ADOLESCENCE is a phase in the continuum from childhood to adult maturity. It is a period in which unique developmental tasks are accomplished. From the biological standpoint, adolescence can be considered to begin with the first evidence of physical sexual maturation, and end with the complete development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics. It encompasses those years from 10 to 18 in girls and 12 to 20 in boys.1
Understanding this phase in the development of the individual is important not only for the treatment of the adolescent, but as part of the psychiatrist's total knowledge of personality development.
There are certain general qualities of the psychology and the adaptations of the adolescent which are importantly different from those of other age groups. In early and midadolescence they are involved in active maturation and development in all areas. While in late adolescence,
Schonfeld WA. Adolescent Psychiatry: An Appraisal of the Adolescent's Position in Contemporary Psychiatry. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(6):713–719. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730240069011
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