from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The period of physical and psychological development from the onset of puberty to maturity.
- n. A transitional period of development between youth and maturity: the adolescence of a nation.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The transitional period of physical and psychological development between childhood and maturity.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The state of growing up from childhood to manhood or womanhood; youth, or the period of life between puberty and maturity, generally considered to be, in the male sex, from fourteen to twenty-one. Sometimes used with reference to the lower animals.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The state of growing; specifically, youth, or the period of life between puberty and the full development of the frame, extending in man from about the age of fourteen years to twenty-five, and in woman from twelve to twenty-one: applied almost exclusively to the young of the human race.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the time period between the beginning of puberty and adulthood
- n. in the state that someone is in between puberty and adulthood
I have a theory that what we call adolescence, in terms of behavioural peculiarities and possibly cognitive difficulties are a product of a very soft, modern, Western society, rather than a definite stage of human development.
A young girl (Kendell Moorehead) moves from Chicago to the outskirts of Atlanta, provoking all the neccessary angst and anxiety of being uprooted during adolescence from the place she's grown up.
Apparently, adolescence is awkward for humans and birds alike.
Yes, adolescence is a volatile time, and yes, adolescents (of ALL genders, thank you) develop obsessive and incredibly intense romantic attachments to all kinds of people who do not have their best interests at heart, and no, we don't have a problem with books willing to tackle those kinds of relationships head-on.
Toilet training gets mucked with in adolescence leading to public toilet fixation and George Michael style Father Figure psychological transference problems.
To answer your other question, I think women often lose themselves in adolescence because of boys -- because of our desire to shape ourselves so that they will be attracted to us, and because boys sort of take over in general.
I am tired of the misplaced shame I feel sometimes when I think about my own sexuality, my desires, my mistakes, my brokenness, the memories I have of humiliation in adolescence and beyond.
That abstract hope may help some of these teens, but one of the defining characteristics of adolescence is not seeing the long-term picture.
IMO, extended adolescence is harmful, and modern life is so messy because so many parents try to keep their adult children childish.
Dobson clames that adolescence is a modern invention that does nothing but prolong childhood and promote irresponsible behavior.