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from American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychologyEach teenager is an individual with a unique personality and special interests likes and dislikes In general however there is a series of developmental tasks that everyone faces during the adolescent yearsA teenagers development can be divided into three stages -- early middle and late adolescence The normal feelings and behaviors of adolescents for each stage are described belowImproved abilities to use speech to express oneselfMore likely to express feelings by action than by wordsLess attention shown to parents with occasional rudenessRealization that parents are not perfect identification of their faultsSearch for new people to love in addition to parentsTendency to return to childish behavior fought off by excessive activityPeer group influence interests and clothing stylesMostly interested in present and near futureSame-sex friends and group activitiesExperimentation with body masturbationOccasional experimentation with cigarettes marijuana and alcoholSelf-involvement alternating between unrealistically high expectations and poor self-conceptComplaints that parents interfere with independenceExtremely concerned with appearance and with ones own bodyFeelings of strangeness about ones self and bodyLowered opinion of parents withdrawal of emotions from themStrong emphasis on the new peer group with the group identity of selectivity superiority and competitivenessPeriods of sadness as the psychological loss of the parents takes placeExamination of inner experiences which may include writing a diaryIntellectual interests gain importanceSome sexual and aggressive energies directed into creative and career interestsConcerns about sexual attractivenessMovement towards heterosexuality with fears of homosexualityTenderness and fears shown towards opposite sexDevelopment of ideals and selection of role modelsMore consistent evidence of conscienceAbility to make independent decisionsHigher level of concern for the futureConcerned with serious relationshipsCapacities for tender and sensual loveStress on personal dignity and self-esteemAbility to set goals and follow throughAcceptance of social institutions and cultural traditionsTeenagers will naturally vary slightly from the descriptions in the charts above but the feelings and behaviors listed for each area are in general considered normal for each of the three stages The mental and emotional problems
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