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Normal Adolescent Development

15-16 years

Movement Toward Independence

  • Self-involvement, alternating between unrealistically high expectations and poor self-concept
  • Complaints that parents interfere with independence
  • Extremely concerned with appearance and with one's own body
  • Feelings of strangeness about one's self and body
  • Lowered opinion of parents, withdrawal from them
  • Effort to make new friends
  • Strong emphasis on the new peer group
  • Periods of sadness as the psychological loss of the parents takes place
  • Examination of inner experiences, which may include writing a diary
Career Interests
  • Intellectual interests gain importance
  • Some sexual and aggressive energies directed into creative and career interests


  • Concerns about sexual attractiveness
  • Frequently changing relationships
  • Movement towards heterosexuality with fears of homosexuality
  • Tenderness and fears shown toward opposite sex
  • Feelings of love and passion

Ethics and Self-Description

  • Development of ideals and selection of role models
  • More consistent evidence of conscience
  • Greater capacity for setting goals
  • Interest in moral reasoning



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