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What defines adolescents?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is a fairly challenging question to address.  Adolescence, as a phase of life, is defined by many elements.  The notion of "growing up" is a permanent condition within its definitive constructs.  The idea of being able to move from one frame of reference to another is of critical importance within adolescence.  An adolescent is typically an individual who is emerging into a new domain of psychological, emotional, physical, and sexual states of self.  These different realms help to encompass a very challenging time of life.  Accordingly, personal and social crises may also result within adolescents, as individuals are learning to either become more comfortable within their own sense of self, or seek to transcend it into something else. There is also an understanding of seeing the world as both what it is and what it can be and this aspect of transformation can also apply to individuals' own senses of self and identity.   I believe that a certain level of redefinition is also a component of adolescents and helps to play a critical role in defining who they are and how they carry themselves.

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