Adolescence-what makes it hard to define it

It is always challenging to define adolescence and one has to face various problems when defining the world adolescence. There is no clear definition of adolescence because there is no specific age limit for adolescence and the cognitive, social and psychological developments are affected by various factors which can vary from one person to another.

problems defining adolescence

One of the problems that make difficult to define adolescence is due to the fact that changes that are experienced by a person are influenced by various aspects like history, culture, education, biology, and psychology. However, these factors can vary from one culture and region to another.  For example, culture is involved in transferring information and roles to the adolescents and it may vary from one community to another. In addition, biologically, some people mature early and this means that there is no clear measure of physicality at a certain age because people may mature differently. Another problem is that there is a various definition of adolescence which includes a biological and social definition. For example, the biological definition of adolescence states that “adolescence is the physical change which is characterized by the start of puberty and the end of physical growth”. Socially adolescence is a stage that usually prepares a person to adulthood. In this regard, a person will be thinking if to choose the social, cognitive or biological definition of adolescence and this brings a problem.

Age limit

The third problem of defining adolescence is the failure to have a set age limit that marks the period between puberty and adulthood. For example, adolescence can start at the age of 11, 12 or 13 and end at the age of 19 or 20 depending with the person. In this regard, when defining adolescence it is difficult to come up with a specific age limit for adolescence. In addition, certain cultures have different age limits for adolescence and this means that they assign cultural roles depending on their age limits. For example, in some cultures, a person is considered to be an adult at the age of 18 and this means that a person can play adult roles at this age.


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