The between the boundaries of puberty and

The transition fromchildhood to adulthood is a biological and a physiological phenomenon, and thein-between stage is known as adolescence in all societies, adolescence is aboutgrowing up, about moving from the immaturity of childhood into the maturity ofadulthood, of preparation for the future (Steinberg, 2008). The word adolescenceis derived from the Latin verb “adolescence”, which means “togrow up” or “to grow to maturity” (Lerner and Steinberg, 2009). It is the period of life between the boundariesof puberty and maturity, the period during which maturity is being attained,this is the stage when the road is paved for adulthood and the adolescent’sidentity is found to be developed and crystallized. The study of thistransition stage and the stressors which modulate and modify the growth intoadulthood become important not just for the individual concerned but for thecommunity and society as a whole.The concept ofadolescence is socially constructed rather than being biologically determinedand definitions vary, widely among cultures and over time. Current literature also variesin the age ranges used to define adolescence.

According to some definitions,adolescence may begin as early as seven years and extend to 18 through 22 yearsof age (Santrock, 1996). Other definitions describe it as lasting from age 12to 18 years, or from completion of primary school to graduation from highschool. There isalso a distinction between early adolescence, which includes most pubertalchanges, and late adolescence.

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Current opinion suggests adolescent issues should beconsidered for girls from age 10 and boys from age 11 (Goldenring and Rosen,2004). However, the period of dependence appears to be getting longer with avariety of adult behaviours such as leaving home, marriage and economicindependence occurring at later ages (Shuman and Ben-Artzi, 2003). The age range of adolescence canvary with cultural and historical circumstances, in western societies, theadolescent period begins at approximately 10 to 13 years of age and endsbetween the ages of 18 and 22 (Santrock, 2008). However, the exact ages thatmark the beginning and end of this period are not precisely defined. The stageof adolescence has lengthened, both at the beginning and the end, because youngpeople mature earlier physically and because most delay entering into work andmarriage until their mid-20s (Coleman and Hendry, 1999). According to psychologists, adolescence startsat the age of 12 or 13 year. The growth of adolescence is comparatively earlierin girls than in boys.

Psychologists, generally agree with the followingdevelopmental order of adolescence in boys and girls.Current perspectives on adolescent development have evolvedsignificantly since early conceptualizations of adolescence as a period ofstress and turmoil for most or all adolescents (Lerner and Steinberg, 2009).The search for universal descriptions for adolescents has been replaced byrecognition of the wide variability that characterizes development during thesecond decade of life and to one of opportunities for growth and positivedevelopment. These observations have contributed to interest in individualdifferences in the paths and trajectories of development from childhood throughadolescence to adulthood (Santrock, 2008; Lerner and Steinberg, 2009). For the purposes of this research, adolescenceis defined as the period between 12 and 18 years of age inclusive.

 

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