Normal Development: 18 to 20 Years Old

Some attitudes, behaviors, and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages. It is perfectly natural for a teen to reach some milestones earlier and others later than the general trend. The following are general guidelines for the stages of normal development.

Emotional Development

  • Has a better sense of self.
  • Emotions become more stable.
  • Has a greater concern for others.
  • Thinks about his or her purpose in life.
  • Has pride in his or her own work.
  • Is able to recognize and cope with different types of stress.

Social Development

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

Mental Development

  • Is able to think ideas through and set goals.
  • Is able to express ideas.
  • May get involved in social issues (green issues, work with the homeless, world hunger).

If you have any concerns related to your teen’s own pattern of development, check with your healthcare provider.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-09-23
Last reviewed: 2011-09-20
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

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