• Geri R. Donenberg
Reference work entry

Adolescence, by many accounts, is a period rooted in culture and society. Prior to the industrial revolution, children were treated like adults and worked side by side with their parents in the factories. Industrialization during the 19th century led to new patterns of work that excluded children, lengthened the amount of formal schooling, and brought increased economic dependence of youth on their families. These events ushered in the period of the life cycle we now call adolescence, defined as a transitional stage whose chief purpose is to prepare children for adulthood. Broadly speaking, this developmental period spans the second decade of life and ends with the assumption of adult work and family roles.

Adolescence is characterized by a series of dynamic and interactive changes across several spheres, including biology, psychology, cognitive functioning, social interactions, and emotions. While these changes proceed in relatively the same sequence for most teens, they occur at...


Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Unprotected Sexual Activity High School Senior Adolescent Development 
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Suggested Reading

  1. 1.
    DiClemente, R. J., Hansen, W. B., & Ponton, L. E. (1996). Handbook of adolescent health risk behavior. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robin, A., & Foster, S. (1989). Negotiating parent-adolescent conflict. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schulenberg, J., Maggs, J. L., & Hurrelmann, K. (1997). Health risks and developmental transitions during adolescence. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Journal of Adolescent Health (December 2002) (Vol. 31,No. 6, Supplement health future of youth II: Pathways to adolescent health. Guest editors: Charles E. Irwin & Paul Duncan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geri R. Donenberg

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