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

How Do I Handle My Father's Mental Ilness?

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in The Teen Doctor
How to handle a father's mental illness

High School Dating Abuse

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on October 20, 2016 in Cravings
Recognize the signs and learn what to do about this all-too-common behavior among teens.

Kids Who Cut

American youth are stressed. Non-suicidal self-injury is one response to stress that’s common among adolescents and young adults. To prepare adults, training programs are emerging.
Isabella Gallino/Flickr

Self-Injury: 4 Reasons People Cut and What to Do

Far from affecting only the stereotype of the angsty teenage girl with piercings and eyeliner, self-harm affects people of all ages, genders, and walks of life.

Risky Teenage Behavior Linked to Imbalanced Brain Activity

By Christopher Bergland on October 20, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new study from Dartmouth pinpoints the brain mechanisms linked to risk-taking and impulse control during adolescence. This discovery explains why teenagers are often reckless.

How to Listen So That Kids Will Talk About Bullying

Why is it that so many young people are so loathe to talk to their caregivers about bullying?
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Helping Older Adolescents Evaluate a Love Relationship

The great source of instruction about conducting caring relationships is experience; however, parental guidance can help sort that experience out.

Six Reasons Teens Turn to Drugs

There comes a time in a teen’s life where he or she is faced with the decision to take a drug. The power of that one decision is oftentimes underestimated.

What Do You Mean, Self-Esteem?

By Nick Luxmoore on October 15, 2016 in Young People Up Close
Like so many well-meaning behavioural interventions, the idea of self-esteem is simplistic. Without a secure sense of self, good experiences are likely to wash over us.

Online Pornography and Young Minds

By Shimi Kang M.D. on October 12, 2016 in The Dolphin Way
How pornography and sexual imagery may be affecting your kids, and what to do about it.

Is Bragging about Sexual Assault “Locker Room Talk"?

Are you wondering how to address Trump's sexual comments with your kids? How to turn them into a teaching opportunity to help kids reject sexual aggression against women.

The Secret Within Milton’s Secret

By Moses Ma on October 11, 2016 in The Tao of Innovation
The film "Milton's Secret" shows a refreshing solution to the extremely difficult problem of bullying: Mindfulness.

Are Personality Traits Hereditary?

By Ugo Uche on October 11, 2016 in Promoting Empathy With Your Teen
Genes do not operate in isolation.
Wikimedia Commons

How We Feel About What's "Down There"

You’ll feel greater confidence in yourself as a sex partner and more sexually attractive if you’re satisfied with your genital appearance.
Dora Calott Wang

Growing Pains in the Teenage Brain

By Dora Calott Wang M.D. on October 11, 2016 in The Kitchen Shrink
Growing pains occur more for the teenage brain, than even the teenage body

The Psychology Behind the Creepy Clown Phenomenon

Clowns are among the few people in society who are inherently in a state of deindividuation. This is largely what makes them so creepy.

10 Questions to Ask at a College Open House

What should you ask at a college tour or open house? Here’s a quick guide—from the inside.
Mugshot: public domain

Who Wants to Be Ted Bundy?

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on October 09, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
A girl in England wanted to copy Ted Bundy. So did a boy. Bundy remains a darkly contagious figure for those who aspire to black deeds.

It’s Okay to Be an Angry Young Woman

By Guest Blogger on October 06, 2016 in The Guest Room
Teenage girls in fiction tend to be stubborn, moody, or brooding, but rarely are they seething with anger. Why not?
Google Images

Getting Unstuck

By Brad E Sachs Ph.D. on October 06, 2016 in Emptying The Nest
Which is more important to your young adult child—making you proud or keeping you worried? You and your child might be surprised by the answer.

Three Reasons for Teen Unhappiness and What to Do About It

By Tim Elmore on October 06, 2016 in Artificial Maturity
With all the resources and technology we have at our fingertips, is it safe to assume American kids would likely be the happiest?
U.S. Air Force Photo/John Van Winkle

Born to Run

By Stephen Gray Wallace on October 04, 2016 in Decisions Teens Make
Both unstructured play and highly structured sports offer real opportunities for personal growth.

Parenting to Support the Twin Purposes of Adolescence

To maintain caring and communicative connections with their adolescent, parents need to treat detachment and differentiation as functional parts of growing up.

9 Youth Violence Prevention Recommendations

By Kathryn Seifert Ph.D. on October 02, 2016 in Stop The Cycle
Everyone wants to know how to prevent the next school shooting. Here are 10 recommendations to move us closer to that goal.

How We Became ADHD Nation

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in Side Effects
How did we reach the point where one in seven American children is diagnosed with ADHD?

The Secret to Outsmarting Your Acne

By Georgia Ede MD on September 30, 2016 in Diagnosis: Diet
Learn how the foods you eat control the hormones governing your skin. Recent science reveals three powerful dietary strategies that get to the root of your acne problem.

Why Are Kids So Anxious These Days?

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in Nurturing Resilience
New research shows that more and more adolescents are at risk of mental illness. The solution may not be more treatment but changing children’s environments to be less stressful.

The Chronic Pain of Contraception

By Mark Borigini M.D. on September 29, 2016 in Overcoming Pain
It is of concern that adolescents in this research seemed more vulnerable to this risk than women 20 to 34 years old; this is a population often more at risk.

Fear of Speaking in Public: A Lesson for Teens

By Raychelle Cassada Lohmann MS, LPC on September 29, 2016 in Teen Angst
Have you ever wanted to ask a question or speak in front of a group of people, but couldn't get the words out? If so, then you are 100 percent completely normal.

A Broad, Studying: My Semester in London, 1977

When you live in another country, you learn that you carry the ability to make a life for yourself wherever you are. It's a lesson that should never be underestimated.