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Lake Cumberland District Health Department

A healthy today for a brighter tomorrow.

Teen Wellness

During adolescence, individuals experience a wide range of physical, mental, emotional, and social changes. It is typical for boys to develop facial and pubic hair and for their voices to deepen, while girls commonly experience breast growth, pubic hair growth, and the onset of menstruation. It is not uncommon for these changes to cause worry for teens, as they may feel self-conscious about their appearance. During this period, teenagers may also encounter peer pressure to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and sexual activity. Additionally, other challenges such as eating disorders, depression, and family conflicts may arise. It’s important to note that teens become increasingly independent, with their own unique personalities and interests, while still relying on their parents for guidance and support.

Young Teens (12-14 Years)

Children in this age group may:

  • Show more concern about body image, looks, and clothes.
  • Focus on themselves; going back and forth between high expectations and lack of confidence.
  • Experience more moodiness.
  • Show more interest in and influence by peer group.
  • Express less affection toward parents; sometimes might seem rude or short-tempered.
  • Feel stress from more challenging school work.
  • Develop eating problems.
  • Feel a lot of sadness or depression, which can lead to poor grades at school, alcohol or drug use, unsafe sex, and other problems.

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Teenagers (15-17 Years)

This is a time of changes for how teenagers think, feel, and interact with others, and how their bodies grow. Most girls will be physically mature by now, and most will have completed puberty. Boys might still be maturing physically during this time. Your teen might have concerns about her body size, shape, or weight. During this time, your teen is developing his unique personality and opinions. Relationships with friends are still important, yet your teen will have other interests as he develops a clearer sense of who he is. This is also an important time to prepare for more independence and responsibility.

Teenagers in this age group might:

  • Have more interest in romantic relationships and sexuality.
  • Go through less conflict with parents.
  • Show more independence from parents.
  • Have a deeper capacity for caring and sharing and for developing more intimate relationships.
  • Spend less time with parents and more time with friends.
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