The stage that comes after childhood and that covers from puberty to the full development of the organism is known as adolescence. The term comes from the Latin word adolescentĭa.
Adolescence is the transformation of the infant before reaching adulthood. It is a change of body and mind, but that not only happens in the adolescent himself, but also combines with his environment.
It should be noted that adolescence is not the same as puberty, which begins at a specific age as a result of hormonal changes. Adolescence varies its duration in each person. There are also differences in the age at which each culture considers an individual to be an adult.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), statistics worldwide show that one in five individuals goes through adolescence. Within that total, 85% live in low-income or middle-income nations. Furthermore, about 1.7 million adolescents die each year.
When we talk about the adolescent stage, we are talking about a fundamental series of changes, both psychological and physical. In this last aspect, it must be emphasized that the most obvious are growth in height, weight and body fat increase, the evolution of what is the teeth or the growth of muscles.
However, it is true that although these changes occur in both boys and girls, each gender also has its own physical evolutions. Thus, for example, male individuals see how hair appears in areas such as the genitals, mustache or armpits and they also witness the growth of their sexual organs.
For their part, adolescent girls, in addition to experiencing hair growth on their bodies, suffer from what is known as menarche, which is the first menstruation. A fact this last especially significant that will undoubtedly mark a new stage in their lives.
Among the main changes that a person experiences in his adolescence are the development of abstract and formal thinking, the establishment of sexual identity and the solidification of friendships with the probable group experimentation with alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and even drugs.
According to psychology, adolescents struggle for the identification of the Ego and for the structuring of their existence based on that identity. It is a process of self-affirmation, which usually appears surrounded by conflicts and resistance, in which the subject seeks to achieve independence.
In this sense, the mentioned psychology carries out a classification of the main problems that take place during adolescence. Thus, it determines that there are sexual, emotional, school, behavioral, feeding, drug or even abuse problems.
And all of them are largely due to the set of physical changes and mental development that young people experience. Some situations to which they must adapt, but at first it is difficult for them to assimilate so they are in a difficult situation with themselves.