Child and adolescent psychology involves looking at the issues, stages and various influences that a child experiences throughout their development into functioning adults. Child and adolescent psychology can be divided into two main areas – the actual process of psychological development that the child goes through when growing up and the analysis and treatment of the various problems that a child may face throughout their development.
Adolescence (12 – 18 years old) is a particularly hard time for children. They are experiencing all kinds of new changes in their bodies and in their feelings. As well, they often feel misunderstood as they are struggling to leave behind their childhood and become adults. Adolescence has commonly been characterized by issues such as rebellious behaviour, lying, cheating, school performance problems, negative attitudes, disobedience and disrespect, sibling rivalry, drug and alcohol abuse, pressures from peers, depression, and issues of sexuality. For more information on these topics, see the Problems Children and Teens Face section.