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The Concept of Adolescence - Definition, Categorization and Characteristics

Definition of Adolescence

The term adolescence is derived from the noun "adolescenta", which means teenagers, which means it grows into an adult (Hurlock, 2001).

Adolescence means gradually toward physical maturity, intellect, mental, social and emotional. This suggests the general nature, namely that growth does not move from one phase to the other phase abruptly, but the growth was taking place step by step.

Adolescent is a period of transition between childhood and adolescence, teens are often faced with a confusing situation, on the one hand we need to behave like an adult and the other side can not be said to be an adult.

Changes of puberty in girls is occurring menarche (first menstruation). This suggests that the reproductive organs begin to mature.

Categorization of Adolescence

The World Health Organization set a limit on Adolescence in 2 parts:

1) The period of early adolescence
This period ranges from age 10 to 12 years. The period of adolescence is a period of transition from children's to adult period. This period is considered as the days are very important in one's life, especially in the formation of individual personality.

2) The period of late adolescence
The period between ages 15 to 20 years. The period of adolescence is a period of consolidation of identity. His understanding of "who I am" is influenced by the views of those around him as well as his personal experiences to determine patterns of behavior as adults. Stabilization of self-identity is not always run smoothly, but often through a long and turbulent process. Therefore, many experts call this period as a time-period of storm and stress (Latifah, 2008).

Categorizing of Adolescents (Hurlock, 2001):

1) Adolescence boy
Adolescence boy puberty between the ages of 14-17 years.

2) Adolescent girls
Adolescent girls experiencing puberty at age 12-15 years.

Characteristics of Adolescence

Adolescence has certain characteristics that distinguish the periods before and after, these characteristics include:

1. Adolescence is a critical period
The existence of a direct effect on attitudes and behavior as well as the long -term consequences make the adolescent period is more important than any other period. In addition to the physical development of rapid and important accompanied by the rapid mental development, especially in early adolescence, which all lead to the need for the development of mental adjustment and shape attitudes, values and new interest (Hurlock, 2001).

2. Adolescence is a transitional period
The transition does not mean disconnected with what happened before, but the transition from one stage of development to the next stage. Meaning that happened before will leave its mark on what is happening now and in the future (Hurlock, 2001).

3. Adolescence is a time of change
When a physical change occurs rapidly, changes in behavior and attitudes are also taking place rapidly, that decreased physical changes, the changes in behavior and attitudes decreased as welll.

4. Adolescence is a period of identity search
Conformity with the standards group is considered much more important for adolescents than individuality, and if not adjust the teen group will be expelled from the group. But gradually they began to search for identity and no longer satisfied together with his friends in every way, as before.

5. Adolescence as a troubled age
Problems in adolescence is often a difficult problem to overcome either by adolescent boys and girls (Hurlock, 2001). And many teens are aware that the completion of which he passes himself did not always correspond with their expectations.