Adolescents, teenagers, and youth: A time of change

Cooper, Victoria; Montgomery, Heather and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi (2023). Adolescents, teenagers, and youth: A time of change. In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 200–217.



The time between childhood and adulthood, when young people are not physically or socially mature but are less dependent than younger children, has been intensively scrutinised by many disciplines. In this chapter, we show that studying this period of life holistically requires integrating perspectives to see interplays between social, biological, psychological, cultural, and historical understandings. We ask why this time of life is often characterised in quite negative terms and as a time of stress and disruption and whether this is necessarily the case. We discuss the invention of the teenager; historical and cultural understandings of youth; young people’s views of adolescence; development in brains, bodies, selves, and peers; and young people’s political activism.

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