What is the adolescence period (13-18)?

The general order of human life can be divided into six periods: childhood, youth, adulthood, middle age, and old age. There is no definite age limit for transitioning to another period within this period. Along with these, there is certainty and order in development. This order of development applies to all humanity. A phase that must be passed in the development phase cannot be skipped. The previous row represents the next row. Individuals from different races, who grow up in different climate and nutritional conditions, have different ages of entering puberty (Yavuzer, Köknel,Kulaksızoğlu,Ayhan,Dodurgalı,Ekşi, 2003:95). Not all children enter puberty at the same time. Some children enter puberty earlier, some later. The family environment, social environment, cultural values, physical environment and the movies they watch affect the adolescence stages of children differently (Acar, 2015:47). Adolescence is a transitional period from childhood to adulthood. It occurs with hormonal effect in this time period (Artan, Bayhan, 2014: 164). The adolescence stage is a very valuable period of spiritual development, in which the individual’s sense of self is strengthened, providing the transfer between childhood and young adulthood stages.

In Turkish, it is also used as ‘adolescence period’ (Doksat, 2014:215). Many explanations about adolescence have been made in the definitions” World Health Organization adolescence; defines it as the growth and development period of an individual between the ages of 10-19, between childhood and adulthood ”(Şahin, 2014:15; WHO, 2014). Adolescence is a difficult period to understand. G. Stanley Hall, who is known as the first author to mention in psychology, explained adolescence as a stormy and stressful period because he thought that adolescence was the middle of the intersection between primitive and civilized people’.(Şahin, 2014:15). Adolescence is a period of time in which the individual’s lifelong developmental stages are greatly affected by the social effects of the individual in a period of time; It is a transitional period from childhood to adulthood, during which sexual development, physical growth, and psychosocial maturation take place. Adolescence, which starts with puberty, is one of the social and biological transition processes that is very affected by the life process. In this process, many kinds of changes occur such as differences in brain, neuroendocrine system and hormone concentrations, changes in physical development and reproductive system. The process of maturation and growth is also called “adolescent period” (Parlaz, Tekgül, Karademirci, Öngel, 2012: 11). Adolescence is, Hallingshead says, ‘a period of time in which the individual no longer sees the society in which he lives as a child, but does not give him the full adult standard, function and role.’ explains (Acar, 2015:45). According to Freud, adolescence is a period in which there is a short-term role confusion and on the other hand, a determined independence that progresses to collapse, on the other hand, the adolescent with infantile addiction is a process that constantly fluctuates (Şahin, 2014:15,Yörükoglu, 2004, Gectan, 1988, Adams, 1995).

Physical and Sexual Development in Adolescence

Adolescence constitutes one of the two fastest growth periods in an individual’s development. The bodily growth in this stage, in a sense, prepares the first ground for social and emotional maturation. In other words, adolescence begins with biological differentiation and ends with mental, physical and spiritual development. These differentiations in the individual result in the rapid growth and maturation of the body (Yavuzer, 1987:263). The first clinical signs occur almost at the age of 10 in girls and at the age of 12 in boys. Biological differences take 3-5 years to complete. With taller growth, acceleration of bone maturation, weight gain in the body, an increase in the size of different organs and body parts are observed. Differences between boys and girls in body structure become clear.

Towards the end of puberty, girls generally 16; In boys, it is 18 years of age, and the growth and development of the adolescent is generally complete. Height, elongation increases by 5-7 cm per year. At the onset of puberty, about 80% of the adult’s height reaches 99% by the end of puberty. Weight gain in this phase is between 2.25-2.75 per year. During puberty, body weight increases by 16 kg in girls and by 20 kg in boys. The reason for this increase in weight is the development of internal organs, the growth and weight of the skeleton, maturation in muscle tissue and increases in adipose tissue. Physiological differentiations and their first onset ages are as follows:


Growth of breasts = 8-13 years. Hair growth in the pubic area = 8-14 years. Underarm hair growth = about 2 years after pubic hair growth. Oily skin = same period as armpit hair growth. First menstruation = 10- 16.5 years (Bayhan,Artan, 2014:164-165). Menarche (first menstruation) = 12.5 years old (also seen between the ages of 9-17) (Tekgül,Öngel,Karademirci,Parlaz, 2012:13).


Growth of testicles = 10- 13.5 years. Hair growth in the pubic area = 10-15 years. Enlargement of the penis and prostate gland = 11-14.5 years. Facial and armpit hair growth = approximately 2 years after pubic hair growth. Oily skin = same period as armpit hair growth. Expulsion of the first semen = approximately 1 year after the penis begins to grow (Bayhan, Artan, 2014:164-165).

Cognitive and Psychosocial Development in Adolescents

During adolescence, biological, psychological and social developmental differences are characterized. In adolescence, biological development is determined by rapid growth in the skeletal order, sexual development and psychological development, cognitive development and identity maturation. Socially, adolescence is a stage where preparation for young adult identity takes place (Parlaz, Tekgül, karademirci, Öngel, 2012:13-14; Derman, 2018). Cognitive maturation in adolescents involves the maturation of very different skills, which are determined among their functions in the functioning of the brain. Among them, interactions with friends, social environments and scientific issues take place in the formation of new behaviors with self-evaluation, regulation and transfer from concrete thought to abstract thought. Piaget acknowledged that cognitive adjustment in adolescence is significantly affected by social relations and the dialogue with the adolescent’s peers, and explained social cognition as a tool of cognitive development in adolescence (Tekgül, Öngel, Parlaz, Karademirci, 2012:14, Aydın, Bozkurt: 2007). Piaget explained the idea of ​​abstract operation as follows: getting rid of the concrete in line with curiosity about what is not here now and about future life. The period of formation of these excess thoughts and theories is the process of adapting to the present future in the same time period. Piaget explained this situation as follows: hypotheses about propositions that are concrete and deduced from what he sees now are a transformation of ideas that allows him to move forward and form ideas. In other words, while a child in the concrete operational thinking period has to deal with ‘real’ problems in the current time period, an adolescent with abstract operational thinking can deal with possible problems that unite the environment around them backwards or forwards with assumptions (Gander, Gardiner, 1993). :146).

Socialization, which starts with infancy and continues with childhood, continues in the adolescence stage with the desire of the adolescent to leave home and enter the society. The fifth stage of Erikson’s psychosocial development theory, “Identity versus Role Confusion”, is about the adolescence stage. The most common problem in this stage is that the adolescent gains an identity or if he does not gain it, he experiences role confusion. The stage of identity versus role confusion occurs between the ages of twelve and eighteen. In the adolescence stage system “Who am I? “The question is very important. Adolescents are influenced by their friend groups rather than their parents while answering this problem. Adolescents are concerned about being successful in their education life, gaining economic freedom, and gaining or not being appreciated by their social environment, among the social values ​​that constantly differentiate and develop in our society. The structural features of this period can be briefly explained as emotional increase and extremism, rapidly established and deteriorated communications, simple influence, attracting attention and interest in the society, and the struggle to have an identity (Şahin, 2014: 16-17; Yavuzer, 2013: 276). It is an important factor for the adolescent to have adults with whom he/she can identify (take a model) compatible with his/her surroundings (Şahin, 2014: 17; Karabekiroğlu, 2014). According to Erikson, in this stage, if the adolescent solves the problem of gaining identity in a positive stage, he continues his life as a self-confident, self-confident personality and succeeds. In the reverse case, the role confusion continues until this crisis is not overcome in the later stages of his life. (Sahin, 2014:17;Senemoğlu, 2005:79).

Spiritual Characteristics Emerging During Adolescence

At the age of first youth or new adulthood, which corresponds to the secondary school period, new mental characteristics and behaviors begin to occur with sexual stimulation. The equal and harmonious primary school boy leaves, and is replaced by a young man who is overly nervous, picky and quick to react. Emotions play up and down very quickly. He becomes happy in a moment and unhappy in a moment. He gets angry quickly, makes unnecessary things a problem. Their reactions are unpredictable early on. His dedication to the lessons has decreased and his working system has deteriorated. Their demands have increased (Yörükoğlu, 1998: 375). At this stage, the boy or girl seems to want to get away from their surroundings and stay with their inner world from time to time. His parents and friends may reject the desire to be together and turn to his inner world.

It’s almost as if he wants to calculate what’s going on in his body, and think about it one by one, and adapt to his new feelings. Imagination is the most important driving force that develops the idea of ​​being creative. This is helpful in thinking. However, if the unrealized desires are dreaming as if they have come true, then it is seen as a means of protection and compensation for the adolescent. If the adolescent, who is faced with difficulties and defeats in normal life, imagines himself as a strong person who has overcome difficulties, he may move away from real life. It has caused the adolescent excess to be called ‘day dreaming’. Embarrassment and shyness is a feeling of embarrassment and embarrassment that starts before puberty and continues in adolescence, which is very common in the adolescent stage. It’s like they want to hide their bodies. It can be thought that this situation is done to hide the unequal body appearance caused by the changes in their organs at different periods and speeds, or to hide their body, which is the attention points of adolescents, from different and prying eyes (Yavuzer, Köknel, Kulaksızoğlu, Ayhan, Dodurgalı, Ekşi, 2003:104-105). -106). Ergen finds the rights given to him less. Complains about the excess and frequency of rules at home. It reacts suddenly to the warnings of the parents, gives opposite answers, in this case, it causes conflicts within the family. Some adolescents do not want to stay in the house much, do not worry about their return time, they are late for mealtime. They are messy and very comfortable. Usually they break things. Their mouths do not stop, they go and eat something (Yörükoğlu, 1998: 375-376). Often, he feels that he is not properly understood by his parents. He finds the thoughts of the parents wrong. Ergen thinks that his friends understand the most. For this reason, they think of listening to their friends instead of listening to their parents. Interest in the opposite sex increases noticeably. One sided love can be experienced.

Flirts are normal. These events are usually experienced within the frame of ‘great love’. Adolescents are very jealous of each other, their constant mixing with each other and their communication with others can be limited. Being close to making friends with people who are not suitable for parents, acquiring habits such as alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs intensifies at this stage (Doksat, 2014:215-216). Teenagers love loud music. They show great interest in clothing. The adolescent girl starts to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror. On the other hand, the adolescent male does not mind that his shoes are unpainted, but he grows his hair and shapes it according to the fashion of the period. (Yörükoğlu, 1998:376). Obesity-weakness is anorexia nervosa, which is the most common eating disorder among the eating disorders (Şahin, 2014:19; Tahiroğlu et al., 2005). they start to make a problem whether they are or not (Yörükoğlu, 1998:376).


Parents need to be prepared for the difficulties that may be encountered during adolescence. For example, mothers for girls and fathers for boys should talk about these problems, because children try to learn from their peers by hearsay at adolescence. In this case, wrong information is obtained. Parents should not compare their children to their own adolescence period. The reason is the rapid social and technological differences. Parents should not compare their children in this period with other children. Comparing with other people’s children, introversion or disobedience in the adolescent, anger and hatred towards those to whom they are compared, holding grudges against the family and the adolescent’s tendency to be free affect negatively.

He will not be able to develop the ability to take responsibility, do business and make friends on his own. There is a lack of self-confidence. Create a sweet-hard, that is, friendly, parent portrait towards the adolescent. Communicate positively with the adolescent during these periods. Do not approach him in a questioning manner. Guide the adolescent in a sharing attitude rather than an interrogator. When you are a sharer, you will have information about his or her emotional life. You can never correct the change of wrong attitudes of the adolescent with the technique of constant warning, anger, hurting, hitting and beating. You even support the unification of their problematic attitudes. Parents’ understanding, loving, respectful, equal, consistent and democratic attitudes facilitate a healthy sense of self and independence. You will be a great supporter in getting through the adolescence period in a healthy way.


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Bayhan,SP and Artan, İ.(2014). Child Development and Education . Morpa publications.164-165

Doksat,GN(2014) .Parents’ Bedside Book (1st Edition). Turkey: Sigma publishing. 215

Gander, JM and Gardiner, WH(1993) Child and Adolescent Development(8th Edition)Imge bookstore.146

Şahin, N.(2014) THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADOLESCENT PROBLEMS AND COATING METHODS AND INTERNET ADDICTION. Haliç University Institute of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Applied Psychology Program. Master Thesis15-16-17-19

Tekgül, N. Öngel, K. Karademirci, E. Parlaz, AE(2012) Adolescence Period: Physical Growth, Psychological and Social Development Process . Year:2012 Volume: 3 Issues The Journal of Turkish Family Physician11-13-14

Yavuzer, H. (1987) Child Psychology(40th Edition)Remzi Bookstore.263

Yavuzer, H. Köknel, Ö. Kulaksızoğlu, A. Ayhan, H. Dodurgalı, A. Ekşi, H. (2003). Parent Attitudes in Child and Adolescent Education (2nd Edition) Timaş publications. 104-105-106

Yörükoğlu, A.(2016). Child Mental Health (37th ed.). Özgür Publications.375-376

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