The three stages of adolescence

Adolescence is one of the most important times in a person’s life and brings so many changes that it can be difficult to fully understand it. Development takes place in three major stages according to different ages and knowing about this is a way of understanding what can be expected from children at this stage.

Human beings, throughout our lives, go through different stages of development, which make us experience physical, psychological and emotional changes that mark and contribute to who we are today.

In general, it could be said that people go through 3 major stages of life : childhood, youth or adolescence, and adulthood. However, due to our own complexity, each of these sections is in turn subdivided into other more specific stages that manage to explain in greater detail all the changes that occur in the different age ranges.

What is adolescence?

Adolescence is a transition period that, at its beginning, marks the end of childhood and, at its end, the beginning of adult life. In this phase, teens experience a host of changes that will prepare them for adulthood.

When does it go from child to adolescent?

This transition is not completely delimited, since the development of children can vary depending on many factors. Therefore, it is not possible to determine exactly at what age adolescence begins.

Due to this, the World Health Organization has decided to place the beginning of the changes of adolescence between the ages of 10 and 11. In the same way, its completion can be just as variable, so it is in a range that goes from 17 to 19 years.

What are the developmental stages of adolescence?

There are different types of adolescents, as they all have different personalities and experience adolescence differently. However, regardless of all this, each of them goes through the 3 stages of development that occur in adolescence.

Each one of them is important and, if you are a parent, it is worth knowing them to know what you can expect from your children at that time.

  1. early adolescence

This is probably the most confusing stage for children because, physically, they begin to experience the characteristic changes of adolescence , which can be difficult to assimilate.

At this time, little remains of the little boy who once needed a car seat, but at the same time, the child has not yet said goodbye to childhood, since he is only about 10 or 11 years old.

In early adolescence, children experience puberty and all that comes with it.

The girls’ body begins with the development of the breasts, the hips begin to widen a little and, in addition, menstruation begins. Boys, on the other hand, will see a change in the volume of their testicles and penis, and go through the “pubertal growth spurt,” in which they will begin to grow rapidly and unevenly.

For both there are changes in the voice, although this is more noticeable in males. Everyone begins to notice the appearance of pubic and armpit hair, while the skin becomes more oily, which causes the development of acne.

At this time, the changes are mostly physical, as a somewhat childish mentality continues to be maintained. However, usually, there is a tendency to separate a little from the family environment to strengthen relationships with other adolescents, since there is a greater “understanding” due to the aspects they have in common.

  1. middle adolescence

Between the ages of 14 and 16, middle adolescence arrives, which many consider to be the “true adolescence” , since adolescents already have little of their childish traits, but they have not yet matured enough to be considered adults. The boundaries between stages are more established, so to speak.

This is a phase with few sudden changes, but with constant psychological changes that begin to form the identity of each person.

Teenagers tend to seek more and more independence from their parents and, most of the time, this brings with it an urgent need to belong to another place, so they tend to get closer to their social group.

At this time, adolescents begin to think about the future and begin to form an image of themselves that is consistent with who they want to be. However, they are still somewhat self-centered, so for them, it’s all about themselves.

Middle adolescence is a stage in which a lot of parental support is required, since adolescents are more likely to fall into bad habits due to social pressure and to adopt risky behaviors in order to “rebel” against their parents.

  1. late adolescence

The last stage of adolescence happens between the ages of 17 and 19, although in certain cases, experiencing all the changes that come with it can last until 21 years for certain people.

In this phase, we already speak of a young adult , because, although the emotional and psychological part is still developing considerably and extends beyond late adolescence, people reach their physical and sexual maturity.

At this time, adolescents begin to distance themselves a bit from their social group, selecting specific people to be around, fostering individual relationships. This is because the young man already has a better idea of ​​who he is and, being comfortable with this, he does not need to try to belong to a certain group and maintain its standards.

Young people begin to project long-term goals and their concerns, although they are still at the center, begin to spread to their environment. Parents and children manage to meet again and understand each other in a better way now and, in addition, young people, thanks to the maturity obtained, are already prepared to make the total progressive transition to adulthood.

In this way the stages of adolescence end and, from there, it can be said that people are already adults. So you will begin to experience new challenges and changes of your own that come with this age.

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