Adolescence is divided into three stages: early (12 to 14
years), middle (15 to 17 years), and late (18 to 20 years).
While certain attitudes, behaviors, and physical milestones
tend to occur at certain ages, a wide spectrum of growth and
behavior for each age is normal. Consequently, these
guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general
progression through the developmental stages rather than as
fixed requirements. It is perfectly natural for a teen to
attain some milestones earlier and other milestones later
than the general trend.
- Has a better sense of self.
- Becomes gradually more emotionally stable.
- Has a greater concern for others.
- Has thoughts about his or her purpose in life.
- Has pride in his or her own work.
- Has become self-reliant and able to make own decisions.
- Becomes more comfortable around parents.
- Becomes interested and concerned in serious relationships.
- Can integrate both emotional and physical intimacy in a
- Has developed a clear sexual identity.
- Has ability to think ideas through and set goals.
- Has ability to express ideas.
- Has developed a deeper perspective of life and may become
involved in community issues (environment, homelessness,
If you have any concerns related to your teen's own pattern
of development, check with your health care provider.