Adolescent Psychology


adolescence, time of life from onset of puberty to full adulthood. The exact period of adolescence, which varies from person to person, falls approximately between the ages 12 and 20 and encompasses both physiological and psychological changes. Physiological changes lead to sexual maturity and usually occur during the first several years of the period. This process of physical changes is known as puberty, and it generally takes place in girls between the ages of 8 and 14, and boys between the ages of 9 and 16. In puberty, the pituitary gland increases its production of gonadotropins, which in turn stimulate the production of predominantly estrogen in girls, and predominantly testosterone in boys. Estrogen and testosterone are responsible for breast development, hair growth on the face and body, and deepening voice. These physical changes signal a range of psychological changes, which manifest themselves throughout adolescence, varying significantly from person to person and from one culture to another. Psychological changes generally include questioning of identity and achievement of an appropriate sex role; movement toward personal independence; and social changes in which, for a time, the most important factor is peer group relations. Adolescence in Western societies tends to be a period of rebellion against adult authority figures, often parents or school officials, in the search for personal identity. Many psychologists regard adolescence as a byproduct of social pressures specific to given societies, not as a unique period of biological turmoil. In fact, the classification of a period of life as "adolescence" is a relatively recent development in many Western societies, one that is not recognized as a distinct phase of life in many other cultures.

See T. Hine, The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager (1999).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Adolescent Psychology: Selected full-text books and articles

Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Professionals By Eric P. Hazen; Mark A. Goldstein; Myrna Chandler Goldstein Rutgers University Press, 2011
Adolescent Psychology around the World By Jeffrey Jensen Arnett Psychology Press, 2012
Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Theory and Practice By Margaret Thompson; Christine Hooper; Cathy Laver-Bradbury; Christopher Gale Hodder Education, 2012 (2nd edition)
Handbook of Clinical Child Psychology By C. Eugene Walker; Michael C. Roberts John Wiley & Sons, 2001 (3rd edition)
Librarian's tip: Section Five "Problems of Adolescence"
Personality and Psychological Well-Being of Adolescents: The Moderating Role of Emotional Intelligence By Salami, Samuel O Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, Vol. 39, No. 6, July 1, 2011
Psychological Well-Being in Adolescence: The Contribution of Interpersonal Relations and Experience of Being Alone By Corsano, Paola; Majorano, Marinella; Champretavy, Lorella Adolescence, Vol. 41, No. 162, Summer 2006
Adolescent Egocentrism: A Contemporary View By Schwartz, Paul D.; Maynard, Amanda M.; Uzelac, Sarah M Adolescence, Vol. 43, No. 171, Fall 2008
Youth Aggression and Violence: A Psychological Approach By Thomas G. Moeller Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001
Youth Violence and Positive Psychology: Research Potential through Integration By Tweed, Roger G.; Bhatt, Gira; Dooley, Stephen; Spindler, Andrea; Douglas, Kevin S.; Viljoen, Jodi L Canadian Psychology, Vol. 52, No. 2, May 2011
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Deliberate Self-Harm in Adolescence By Claudine Fox; Keith Hawton Jessica Kingsley, 2004
The Psychological World of Adolescence: A Comparative Evaluation between Rural and Urban Girls By Dhoundiyal, Manju; Venkatesh, Renuka Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, Vol. 31, No. 1, January-June 2009
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Handbook of Pediatric Psychology By Michael C. Roberts Guilford Press, 2005
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