Main Entry: Adolescence
Part of Speech: Noun
Synonyms: boyhood, girlhood, greenness, juvenility, minority, pubescence, spring, teens, youth, youthfulness
Antonyms: adulthood, infancy
Adolescence (from Latin adolescere, meaning “to grow up”)
WHO identifies adolescence as the period in human growth and development that occurs after childhood and before adulthood, from ages 10 to19. It represents one of the critical transitions in the life span and is characterized by a tremendous pace in growth and change that is second only to that of infancy. Biological processes drive many aspects of this growth and development, with the onset of puberty marking the passage from childhood to adolescence. The biological determinants of adolescence are fairly universal; however, the duration and defining characteristics of this period may vary across time, cultures, and socioeconomic situations. This period has seen many changes over the past century namely the earlier onset of puberty, later age of marriage, urbanization, global communication, and changing sexual attitudes and behaviors.
Is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood (age of majority).
2. The period of adolescence is most closely associated with the teenage years, though its physical, psychological and cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later. For example, although puberty has been historically associated with the onset of adolescent development, it now typically begins prior to the teenage years and there has been a normative shift of it occurring in preadolescence, (particularly in females) Physical growth, as distinct from puberty (particularly in males), and cognitive development generally seen in adolescence, can also extend into the early twenties.
Thus chronological age provides only a rough marker of adolescence, and scholars have found it difficult to agree upon a precise definition of adolescence.
A thorough understanding of adolescence in society depends on information from various perspectives, including psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology.
Within all of these perspectives, adolescence is viewed as a transitional period between childhood and adulthood, whose cultural purpose is the preparation of children for adult roles.
It is a period of multiple transitions involving education, training, employment and unemployment, as well as transitions from one living circumstance to another.
The end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood varies by Country and by function, and furthermore even within a single Nation, State or culture there can be different ages at which an individual is considered (chronologically and legally) mature enough for society to entrust them with certain privileges and responsibilities. Such milestones include driving a vehicle, having legal sexual relations, serving in the armed forces or on a jury, purchasing and drinking alcohol, voting, entering into contracts, finishing certain levels of education, and marriage. Adolescence is usually accompanied by an increased independence allowed by the parents or legal guardians and less supervision as compared to preadolescence.