Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu


Physical Growth

  • Most youth have entered or completed puberty.
  • Less variation in levels of growth and sexual development.
  • Many youth have achieved their full adult height and other adult physical development milestones.

Cognitive Stage

  • Major broadening of thinking abilities for many youth: can think abstractly and hypothetically; can discern the underlying principles of various phenomena and apply them to new situations; and can think about the future, considering many possibilities and logical outcomes of possible events.
  • Greater perspective-taking ability can result in increased empathy and concern for others, and new interest in societal issues for many.

Moral Development

  • Less egocentric with age. Increased emphasis on abstract values and moral principles.
  • Increased ability (for some) to take another's perspective; can see the bigger societal picture and might value moral principles over laws: "principled" morality.
  • Different rates of cognitive and emotional development. For example, often advocates for specific values and violates them at the same time.


  • Process of identity formation is intense. Experimentation with different roles: looks, sexuality, values, friendships, ethnicity, and especially occupations.
  • Some girls might experience obsessive dieting or eating disorders, especially those who have higher body fat, are chronically depressed, or who have highly conflicted family relationships.
  • Minority youths might explore several patterns of identity formation:
    a strong ethnic identity
    bi-cultural identity
    assimilation into the majority culture
    alienation from the majority culture

Psychological and Emotional Traits

  • For some, increased ability to empathize with others; greater vulnerability to worrying, depression, and concern for others, especially among girls.
  • Many show an increase in responsible behaviors.

Relationship to Parents and Other Adults

  • Conflicts with parents often decreases with age.
  • Improved ability to see parents as individuals and take their perspectives into account.
  • Most maintain good relationship with parents.
  • Greater interest in taking on "adult-type" responsibilities (own checking account, doing own laundry, buying own clothes, cooking meals, making repairs, etc.).
  • Commonly makes most of own decisions, preparing for eventual family.
  • Needs balance between time spent with adults and with peers.
  • Continue to benefit from some parental limits and monitoring, while often objecting to them.
  • Common conflicts over money, curfews, chores, appearance, and activities with peers.

Peer Relationships

  • Peers help youth explore and develop own identity.
  • Cross-gender friendships become more common.
  • Antisocial peer groups can increase antisocial behaviors.
  • Close friendships help youth with process of developing an individual identity separate from that of a child in a family.

Information from Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development, Oregon State University Extension Service.


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