A teenager, or teen, is a person who falls within the ages of 13 to 19 years old. The word "teenager" is often associated with adolescence. However the World Health Organization considers anyone between the ages of 10 and 21 to be an adolescent, and most neurologists consider the brain still developing into the early third decade (early 20s). After the 20th birthday, one is no longer a teenager. However, neural plasticity continues, as the brain and particularly the prefrontal cortex (PFC) develop further.
The way the word is used varies. Most societies have rites of passage to mark the change from childhood to adulthood. These ceremonies may be quite elaborate. During puberty, rapid mental and physical development occurs. Adolescence is the name for this transition period from childhood to adulthood.
In the United States, children and young teens from the ages 11–14 go to middle school, while teenagers from the ages of 14–18 typically go to high school. In the United Kingdom, Young teens and children are mixed in secondary school , Teenagers 16-18 (16+) are mix in (6th form/college). Teenagers attending secondary school (high school in the US) generally graduate at the age of 18, In the UK after finishing GCSE's you leave school at age 15-16 and then move on to 6th form/college when you're 16+.
Timing of puberty[change | change source]
On average, girls begin puberty at ages 10–13; boys at ages 11–14. Girls usually complete puberty by ages 16–17, while boys usually complete puberty by ages 17–18. The major landmark of puberty for females is menarche, the onset of menstruation, which occurs on average between ages 12–13; for males, it is the first ejaculation, which occurs on average between the ages of 13-14.In the 21st century, the average age at which children, especially girls, reach puberty is lower compared to the 19th century, when it was 15 for girls and 16 for boys. This can be due to improved nutrition resulting in rapid body growth, increased weight and fat deposition, or eating meat from animals which have been dosed up with estrogen.
References[change | change source]
- Huet M. & Savary C. 1995. Africa dances. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-54195-7
- "When is puberty too early?". Duke University Hospital. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- "For girls, puberty begins around 10-11 years of age and ends around age 16-17. Boys enter puberty 1 year later (used to be 2 years earlier before but because due to earlier puberty it drop back to 1 year earlier) than girls on average -usually around age 11-12 of age-and it lasts until around age 17-18." "Teenage Growth & Development: 11 to 14 Years". pamf.org.
- "Teenage Growth & Development: 15 to 21. Years". pamf.org.
- "Puberty and adolescence". Retrieved July 5, 2009.
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- Al-Sahab B, Ardern CI, Hamadeh MJ, Tamim H (2010). "Age at menarche in Canada: results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children & Youth". BMC Public Health. BMC Public Health. 10: 736. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-736. PMC 3001737. PMID 21110899.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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- Alleyne, Richard (2010-06-13). "Girls now reaching puberty before 10 - a year sooner than 20 years ago". The Daily Telegraph. London.
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