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A thorough understanding of adolescence in society depends on information from various perspectives, including psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology.
Within all of these perspectives, adolescence is viewed as a transitional period between childhood and adulthood, whose cultural purpose is the preparation of children for adult roles.
Such milestones include driving a vehicle, having legal sexual relations, serving in the armed forces or on a jury, purchasing and drinking alcohol, voting, entering into contracts, finishing certain levels of education, and marriage.
Adolescence is usually accompanied by an increased independence allowed by the parents or legal guardians, including less supervision as compared to preadolescence.
Physical growth (particularly in males), and cognitive development can extend into the early twenties.
Thus age provides only a rough marker of adolescence, and scholars have found it difficult to agree upon a precise definition of adolescence.
This non-uniform growth is one reason why an adolescent body may seem out of proportion.
During puberty, bones become harder and more brittle.
The weight gained during adolescence constitutes nearly half of one's adult body weight.Facial hair is often present in late adolescence, around ages 17 and 18, but may not appear until significantly later.Consequently, girls who have a high-fat diet and who are not physically active begin menstruating earlier, on average, than girls whose diet contains less fat and whose activities involve fat reducing exercise (e.g. They have the advantage in capturing the attention of potential partners and in becoming hand-picked for sports.Pubescent boys often tend to have a good body image, are more confident, secure, and more independent.