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Adolescence typically refers to the period of life between the onset of puberty and adulthood. G. Stanley Hall (1844–1924) is usually credited with initiating scholarly interest in this developmental stage, which he viewed as a period of storm and stress (Sturm und Drang). For many theorists, adolescence represents a critical phase of human development as it does cover a period of demonstrable change, and many individuals have claimed that key aspects of their own thought and attitudes have taken root during adolescence. However, as Allan Wigfield, James Byrnes, and Jacquelynne Eccles (2006) have stressed, “Adolescence is very much a cultural phenomenon and the experiences adolescents have vary greatly across different cultures” (p. 88). This entry focuses on contributions to four main areas of adolescent development ...

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