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Normal Development: Late Adolescence (18 to 20 Years Old)

Adolescence is divided into three stages: early (12 to 14 years), middle (15 to 17 years), and late (18 to 20 years). While certain attitudes, behaviors, and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide spectrum of growth and behavior for each age is normal. Consequently, these guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general progression through the developmental stages rather than as fixed requirements. It is perfectly natural for a teen to attain some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

Emotional Development

  • Has a better sense of self.
  • Becomes gradually more emotionally stable.
  • Has a greater concern for others.
  • Has thoughts about his or her purpose in life.
  • Has pride in his or her own work.

Social Development

  • Has become self-reliant and able to make own decisions.
  • Becomes more comfortable around parents.
  • Becomes interested and concerned in serious relationships.
  • Can integrate both emotional and physical intimacy in a relationship.
  • Has developed a clear sexual identity.

Mental Development

  • Has ability to think ideas through and set goals.
  • Has ability to express ideas.
  • Has developed a deeper perspective of life and may become involved in community issues (environment, homelessness, world hunger).

If you have any concerns related to your teen's own pattern of development, check with your health care provider.

Developed by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2003-10-29
Last reviewed: 2006-04-27
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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