Daily News

September 26, 1997

Adolescent Development: Late High School Years and Beyond

Source: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

During adolescent development, the body is rapidly changing and it is often said to be the most difficult developmental stage in one's life. Therefore, many parents are confused and uneasy about raising teenagers. Even though each teenager is different, there are certain developmental issues that all adolescents face. As a follow up to yesterday's "Daily News," below are normal feelings and behaviors of adolescents in late high school years and beyond that can help parents better understand the phases of adolescent development.

Movement Towards Independence

  • Firmer and more cohesive sense of identity
  • Examination of inner experiences
  • Ability to think ideas through
  • Conflict with parents begins to decrease
  • Increased ability for delayed gratification and compromise
  • Increased emotional stability
  • Increased concern for others
  • Peer relationships remain important and take an appropriate place among other interests
  • Increased self-reliance

Future Interests and Cognitive Changes

  • Work habits become more defined
  • Increased concern for the future
  • More importance is placed on one's role in life


  • Feelings of love and passion
  • Development of more serious relationships
  • Firmer sense of sexual identity

Morals, Values, and Self-Direction

  • Greater capacity for setting goals
  • Interests in moral reasoning
  • Capacity to use insight
  • Increased emphasis on personal dignity and self-esteem
  • Social and cultural traditions regain some of their previous importance

Click here to read yesterday's "Daily News" and to discover the drastic changes that occur from the beginning of adolescence development to the end.

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