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Period of life from puberty to adulthood (roughly ages 12–20) characterized by marked physiological changes, development of sexual feelings, efforts toward the construction of identity, and a progression from concrete to abstract thought. Adolescence is sometimes viewed as a transitional state, during which youths begin to separate themselves from their parents but still lack a clearly defined role in society. It is generally regarded as an emotionally intense and often stressful period.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on adolescence, visit Britannica.com.