Adolescent Health in the 21st Century
Several factors have contributed to the social construct of adolescence as a distinct period of life, including the rise in education (and with it age segregation), social media, and urbanization. But adolescence also has a biological basis. Many of the behaviors we associate with the teenage years (eg, risk taking) are evident in other species, and we know that brain maturation in human beings is not complete until about age 25 years. As young people enter adolescence they bring with them resources and vulnerabilities, both biological (genetics, epigenetics, natural endowments) and environmental (national and local policies, as well as community, school, workplace, peers, neighborhood, and family influences).