What is Adolescence?

Meaning of Adolescence

Adolescence, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is the period that extends from 10 to 19 years .

The word “ adolescence ” originates from Latin, where ad = “ for ” and olescere = “ to grow up ”. So, adolescence literally means “growing up” .

The concept of adolescence not only encompasses physical transformations, but also the entire process of change and psychological, family and social adaptation to these transformations.

Early phase of adolescence (10-14 years)

It is usually at this stage that physical changes begin, usually marked by a sudden growth spurt, followed by the development of the sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics.

Early adolescence is also characterized by profound internal changes. The brain, for example, is going through a great acceleration of electrical and physiological development.

Brain cells can almost double in a year, while neural networks are radically reorganized, affecting emotional, physical and mental capacity.

The earlier physical and sexual development of the girl, who, on average, enters puberty 12 to 18 months earlier than the boy, is reflected in similar trends in brain development.

The frontal lobe (the part of the brain that governs reasoning and decision-making) begins to develop during early adolescence.

Because this development begins later and is longer in boys, their tendency to act impulsively and think uncritically lasts longer than girls.

This phenomenon contributes to the widespread perception that girls mature earlier than boys .


Final stage of adolescence (15 to 19 years old)

At this stage, the main physical changes have already taken place, although the body is still developing. The brain continues to develop and reorganize itself, and the ability to think analytically and

At the beginning of this phase, the opinions of your group members are still important . But that influence diminishes as the adolescent gains greater clarity and confidence in his own identity and opinions.

Risk-taking attitude declines in late adolescence as the ability to assess risk and make decisions develops.

It is during this phase that adolescents enter the world of work or further their education, establish their own identity and worldview, and begin to actively participate in organizing the world around them.

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