Emotional and Social Development, Ages 15 to 18 Years

Overview

Older teens may seem mature at times, but they often will have times when they are not. Those who haven't yet established their own identity and sense of independence may try defining themselves through rebellious or difficult behavior.

It's normal for teens to experiment with different looks and ideas. This is often a way to define who they are.

Peer groups and friends are important to teens. They may also form strong bonds with adult mentors.

Teens are thinking about their own sexuality. They start to seek intimate relationships, which become an important part of their identity. Some teens' emotional investment in such relationships is immense. This makes them vulnerable. Parents can help by recognizing when relationships are getting more intense and by talking openly, without judgment, about the possible future effects.

Credits

Current as of: September 20, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics