Adolescent Development E-Learning Module

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
Publication Year:
May 05, 2020
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth



Please note: This course will take approximately 60 minutes to complete; do not refresh your browser window or you will have to begin again. Instead, use the next/previous buttons to work your way through the course.

Purpose of This Course

By understanding adolescent development, we can better appreciate how and why young people behave the way they do, and we can help young people make better decisions about their sexual health.

This course will focus on four key areas:

  • Part 1: Biological and brain development
  • Part 2: Cognitive development
  • Part 3: Identity and social development
  • Part 4: Promoting healthy youth development

By the end of this course, participants will understand:

  • Basic biological and brain-related changes that occur during adolescence and how these changes influence adolescent thinking and behavior
  • Major cognitive changes that occur during adolescence and how adolescents’ thinking increases their likelihood of risk-taking and engaging in unsafe behavior
  • How adolescents develop identity and other key social developmental milestones of adolescence
  • Key factors that promote healthy youth development and how to implement these features in working with teens

“Typical” adolescent development

While each teenager is an individual with a unique personality and interests, there are also many developmental milestones—or issues—that everyone faces during adolescence. In this course, we’ll focus on typical adolescent development – that is, the growth, behaviors, and feelings that developmental scientists have found to be common and predictable for the majority of adolescents.


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