The wordadolescencecan be traced to the Latin word "adolescere," which means to grow into maturity. Growing into maturity involves change, and today, adolescence is regarded, perhaps with the exception of infancy, as the most change-filled period of life. It is a period of transition in which the biological, psychological, and social characteristics typical of children become the biological, psychological, and social characteristics typical of adults. Most researchers define the second 10 years of life (from ages 10 to 20) as the adolescent period. All people who study adolescence--or who experience it, as either parents or as young people themselves--agree the period is characterized by numerous major changes and also dramatic ones that often are remembered for all the years of life thereafter. The hopes, challenges, fears, and successes of adolescence have been romanticized or dramatized in novels, short stories, and news articles. It is commonplace to survey a newsstand and find a magazine article describing the "stormy years" of adolescence, the new crazes or fads of youth, or the "explosion" of problems with teenagers (e.g., involving crime or sexuality). To what extent are these characterizations of adolescence correct? Just what do we know about adolescents and if some adolescents do experience problems, what can be done about it? In turn, aren't there strengths of adolescents? How may knowledge about adolescent development be applied in ways to promote positive, healthy development among all the diverse young people experiencing this period of life? How, in the span of 10 years, does the individual bridge the gap between coping with the several challenges of early adolescence and the launching of a young adult life? The Goal of This Book Answering these questions fascinates and engages the energies of scientists, practitioners, parents, teachers, and young people themselves. Providing the key information pertinent to providing answers to these questions is the goal ofAdolescence: Development, Diversity, Context, and Application. This book will help you to understand the bases of thedevelopmental changesyoung people experience during the adolescent period; to appreciate the important instances ofdiversityof individuals, families, communities, and cultures that give texture and richness to adolescent development; to recognize the important role played in adolescent development of the different instances of thecontext,or ecology, of human development--for example, the family, the peer group, schools, communities, the media, and culture; and to understand the ways in which knowledge about adolescent development, diversity, and context may beappliedto promote positive development among young people. In short, the aim ofAdolescence: Development, Diversity, Context, and Applicationis to present the best information currently available about the adolescent period and the ways in which scientists and practitioners both understand the period and, take actions to promote positive development among youth. How Is Adolescence Discussed in This Book? Throughout this book I illustrate that, by understanding the relations of diverse adolescents and their contexts, we may formulateapplicationsthat may help improve these relations. These applications may involve community-based programs, professional practices, education curricula, and public policies. But all applications aim to resolve or ameliorate challenges to healthy adolescent development, to prevent problems of adolescent behavior from developing, or to promote positive development among youth. Accordingly, this book emphasizes that adolescence is a dynamic developmental period marked by diverse changes for different youth, changes brought about because development involves changingrelationsamong biological, psychological, and social/Lerner, Richard is the author of 'Adolescence Development, Diversity, Context, and Application', published 2001 under ISBN 9780130857613 and ISBN 0130857610.