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Adolescence is the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood itgenerally refers to a period ranging from age 12 or 13 through age 19 or21 Although its beginning is often balanced with the beginning of pubertyadolescence is characterized by psychological and social stages as well asby biological changes Adolescence can be prolonged brief or virtually nonexistentdepending on the type of culture in which it occurs In societies that aresimple for example the transition from childhood to adulthood tends tooccur rather rapidly and is marked by traditionally prescribed passage ritesto contrast this American and European societies the transition period foryoung people has been steadily lengthening over the past 100 years givingrise to an adolescent subculture As a result of this prolonged transitionalstage a variety of problems and concerns specifically associated with thisage group have developed Psychologists single out four areas that especiallytouch upon adolescent behavior and development physiological change andgrowth cognitive or mental development identity or personality formationand parent-adolescent relations Physiological Change Between the ages of 9 and 15 almost all young peopleundergo a rapid series of physiological changes known as the adolescentgrowth spurt These hormonal changes include an acceleration in the bodysgrowth rate the development of pubic hair the appearance of axillary orarmpit hair about two years later There are changes in the structure andfunctioning of the reproductive organs the mammary glands in girls anddevelopment of the sweat glands which often leads to an outbreak of acneIn both sexes these physiological changes occur at different times Thisperiod of change can prove to be very stressful for a pre-teen For duringthis stage of life appearance is very important An adolescent child whodevelops very early or extremely late can take a lot of ridicule from hisor her peers However the time at which a girl goes through this stage anda male goes through it are different Girls typically begin their growth spurt shortly afterage 10 They tend to reach their peak around the age 12 and tend to
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