A teenager's friendships are of utmost importance to her.

Traits & Characteristics of Teens

by Kristen Moutria

Your teenager is experiencing mental, physical and emotional changes that require adjustments on her part and yours. The rate of a teenager's growth is second only to that seen in infancy, according to Child Health Explanation. Some traits and characteristics of teens should be explored in order to understand why your teenager acts the way she does.

1. Place Value on Friendships

Your teenager is likely spending more time with friends and less time around the house. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation reports that preteens and teens tend to spend less time with family as the importance of peer relationships increase. Furthermore, your teen's friendships might contribute to the identity she is struggling to form because adolescence is characterized by the exploration of different hairstyles, music, friends and hobbies. The style her friends embrace is likely the style she will gravitate toward.

2. Maturing Sexually

Your teenager is becoming sexually mature, which makes him increasingly aware of the opposite sex. Puberty causes the pituitary gland to secrete FHS, a follicle-stimulating hormone, that causes girl's ovaries to start producing estrogen and leads to the development of sperm in boys. Although puberty usually begins between ages 9 and 14 for boys and 8 to 13 for girls, the sexual maturation process will take years to complete.

3. Developing Values

As your teenager explores her identity, she will develop her own values and begin to question the values of those around her. According to the website for Catlin Gabel, a school in Portland, Oregon, instead of blindly accepting an adult's moral values, an adolescent will explore her own. Furthermore, she is in need of adult role models who affirm moral consciousness and actions by being trustworthy. It will concern her if she sees inconsistencies between an adult's exhibited values and the morals promoted by society.

4. Concerned with Body Image

Many teenagers are overly concerned with how their body looks. Your teenager might have concerns about the size and shape of his body and his weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, eating disorders are not unusual during adolescence -- the South Carolina Department of Mental Health reports that 95 percent of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.

Resources

About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

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