Adolescence

The period following the beginning of puberty when childhood ends and adulthood begins marks the onset of adolescence. In this phase, one’s life undergoes critical transitions. The period of adolescence is the preparation for adulthood during which several developments take place. The child at this time progresses towards social and economic independence, searches for his own identity. He/she also develops skills that will help him/her carry out adult relationships and roles and the capacity for reasoning. The adolescent period comprises many risk factors. A huge number of adolescents get into the habit of taking alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs. They also get involved sexual relationships which very often results in unintentional injuries, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases. Adolescents are different from young children and adults. They can hardly understand complex situations and concepts or the relationships behavior and consequences. This inability sometimes leads them to vulnerable sexual exploitation and high-risk behaviors. Adolescents are dependent on their families, communities, schools, health services, and workplaces to learn a wide range of skills that help them to deal with the pressures they face. Parents and members of the community should always be alert to adolescent development and adjustment.