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Normal Development: Late Adolescence (18-20 Years Old)

Adolescence is divided into three stages: early (12 to 14 years), middle (15 to 17 years), and late (18 to 20 years). While certain attitudes, behaviors, and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide range of growth and behavior for each age is normal. These guidelines show general progress through the developmental stages rather than fixed requirements. It is perfectly natural for a teen to reach some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

Emotional Development

  • Has a better sense of self.
  • Becomes gradually more emotionally stable.
  • Has a greater concern for others.
  • Has thoughts about his or her purpose in life.
  • Has pride in his or her own work.

Social Development

  • Has become self-reliant and able to make own decisions.
  • Becomes more comfortable around parents.
  • Becomes interested in and concerned about serious relationships.
  • Can combine both emotional and physical intimacy in a relationship.
  • Has developed a clear sexual identity.

Mental Development

  • Has ability to think ideas through and set goals.
  • Has ability to express ideas.
  • Has developed a deeper view of life and may become involved in community issues (environment, homelessness, world hunger).

If you have any concerns related to your teen's own pattern of development, check with your health care provider.