Transitions into Adolescence

E. Trejos-Castillo, A. T. Vazsonyi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traditionally, adolescence has been described as a passage from childhood to adulthood, marked by the gradual unfolding of biological, cognitive, psychological, and social transformations. From a more contemporary point of view, adolescence not only encompasses these transformations, but also represents a more complex set of changes that are embedded in a particular sociopolitical environment, in a cultural context, and during a specific historical period. In general, both theory and empirical research have shown that transitioning into adolescence is influenced by family and peer interactions, by school and community contexts as well as by individual characteristics. This article briefly highlights some of the most salient transitions during adolescence; it focuses, in particular, on three main normative developmental transformations: physiological and biological maturation, cognitive development, and socioemotional maturation. Along with those, we also discuss the social contexts in which these developmental transitions take place, namely, the family and social networks including peers and romantic relationships, and school. Finally, we provide a brief overview of the main challenges adolescents face during this transitional stage in contemporary societies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Adolescence
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2011


  • Adolescent development
  • Career and vocational development
  • Cognitive development
  • Contemporary challenges
  • Developmental milestones
  • Normative development
  • Parent-adolescent relationship
  • Physical and mental health
  • Physiological development
  • Social networks
  • Socioemotional development
  • Transformations
  • Transitions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry (all)
  • Medicine (all)


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