tell if a child or teenager might be lying to you...

How to Respond to Your "Mouthy" Child

By Tamar Chansky Ph.D on July 20, 2015 in Worry Wise
One of the best ways to teach your child about flexibility is by demonstrating your own. This is what the fine art of diplomacy really sounds like. Because in the end, if you sound like a brat while correcting your child from sounding like a brat, well, Houston, we've got problems.

A Checklist To Stop Misuse Of Psychiatric Medication In Kids

By Allen J Frances M.D. on July 19, 2015 in DSM5 in Distress
The exponential growth in the use of psycho-stimulants, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotic drugs often harms children more than helps them. This Checklist to help clinicians think through the necessary steps before prescribing medicines.

7 Keys to Handling Difficult Teenagers

It’s not easy when you have to deal with difficult teenagers in your life, whether they are your children, students, athletes, group members, or employees. What can you do in the face of a challenging adolescent? Here are seven keys to successfully handle difficult teenagers...

Stuck in Mute: How Do You Cope?

Why do words fail some of us most of the time?

How Troubled Kids are like Tornadoes

A book about tornado science mirrors concerns with juveniles for whom pressure can explode into utter destruction.

Relentless Cultural Pressures for Today's Girls

The question remains: Are girls truly thriving as never before? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, girls certainly have unprecedented opportunities available to them. Yes, many are walking through open doors that were closed to previous generations. Yet an insidious pressure has crept in alongside these opportunities: To be a success, girls, you have to do it all...

Old Guys Rule!

It has been shown that children have a higher level of self-confidence when grandparents are involved. This stability can significantly affect children’s academic, psychological, and social development.

17 Minutes a Day?

How many minutes is too many minutes to spend focused on your cellphone?

Mom Loved You Best! The Rise and Fall of Sibling Rivalry

When and why did you experience sibling rivalry? With hindsight, what do you know now that you didn't understand then that makes the rivalry vanish?

Teenage Insecurities

To ensure peace of mind and safety of their children during adolescence, parents need to take early preemptive action. Help teenagers improve their self-esteem during adolescence, and also strengthen and maintain a positive relationship, by taking advantage of these five pieces of advice.

10 Lessons I Learned from Little League Baseball

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on July 15, 2015 in Savvy Parenting
Most baseball players strike out 7 of 10 times at bat. Baseball is great preparation for achieving life goals in that it requires perseverance, commitment, determination and frustration tolerance in order to be a great player.Baseball is fantastic way to learn those life skills while having fun.

My Absent Mother Wants to Be My Mother Now

What To Do When Your Mother Re-enters Your Life

The Double-Edged Sword of Self-Control

For some people, self-control may act as a “double-edged sword" that leads to external success but speeds up the aging process at an epigenetic level.

Suicide: From Darkness to Light

Odds are you or someone you know has been affected directly or indirectly by suicide. If you know someone who lives in the darkness, or if you are personally struggling to find the light, don't give up hope. No matter how dark life may seem there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Keeping Adolescents Mindful of Parental Needs

For parents who want their teenager to act mindful of their needs, training in this relatedness needs to start in childhood (when it is mostly welcome) and not put off to adolescence (when it is mostly not.)

Keep in Step: The Complexity of Stepfamilies

Lynne works with the underlying complexity of her stepfamily to create strong family bonds.

Why Family Holidays Are So Difficult

By Nick Luxmoore on July 11, 2015 in Young People Up Close
At school, young people know who they are and how to be. At home, things aren't so clear. Holidays are horrible transitions.

Russia’s ‘Safe-Selfie’ Campaign: Will It Work?

The Russian authorities have launched a “safe selfie” campaign in response to a series of deaths and serious injuries among extreme selfie-takers. Since most selfie-takers are under 25, showing them what NOT to do will make extreme selfies more, not less, attractive. The initiative ignores the motivational factors driving the need to show off doing dangerous things.