All About Adolescence

Adolescence typically describes the years between ages 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. This 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 appearance tend to naturally increase in importance for some time during a teen's journey toward adulthood.

Recent posts on Adolescence

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Big Little Lies

By Stephen Gray Wallace on January 17, 2018 in Decisions Teens Make
Despite uniformity among children, teens, and adults about the importance of honesty, it often seems in short supply.

The Most Important Sex Education Lesson of All: Consent

By Adam Price Ph.D. on January 17, 2018 in The Unmotivated Teen
How to teach boys when no means no and when yes means no.
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Meet Your Family's Future at a Family Meeting

By Brad E Sachs Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Emptying The Nest
Even when children approach adulthood, reflecting on your family's past and present lays the the groundwork for a richer and more satisfying family future—for both generations

The Seeds of Perfection

The similarities between seedless watermelon and our quest for perfection online.

Life as a Bilingual II

The blog "Life as a bilingual" is more than seven years old and has been consulted by a large number of visitors. We look back on this wonderful adventure.

The Importance of Friends with Similar Disabilities

A new study finds that friendships among adults with disabilities are beneficial. Might that be true for young people, too?

Tips for Writing in Psychology

Capturing psychological ideas in writing is not always easy or intuitive. Here are 16 tips for writing in the field of psychology.

The Vital Role Mentors Play in a Student’s Growth

By Tim Elmore on January 11, 2018 in Artificial Maturity
Life change does not occur without life exchange.

Infographic: Teen Substance Use and Media

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on January 10, 2018 in Connected
These statistics make clear that we must encourage the teens in our lives to think critically about how media uses different strategies to try to influence their behavior.

Why Go to College?

In the game of life, the junction of “college or not college” comes up quickly. Here are 14 reasons to invest the time and money in the college route.
Carl Pickhardt Ph. D.

Adolescence and Freedom of Choice

Ending adolescence and now assuming independent self-management responsibility, the young person painfully discovers the costs that come with freedom of choice.

Why Young People Need Their Aggression

By Nick Luxmoore on January 07, 2018 in Young People Up Close
Instead of always giving in or always trying to crush it, we have to understand aggression as essentially defensive, as a kind of anxiety, a kind of panic.

Home for the Holidays

By Kailey Hockridge, MA, EdM on January 02, 2018 in Finding Forward
Have a college student home for the holidays? It may be worth exploring what this break means for them.

Finding Success in Your Second Semester

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on January 02, 2018 in Social Lights
10 tips for college students and their parents.

8 Things Kids Can Say and Do to Stop Bullying

Are the skills of kindness and empathy any match for aggression and bullying?

The Myth of Resilience

By Jen Kim on December 31, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Bouncing back from failure is not for everyone.

Teen Slang

For decades teens have been notorious for having a unique vocabulary. Oftentimes, they cleverly create words, and other times they recycle words and give them a whole new meaning.

Mothers and Daughters and "Lady Bird"

By Susan Hooper on December 30, 2017 in Detours and Tangents
I graduated from high school decades ago. Why then does so much about the heroine of the film "Lady Bird"—a high school senior at war with her mother—seem so familiar to me?

Don't Ask, They'll Tell

It's not a good idea to ask your child about their sexual orientation. Let them take the lead.

Unacknowledged Adoptive Relationships in the Film Ladybird

By E. Kay Trimberger Ph.D. on December 29, 2017 in Adoption Diaries
Is it progressive for the film Ladybird to focus on a family involving adoption and never to mention or discuss it?

How Your Brain Finds Meaning in Life Experiences

New brain research links storytelling to the development of meaning. Why should parents and teachers be particularly interested?

Adolescence and Missing Childhood

Neither child nor parent can have it both ways. You can't remain a child once you enter adolescence. The price of growing up is loss.
By ParaDox(Wikimedia Commons)

Transgender, Genderqueer, and Mental Health

We need to better understand what is most important—gender or sex—if we are to reduce the mental health problems of transgender youth.

The Emergence of the iGen

By David F Lancy Ph.D. on December 24, 2017 in Benign Neglect
Why are youth unhappy? Don't blame the internet.

Wreck the Halls

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on December 23, 2017 in Social Lights
18 surefire ways to drive your college kids crazy.

Teen Overall Drug Use Is Down, But Marijuana Use Is Up

Teen use of most substances is down, but teens are "vaping" marijuana, and think it's safe.
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How School Start Times Affect the Economy

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on December 22, 2017 in Sleep Newzzz
School start times and the economy.

Toxic Masculinity as a Mask for Anxiety

By Ruth C. White Ph.D. on December 22, 2017 in Culture in Mind
Our social expectations of boys are for them to be tough, aggressive and stoic. Deviation from these norms can result in ostracism and bullying, which may cause anxiety.

5 Ways to Manage Your Child's Passive Aggressive Behavior

Avoid being an unwitting victim of your child’s destructive way of engaging you by recognizing passive aggression on the spot.

The Angry Smile: Responding to Passive Aggressive Behavior

What happens when parents teach their children to say “yes” to the presence of anger and “no” to the expression of anger through aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviors?