As teenagers seek to establish a sense of self they will experiment with different roles, activities, and behaviors. This is important to the process of forming a strong identity and developing a sense of direction in life.

Adolescence is a time when young people become focused on their appearance and how they perceive they are being viewed by others. Along with this is the forming of sexual identity which becomes pronounced during this time of great hormonal changes.

The radical changes that occur during this phase of life transform a child into an adult. As they make the transition from childhood to adulthood, adolescents go through the hormonal changes of puberty, cognitive changes, and reach adult height, which all contribute to a drive for independence and individuality necessary to forge a sense of self and place in the adult world.

Adolescence is a time to explore independence while developing an identity. A major developmental task for teens is to develop a sense of self and personal identity. Those who are encouraged and supported through their personal exploration will emerge from this stage with a strong sense of self, feeling independent and with a sense of control.

Adolescents who have been profoundly affected by exposure to trauma can experience difficulties with the developmental tasks of this stage.

Two affirmations to convey to young people 12 years of age and up

●  You can be responsible for your own needs, feelings, and behaviors and still ask an adult

     for support.

● You can stand up for your own beliefs while respecting the beliefs of others.


● Divorce: Helping Teens Cope


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