Research in the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth of adolescents is increasing. This is particularly gratifying because the quantity and quality of research has been less directed toward adolescents in the past than to any other age group. High death rates of infants, significant mortality and morbidity during childhood from infectious disease, and concerns related to prematurity were the highest priorities in child health research. Now contagious diseases of children have decreased and in general are preventable, and remarkable methods of caring for premature infants have been developed, particularly during the last two decades. The decade of the 1960s, with its disruption of values, experimentation with drugs, increased sexual freedom, rising pregnancy in adolescents, and greater violence and criminal action by juveniles, brought attention to the fact that adolescents exist, that they are a significant population group, and that they do have problems. Thus adults have become interested in the psychosocial aspects of adolescence and adolescents. Secular changes of physical growth have brought more rapid maturing of adolescents and earlier pubertal changes which in general have not been accompanied by earlier attainment of adult cognitive functioning. Another reason adolescent research is needed is the fact that more handicapped children are living to become adolescents and adults, and this in itself has pointed out deficits in our knowledge related to puberty as affected by handicapping conditions or the cognitive and/or psychosocial growth of an individual experiencing a handicapped adolescence.
KeywordsAdolescent Girl Moral Development Teenage Pregnancy Teenage Mother Pubic Hair
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