Common Adolescence Characteristics

Diana Yacobi October 31, 2018

How to comprehend key development characteristics of adolescence

adolescence characteristics

Adolescence is considered the individual’s transition period between childhood to young adulthood. This is marked by several changes, some of which can be terrifying, uncomfortable, and inconsistent. From physical and emotional, social, cognitive, physical, and personal changes—adolescents will experience changes that will differ based on genetics, gender, health, and environmental factors.

Parents should know about adolescence characteristics to help their child understand and respond to these unique changes without fear, confusion, or anger. Knowing the development characteristics of adolescence and your role as parents will help you and your child weather the storm.

Here are some key development characteristics in the adolescence stage and how you as parents can help.


This refers to bodily changes at the onset of puberty and drastic physical growth (including weight, height, and internal organ size, in addition to changes to muscular and skeletal systems). Development of the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex, and improved biological maturity and fine motor skills are other major changes that happen during adolescence.

Parents can explain how natural and common these changes are to lessen the concern of young adolescents who get triggered by these changes. Parents should also respond to the adolescents’ questions, provide them with accurate information, and encourage them to check credible resources.


The adolescence characteristics evident in an individual’s psychological development include self-discovery and the quest for identity and independence. Adolescents often feel vulnerable as they become adjusted to the differences between others and themselves. Search for acceptance among adults and peers (which demand conflicting allegiances) may even trigger feelings of conflict.

Parents should create a loving atmosphere at home where they talk to their adolescent, listen to their opinions, and offer guidance while not resorting to sarcasm, humiliation, and harsh criticism.


This refers to the adolescents’ capacity for mature interactions with groups and individuals. Social-emotional development characteristics in the adolescence period may include rebellion toward parents (and yet depending on them), overreaction to social situations, and a growing need of confirmation from the peer group.

Parents should encourage their adolescents to have healthy relationships with peers and offer them chances of positive peer-to-peer interactions. Promoting independence and freedom, encouraging leadership qualities, and being involved in decision-making are some other steps parents can take.


How do you think parents can help their adolescents? Let us know in the comments section below. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads and connect with the community there. Remember to check my blog,, to discover ways to help your adolescent go through this phase well.



Maier, Casandra. 2017. “5 Characteristics of Adolescence.” How to Adult, April 18. Accessed June 5, 2018.

Caskey, Micki M., and Anfara Jr., Vincent A. 2014. “Developmental Characteristics of Young Adolescents.” Association for Middle Level Education. Accessed June 5, 2018.

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Diana Yacobi and Lily Safrani

Diana Yacobi and Lily Safrani

Diana Yacobi has been the educational director of synagogue schools and written a Hebrew r... Read More