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Adolescence

Adolescence

Adolescence is a period between childhood and adulthood, characterized by profound physical, psychological and social changes. It goes from puberty (about 11-12 years) until it reaches the beginning of adulthood. From a biological point of view, adolescence is a transition period between childhood and adulthood. Physical development is the first change that occurs in the first part of adolescence and occurs through a sexual maturation that concerns both a change and activation of the hormonal cycle, and a bodily growth. Numerous changes take place on executive functions and cognitive skills, which undergo development and improvement such as being able to control and coordinate thoughts and behavior, working memory, the risk-taking process.

From 11-12 years a new logical form appears which is characterized as the ability to reason in terms of verbally formulated hypotheses. Reasoning in hypothetical terms, deducing consequences implicated in hypotheses and mentally working on symbols, is the typical modality of formal thought. During adolescence the sphere of affectivity undergoes particular evolutions and manifestations, also dictated by the fact that the adolescent feels the need to detach himself from his own parental figures in order to undertake new types of relationship with peers of his own sex and intimate relationships with the other sex. Physical, hormonal and brain changes affect how adolescents approach peers. In adolescents, emotional regulation is believed to be connected to the changes the attachment system is undergoing, probably in this evolutionary phase new attachment figures are added, not replaced. There is a connection between the concept of self and the way of conducting interpersonal relationships. A negative self-concept in adolescence can lead to the development of mental, physical and behavioral problems (Marsch et al. 2004). It is the relationship with others that influences the evaluation of ourselves, therefore the concept of self and self-esteem (Rosenberg 1979) and it is precisely in adolescence that we change expectations in the adolescent, adult behavior is expected but at the same time, the young person is considered not to be autonomous, unable to make decisions on his own. The teenager is aware of this and tries to implement changes in his behavior, all this leads him to modify the system of representations and schemes that have regulated his relationships up to that moment. The adolescent crisis is necessary to grow and its overcoming leads to the acquisition of identity. The peer group has a fundamental function for the adolescent: it is that container that gives guarantees and self-recognition in a new social environment, different from the family. It provides emotional sociability, support for self-esteem, strengthens models and values. The adolescent crisis is necessary to grow and its overcoming leads to the acquisition of identity. The peer group has a fundamental function for the adolescent: it is that container that gives guarantees and self-recognition in a new social environment, different from the family. It provides emotional sociability, support for self-esteem, strengthens models and values. The adolescent crisis is necessary to grow and its overcoming leads to the acquisition of identity. The peer group has a fundamental function for the adolescent: it is that container that gives guarantees and self-recognition in a new social environment, different from the family. It provides emotional sociability, support for self-esteem, strengthens models and values.