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The 3 stages of adolescence

The 3 stages of adolescence

April 29, 2024

Adolescence is one of the most important phases of life. In it, the human body experiences the great changes that lead to the appearance of adulthood traits , Both physically and mentally.

Now, adolescence is not a unique stage in which all changes take place in the same rhythm. That is why it is possible to distinguish different stages of adolescence , which are marking the rhythm of the maturation process.

The different phases of adolescence

There are different criteria to establish when a stage of adolescence ends and when another begins. In fact, there is no entirely objective and definitive criterion to establish these temporary borders , nor can there be; everything depends on what parameters we set ourselves.


However, that does not mean that there is not a certain consensus about what these phases are. Below you can see them explained and described.

1. Pre-adolescence

Pre-adolescence goes from 8 to 11 years , and it consists of the stage in which the transition between childhood and adolescence takes place. Therefore, there is some ambiguity about whether this phase belongs to childhood to adolescence. What is certain is that in most cases, pre-adolescence coincides with the onset of puberty.

Physical changes

The physical changes that occur at this stage are remarkable and affect many parts of the body. For example, it is at this point when the bones begin to grow quickly and unevenly , which can make it cost a bit more to coordinate the movements (a sense of awkwardness appears) and appear lighter discomfort in some joints .


Psychological changes

In this stage of adolescence there are great progress in the ability to think in abstract terms . That is why you are more capable of reflecting on hypothetical situations or on logical and mathematical operations. However, normally when leaving this phase you do not have total control in these areas.

In the same way, there is a tendency to try to fit into gender roles, so as not to leave the stereotypes related to the appearance and differentiated behaviors of men and women .

2. Early adolescence

Early adolescence it happens between 11 and 15 years , and in her the main sudden changes of hormonal type are given, until the point in which when leaving this phase the body is very different from the one that was had during the pre-adolescence.


Physical changes

Early adolescence is the phase in which the greatest changes in voice occur . In the same way, the musculature and the sexual organs are developed until a much more adult appearance . The fact of having larger muscles means that you need to eat more and sleep for longer.

Similarly, in many cases acne begins to manifest on the face , due to an increase of segregation of fatty substance in the skin.

Psychological changes

In early adolescence, one gets to conquer the total capacity to think in abstract terms, although this only occurs if one has practiced this skill and has enjoyed a good education.

In the same way, the gregarious occupation happens to have a very important role both when it comes to relating to others and looking for references outside the family, as well as when building their own self-esteem and self-concept. In this time, you experiment with different elements that can shape an identity, such as the aesthetics related to urban tribes .

In the same way, the opinion that others have of oneself tends to be valued very much. It is considered that image and aesthetics is a primordial component of one's own identity and well-being.

3. Late adolescence

This is the third and last stage of adolescence, and it occurs approximately between 15 and 19 years old, according to the World Health Organization .

Physical changes

The people who are in this phase tend to show more homogeneity in their characteristics that those who are in early adolescence, because the vast majority has already gone through the most abrupt changes. This has led some researchers to conclude that this phase is not substantially different from adulthood, and that it is only a social construct existing in certain cultures and not in others. However, we must bear in mind that the psychological impact of social constructs is totally real and, therefore, can influence the maturation process, as we shall see.

During late adolescence it is customary to reach the maximum height marked by the growth itself, and the complexion of the body happens to be totally adult . On the other hand, the apparent disproportions that could occur in the first phase of adolescence disappear, giving a much more cohesive aspect to the dimensions of arms, legs, etc. On the other hand, the body also gains muscle mass and the propensity to accumulate fat remains more or less stable or even reduced a little, although the adoption of better eating habits also plays a role in this.

Psychological changes

In this stage the social conscience ends and you begin to spend a lot of time thinking about situations and processes that are not limited to what you can see, hear and touch in the immediate environment. It is a renunciation of the egocentricity typical of the previous stages, although it does not disappear altogether.

Long-term plans come to play a much more important role than before , and the image that is given, although still relevant, begins to cease to be one of the main pillars of one's identity. A large part of the egocentricity that defined childhood and the other stages of adolescence is abandoned, which makes it more likely that these young people will be interested in politics and social processes in general, since their goals become more related to what they it is beyond their social circles.

Despite the fact that the importance of aesthetics tends to decline, in some cases aesthetics is still so important that in some cases an Alien Conduct Disorder can be developed.


Stages of Adolescence (April 2024).


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