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Adolescent Development Toolkit


Toolkit: Adolescent Development Overview

The resources below offer overviews of adolescent development. Also see Domains of Development for specific resources on cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and sexual development, as well as Identity Development.

The Core Science of Adolescent Development

This overview places current scientific understanding of adolescent development in a narrative form to more accurately tell the story of adolescence. UCLA Center for the Developing Adolescent.

Development Overview

Turnaround for Children Toolbox: Science Foundations

This brief summarizes key points of the science of learning and development, calling out racist/sexist/heteronormative/ableist assumptions and presenting complex ideas in a clear and useful way. Turnaround for Children.


The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth

This report examines the neurobiological and socio-behavioral science of adolescent development and outlines how this knowledge can be applied to promote adolescent well-being and rectify structural barriers and inequalities in opportunity. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.


Science of Learning: What Educators Need to Know About Adolescent Development

This report summarizes the key developmental changes that adolescents experience in their bodies, brains, relationships, identities, and experiences and explains how those changes impact student learning. Alliance for Excellent Education.


The Intersection of Adolescent Development and Anti-Black Racism

This report summarizes research on how racism and related inequities impact key developmental milestones of adolescence and offers recommendations to support Black youth within key social contexts of the middle and high school years. National Scientific Council on Adolescence and UCLA Center for the Developing Adolescent.

Report and Related Resources

The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development

This 2009 guide describes the normal physical, cognitive, emotional and social, sexual, identity formation, and spiritual changes that happen during adolescence and how adults can promote healthy development. Center for Adolescent Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Adolescent Development Explained

Building on "The Teen Years Explained" (see above), this 2018 online guide and webinar series cover five areas of development: physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and moral. HHS Office of Population Affairs.


Adolescent Development

This easy-to-read resource shares basic information about adolescent development, including emotional, social, and sexual development; developmental tasks; and information about the positive youth development approach. ACT for Youth.

Web Page

Stages of Adolescent Development (chart)

This easy-to-use tool summarizes stages of adolescence for early, middle, and late adolescent development periods. It makes a great handout for professionals and parents! ACT for Youth.

Chart/Handout - English

Chart/Handout - Spanish

Stages of Adolescent Development (article)

This fact sheet summarizes the physical and psycho-social markers of healthy adolescent development and very briefly notes the major theories of adolescent development. ACT for Youth.

Fact Sheet

Formatted for Screen Readers

Understanding Adolescence

This collection of resources includes fact sheets on the developmental stages of adolescence, a video series, a timeline activity for youth work professionals, and an exploration of what youth need to support healthy development. State Adolescent Health Resources Center at the University of Minnesota.

Fact Sheets, Videos, Activity Stages of Adolescence

This website offers easy-to-understand materials about adolescent development. Topics covered include: physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development. Resources are also available on dating and sex, fitness, nutrition, safety, school, and substance abuse. American Academy of Pediatrics.


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