are often worried or confused by changes in their teenagers.
The following information should help parents understand this
phase of development. Each teenager is an individual with
a unique personality and special interests, likes and dislikes.
However, there are also numerous developmental issues that
everyone faces during the adolescent years. The normal feelings
and behaviors of the middle school and early high school adolescent
are described below.
with sense of identity
awkward or strange about one's self and one's body
on self, alternating between high expectations and poor
and clothing style influenced by peer group
ability to use speech to express one's self
that parents are not perfect; identification of their faults
overt affection shown to parents, with occasional rudeness
that parents interfere with independence
to return to childish behavior, particularly when stressed
Interests and Cognitive Changes
interested in present, limited thoughts of future
interests expand and gain in importance
ability to do work (physical, mental, emotional)
shyness, blushing, and modesty
develop physically sooner than boys
interest in the opposite sex
toward heterosexuality with fears of homosexuality
regarding physical and sexual attractiveness to others
about being normal
Values, and Self-Direction
and limit testing
for abstract thought
of ideals and selection of role models
consistent evidence of conscience
with sex and drugs (cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana)
do vary slightly from the above descriptions, but the feelings
and behaviors are, in general, considered normal for each
stage of adolescence.
#57 Updated 05/97
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American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
represents over 6,900 child and adolescent psychiatrists
who are physicians with at least five years of additional
training beyond medical school in general (adult) and child
and adolescent psychiatry.
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