Classification of Adolescents: Early Adolescents, Middle Adolescents, and Late Adolescents

The adolescent phase does not last a year or two. Usually, this phase lasts at least 10 years and even up to a dozen years. Every individual who enters adolescence will pass through several stages. For example, from puberty to adulthood.

Before exploring further about the teenage period. It would be better if You first understands the nature of youth. In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), youth is interpreted as starting to mature; has reached the age to marry; young; youth.

The Ministry of Health defines youth as a period of human life in which rapid physical, psychological and intellectual growth and development occurs. He has the characteristics of high curiosity, tends to dare to take risks from his actions without considering them carefully, and likes things that smell of adventure.

Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), adolescents are people in the age range of 10 to 19 years. Meanwhile, according to RI Health Regulations Number 25 of 2014, youth is defined as residents in the age range of 10-18 years and according to the Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) the age range of adolescents is 10-24 years and unmarried.

Adolescence is also referred to as adolescence. According to Hurlock, the term youth or youth comes from the Latin, namely adolescene which has the noun adolescentia which means to grow or grow into adulthood. People in ancient times saw puberty and youth as no different from other periods in human life. They are considered mature when they are able to reproduce.

Currently, adolescence is interpreted more broadly, which includes mental, emotional, and emotional maturity. This is in line with Piaget’s view, psychologically, youth is the age of an individual who integrates with adult society.

Age of children who feel they are no longer below the level of older people but are at the same level of money. At a minimum, in terms of integration with adult society, it has an effective aspect, more or less related to puberty, including striking intellectual changes.

The unique intellectual transformation of adolescent thinking provides the possibility to achieve integration in adult social relations. This is a characteristic that is common knowledge in the teenage period.

Meanwhile, Jhon W. Santrock, adolescence (adolescence) is a developmental period of transition from childhood to adulthood which includes biological, cognitive, and social-emotional changes.

Meanwhile, according to Monks and Haditono, a teenager is someone who is in the age range of 12-21 years. Adolescence is also a transition from childhood to adulthood. Therefore, the mindset will change and process towards adulthood.

In line with Monks and Haditono, King also formulated the definition of youth. For him, youth is a human development which is marked by the transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescence usually begins around the age of 12 and ends at the age of 18-21 years.

From some of the definitions above, it can be concluded that youth is a phase or period of transition from childhood to adulthood, usually occurring in the age range of 10 to 18 years. During adolescence, physical, psychological, and intellectual development usually occurs. It becomes part of the period of human development.

Adolescent Classification

Classification of adolescents can be done based on the phase or stages. Launching from the page, here are three classifications of teenagers based on their age.

1. Early Adolescent Phase

Children enter the adolescent phase when they are 10 years old. The age range of 10-13 years is included in the early adolescent phase. At this stage, children experience the early stages of puberty and start growing faster. Both boys and girls experience significant physical growth and an increase in sexual interest.

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Not only that, body changes are also a concern for teenagers. For example, starting to grow hair under the arms and around the genitals, breast development in girls, and enlargement of the testicles in boys.

Girls usually grow faster than boys. They are one or two years ahead of boys. In fact, some changes in women are also normal to experience from the age of 8 years and 9 years for boys.

Usually, teenage girls start menstruating at the age of 12 or an average of 2 to 3 years after their breasts start to grow. Physical changes and adolescent mindsets make parents feel anxious and worried. Especially if you don’t know what’s normal and what’s not.

Some children may also question their gender identity in their teens. Meanwhile, cognitively, adolescents at this stage have begun to experience increased intellectual interest. They also have concrete thoughts.

For example, start looking for the truth about something (it can be good or bad) from various sources. Not only that, at this time, adolescents focus more on themselves, which is known as egocentrism.

Early stage adolescents also often feel that their appearance is judged by their peers. So, try as much as possible to wear appropriate and up-to-date clothes. This has an influence on the majority of adolescents who think that all judgments and thoughts of people about themselves are important to pay attention to.

During the early adolescent phase, there is usually an increased need for privacy. Teenagers will start looking for ways to be independent from the family. Not infrequently, teenagers also set limits or react violently if parents seem to be too restraining or interfering in personal matters.

2. Middle Adolescent Phase

Adolescents aged 14-17 years are included in the mid-adolescence phase. Changes occur in the body of girls. such as the pelvis, waist and buttocks begin to enlarge, menstruation begins regularly, increased sweat production, and the reproductive organs develop.

Meanwhile, in boys growth begins to run rapidly. The body becomes taller, the body weight increases, pimples appear, the muscles get bigger, the shoulders and chest get wider, the voice cracks, the penis gets bigger, the growth of cumin, sideburns, and so on.

At this age, teenagers begin to be interested in romantic relationships. They also have the possibility to question and explore sexual identity. These things have the potential to cause stress if you don’t get support from family, friends, or the community.

At this time, the mindset of adolescents is based on logic, but not infrequently it is also driven by feelings or emotions. They have been able to think abstractly and consider the big picture. However, in certain situations, they are still less able to apply it at that time.

For example, the thought, “Tomorrow there is a biology test. But, the latest Korean drama episode is out. I already understand the material, it seems there is no need to repeat reading. So, it’s okay to just watch it. Grades are not a measure of success.”

They also begin to be interested in having a romantic relationship, such as dating. Has a tendency to prefer or spend more time with friends. It is not uncommon for them to have disagreements and even fight with their parents because their emotions are not stable and they are sensitive.

3. Late Adolescence or Young Adult Phase

Adolescents in the age range of 18-24 years are included in the late adolescent or young adult phase. In general, entering the late adolescent phase, the physique has developed to the maximum. Not only that, the ability to think is much more mature than middle adolescents.

They are also more focused on realizing the planned goals. At the same time able to make decisions based on hopes and ideals. For example, teenagers will do things that are a priority in their lives such as schoolwork, or things that support the realization of their goals.

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In friendship, romance, and family relations have been more stable. They have been able to make choices about discussing something or sharing stories with trusted people.

Characteristics of Adolescents

Titisari and Utami formulated several characteristics of adolescents as follows.

  • Physical and sexual development which is characterized by the rate of development which usually occurs very rapidly and the presence of secondary and primary sex characteristics.
  • From a psychosocial perspective, adolescents tend to separate themselves from their parents and expand their relationships with peers.
  • From a cognitive perspective, adolescent mentality has been able to think logically about various abstract ideas.
  • In terms of emotional development tends to be high. This is because the sexual organs develop and affect the hormones that control emotions.
  • In terms of moral development, teenagers who are in a circle must continue to act and behave according to the norms and rules they believe in. This also causes teenagers to violate applicable rules and values, such as having sex outside of marriage, drinking alcoholic beverages, brawls, and so on.
  • Personality development is an important phase for the development and self-integrity of adolescents.

Teen Characteristics

This adolescent phase can be identified from several characteristics that have been formulated by Hurlock as follows.

1. Adolescence as an Important Period

When children begin to enter adolescence, it will be accompanied by rapid development. Thus, causing mental adjustments and the formation of attitudes, new interests, and intentions.

2. Adolescence as a Transitional Period

At this time, adolescents enter a phase where they are no longer a child or an adult. They are in a transitional stage of status and there is doubt or uncertainty within the adolescent.

3. Adolescence as a Time of Change

Physical changes develop in harmony or in tandem with changes in attitudes and behavior. There are several types of changes that occur in adolescents. First, the height of emotional intensity depends on the level of physical and psychological changes. Because, usually, emotional changes happen more quickly during the early teenage years.

Second, body changes, roles, and interests that are influenced by the social environment. Third, changes in values ​​that are influenced by changes in interests and behavior patterns of adolescents.

4. Adolescence as a Troubled Age

Each phase of development has its own main problems. However, when teenagers are faced with problems, it tends to be difficult to overcome them on their own. Because of this, many teenagers conclude that solving or solving problems is not always in accordance with expectations and in the way that has been planned.

5. Adolescence as an Age of Searching for Identity

Adolescents in this stage begin to search for identity or the essence of their lives. they start to fret, get restless, and feel dissatisfied in many ways. The search for identity is done in any way, for example reading, watching, joining communities, exchanging ideas with others, and other ways.

6. Adolescence as an Age of Fear

Teenagers are considered as a group of humans who are untidy, difficult to trust, and often destructive. This causes adults who are responsible for supervising and guiding the lives of adolescents to be afraid to take on that responsibility. They are also reluctant to be sympathetic to adolescent behaviors that are considered abnormal.

7. Adolescence as an Unrealistic Period

Teenagers will be easily disappointed and hurt if plans or goals are not achieved. They tend to see life with pink glasses. In his view, self and others are seen according to his wishes. Not from what they are.

Hopes and ideals are cultivated unrealistically. For example dreams or ideals that are not in accordance with self-ability or economy. This raises high emotions which are one of the characteristics of the early phase of adolescence.

8. Adolescence as the Threshold of Adulthood

Approaching the age of maturity or adulthood, adolescents become anxious to show that they are almost adults. At the same time eliminating the impression of stereotypes that have been attached to the new dozen and replacing it with a new view as an adult human being.