Understanding Adolescence

‌Understanding Adolescence

A lot has been written about adolescence and adolescents. And there are different views on what the age range should be.

There are two areas which we think are interesting and sensible - ie we do think they make justifiable assertions and we don't think they are talking at adolescents or talking down to them. 

The developmental tasks of adolescence

For all young people, adolescence is a period of biological, social and emotional change, in which they work through four developmental tasks; to consolidate their identity, to achieve independence from their parents, to establish adult relationships outside their families, and to find a vocation. 

Changes in the adolescent brain

Recent developments in neuroscience show that there is a lot of change in the actual anatomy and architecture of the brain that goes on from about age 11 years to age 25 years (perhaps this should be the upper age of adolescence; and is indeed the upper age usually adopted in North America). 

If you wanted more information:

Here is the website of a booklet written by a 17 year old from Cambridge after her experience of an admission to hospital. And below one of ther pages:



Here is a link to a drama production about adolescence by an adolescent group.

And here is an article by Allan Colver - the Principal Investigator of the Transition Research Project. It is about the changes that occur in the brain during adolescence; in particular it explains these things are happening in parallel with changes in hormones. It was written for doctors and published in a medical journal. However, apart from parts of the article which use technical terms to describe certain parts of the brain, we think it is understandable by an interested reader.