MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Introduction to Problems in Adolescents

By

Sharon Levy

, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School

Last full review/revision Sep 2020| Content last modified Sep 2020
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION

For most children, adolescence is a period of good physical health. The most common problems during adolescence relate to

Leading causes of death and disability among adolescents are

  • Motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional injuries

  • Injuries resulting from interpersonal violence

During this phase of development, adolescents begin to transition from childhood to adulthood. Issues of independence, identity, sexuality, and relationships define this developmental stage. Mental health problems, such as mood disorders Depression and Mood Dysregulation Disorder in Children and Adolescents Depression includes a feeling of sadness (or, in children and adolescents, irritability), and/or loss of interest in activities. In major depression, these symptoms last 2 weeks or more and... read more , anxiety disorders Overview of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents Anxiety disorders are characterized by fear, worry, or dread that greatly impairs the ability to function and is out of proportion to the circumstances. There are many types of anxiety disorders... read more , and thought disorders (such as schizophrenia Schizophrenia in Children and Adolescents Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder involving abnormal thoughts, perceptions, and social behavior and causing considerable problems with relationships and functioning. It lasts 6 months or more... read more ) as well as psychosocial disorders Overview of Psychosocial Problems in Adolescents Psychologic and social problems, particularly involving behavior and school issues, are more common during adolescence than at any other time during childhood. Adolescents are much more independent... read more , may develop or first become apparent during adolescence. Suicide Suicidal Behavior in Children and Adolescents Suicidal behavior is an action intended to harm oneself and includes suicidal gestures, suicide attempts, and completed suicide. Suicidal ideation is thoughts and plans about suicide. Suicide... read more is a major cause of death for this age group. Other causes of death include accidents, unintentional injuries, and homicide.

Eating disorders Overview of Eating Disorders Eating disorders involve a disturbance of eating or of behavior related to eating, typically including Changes in what or how much people eat Measures people take to prevent food from being... read more , such as anorexia nervosa Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a relentless pursuit of thinness, a distorted body image, an extreme fear of obesity, and restriction of food consumption, leading to... read more and bulimia nervosa Bulimia Nervosa Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by the repeated rapid consumption of large amounts of food (binge eating), followed by attempts to compensate for the excess food consumed... read more , most commonly develop during adolescence and are more common among girls. Many unhealthy behaviors that start during adolescence, such as consuming a poor diet (see Obesity in Adolescents Obesity in Adolescents Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than the 95th percentile for age and gender. Although genetics and some disorders cause obesity, most adolescent obesity results... read more ), smoking Tobacco Use in Adolescents Substance use among adolescents ranges from experimentation to severe substance use disorders. All substance use, even experimental use, puts adolescents at risk of short-term problems, such... read more , substance use Substance Use and Abuse in Adolescents Substance use among adolescents ranges from experimentation to severe substance use disorders. All substance use, even experimental use, puts adolescents at risk of short-term problems, such... read more , and violence Behavioral Problems in Adolescents Adolescence is a time for developing independence. Typically, adolescents exercise their independence by questioning or challenging, and sometimes breaking, rules. Parents and doctors must distinguish... read more , can lead to immediate health problems, long-term disorders, or poor health later in life.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Separation Anxiety and Stranger Anxiety
An important part of normal development is an infant’s growing attachment to its parents. As this bond strengthens, the infant may express fear or anxiety when the parents leave. This “separation anxiety” typically begins at around 8 months of age and resolves at around 24 months of age. Which of the following is the normal and expected infant behavior in reaction to a parent leaving the room during the time period of separation anxiety?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP