Home > Adolescence > Adolescent Development Toolkit > Domains of Development

Feature Section


Adolescent Development Toolkit


Toolkit: Domains of Development

Domains of DevelopmentThe resources included in this section focus on specific domains of development. Cognitive Development features adolescent brain development. Under Social and Emotional Development, the focus shifts to the emotional life of adolescents and the challenges involved in regulating emotions. Physical/Sexual Development addresses body changes, puberty, and evolving sexuality. Also see Identity Development.

Cognitive Development

The Adolescent Brain: A Work in Progress

This 2005 publication presents a large and compelling body of scientific research on the neurological development of teens. It confirms a long-held, common-sense view: teenagers are not the same as adults in a variety of key areas, such as the ability to make sound judgments when confronted by complex situations, the capacity to control impulses, and the ability to plan effectively. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.


Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain

Why do teens behave the way they do? In this talk, cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore discusses recent findings in adolescent brain development, emphasizing the social brain. TED Talk.

VideoVideo (14 minutes)

The Teen Brain: Insights from Neuroimaging

Jay Giedd, a leading scientist researching the developing brain, gives a talk about adolescent brains and digital media. Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

VideoVideo (34 minutes)

Social and Emotional Development

Adolescent Emotional Development

This presentation offers a discussion of adolescent emotional development. The presentation covers: the importance of emotions, what constitutes "emotional development" and emotional intelligence, and the challenges and opportunities of emotional development in adolescence. The differences between younger and older adolescents, girls and boys, and cultural influences on emotional development are also briefly reviewed. ACT for Youth Center of Excellence.

Narrated PresentationNarrated Presentation (16 minutes)

PowerPoint PresentationPowerPoint Presentation

Adolescent Self-Esteem

This 2003 fact sheet reviews research on adolescent self-esteem. Central themes include the effects of gender, ethnicity, and social class on self-esteem, as well as approaches to increasing adolescents' self-esteem. ACT for Youth Center of Excellence.

PDFFact Sheet

Formatted for Screen ReadersFormatted for Screen Readers

The Mental Health of Adolescents: A National Profile, 2008

Since positive mental health has not been evaluated thoroughly, this resource reviews current data and trends in terms of mental health diagnoses while acknowledging the limitations of available data. Utilization of health services and treatment options are discussed as well. National Adolescent Health Information Center.

PDFFact Sheet

Physical/Sexual Development

Understanding Sexual Development

This section of the ACT for Youth website provides an overview of sexual development and presents links between gender and sexual behavior.


Healthy Adolescent Sexual Development

Narrated Presentation: This presentation by Dr. Richard Kreipe discusses basic terminology related to healthy adolescent sexual development; introduces key biological, psychological, and social features of normal adolescent sexual development; and looks at various issues and behaviors in the context of healthy adolescent sexual development. Dr. Kreipe is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. ACT for Youth Center of Excellence.

Narrated PresentationNarrated Presentation (29 minutes)

PowerPoint PresentationPowerPoint Presentation

Anatomy of Puberty

In this presentation, Dr. Richard Kreipe helps the listener understand the physical changes of puberty, as well as concerns that adolescents may have as their bodies change. ACT for Youth Center of Excellence.

Narrated PresentationNarrated Presentation (17 minutes)

PowerPoint PresentationPowerPoint Presentation

Adolescent Sexual Development

This quick reference provides facts about sexual development in early, middle, and late adolescence, as well as tips for parents and professionals. Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, Michigan Department of Community Health.

PDFFact Sheet

Sexual Behaviors and Health in Adolescence

While sexual development is central to adolescence, sex can be risky if youth do not have the supports they need. This section of the ACT for Youth website covers risks associated with sexual behaviors, STDs, HIV/AIDS, and pregnancy in adolescence.


Copyright © 2018 ACT for Youth Center for Community Action. All rights reserved. Website and Database Development by RMF Designs