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Developmental stage of adolescence

Adolescent development involves the transition from being a child to being an adult. It has social, personal, cultural, neurological and physiological aspects, which begin in the early teens and continue into the late twenties.

Adolescence is a period of identity-forming when young people need to develop:

  • a new physical sense of self
  • new intellectual abilities and the ability to cope with increased cognitive demands at school
  • expanded verbal skills
  • a personal sense of identity
  • the ability to control impulses, calibrate risks and rewards, regulate emotions, and think strategically
  • establish adult vocational goals
  • emotional and psychological independence from parents
  • positive peer relationships
  • sexuality, sexual behaviour, and sexual identity
  • their personal value system.

Labouvie-Vief, G (2006), cited in Jim Casey Youth Initiative (2011, p 17)

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(Arnett, J 2007, cited in Jim Casey Youth Initiative, 2011, p. 16)

Our growing understanding of brain development, including the effects of trauma and disrupted attachment gives us important knowledge about adolescent development.

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