Adolescence, sometimes referred to as the “teen” years can be a time of both disorientation and discovery. G. Stanley Hall (1844-1924) was the first psychologist to advance the concept of adolescence, scientifically. He argued for a physical demarcation, namely, puberty to mark its onset. Hall described this period of lifespan development as Stum und Drang (storm and stress). Over 150 years later, American author and filmmaker Nora Ephron (2006) echoed this sentiment writing, “When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone I the house is happy to see you”.
Many social, behavioral and life scientists throughout history have and continue to explore what it means to an adolescent. And while some, beginning with Hall were confident in a biologically based origin, others have not been so sure of its universality.
Critics of this nativist approach to understanding adolescence argue that it is a social construction, a stereotypical label, a superficial exercise in the convention of naming.
And for those that do find categories important or useful, some like the American Academy of Pediatrics, further subdivide adolescence into three substages: early adolescence (10-14), mid-adolescence (15-17] and late adolescence (18-24).
Perhaps none were more outspoken and respected than Margaret Mead. A contemporary of Hall, Mead was an anthropologist, among the first of her generation to take issue with what had and to a large extent continues as of this day to be described as a period of interpersonal conflict, rebelliousness, moodiness, and risky behavior (Arnett, 1999).
More recently, the work of Alice Schegel and Herbert Barry (1991) seem to provide contemporary support, suggesting that the experience of adolescence may indeed vary culturally.
Similarly, Tulane University sociologist, Lisa Wake (2011) writes, “The idea that young people take a decade to grow up, in the meantime inhabiting a space called “young adulthood” is rather new in American culture. A bit older is the idea of “adolescence,” the idea that there is a stage between childhood and (young) adulthood that is characterized by immaturity and capriciousness: the teenage years.”
Others, like Hill, R.F. & Fortenberry, J.D. (1992) have gone so far as to suggest there is nothing inherently wrong with or problematic about this period of development; claiming instead it is western society who has and continues to medicalize or pathologize those who happen to fit this age range.
A transitional stage, adolescence is marked indeed marked by physical and psychological changes as one advances from childhood to adulthood. In the western world, “teenager” is the moniker assigned to those ranging from 13 [teen] to 19 [teen] years of age. To some, adolescence is a mental shortcut “grown-ups” (particularly in the western world) use to stereotypically demarcate younger members of society. To others, adolescence is an actual stage of human development that links teenagers the world over. And while there had been and continues to be much disagreement over the particulars, what we can agree upon according to Bonnie L. Hewlett (2013) is that this period of lifespan development seems to be a more “intense and challenging time of risk and change, of learning and growth, of biological cognitive and social development.
Your Assignment
For this assignment, I would like you to
select from on ONE of the following general topics:
trends, sexuality, health, relationships, risk-taking, social media, mental health, peer pressure, or identity.
identify ONE thing related to this major topic that it seems that “MOST” people believe.
make a strong, clear, and organized case that this “popular belief” is in fact a stereotype OR that this “popular belief” despite sounding like a stereotype, is a real phenomenon.
Don’t forget to
Use definitions, practical examples, and scientific support from academic sources where necessary to clearly and convincingly communicate your message/position. Also, be sure that you include at title page, use 250 – 750 words in the body of your response, and cite your references.

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