Anxiety in Adolescents


The developmental phase of adolescence is marked by significant changes across numerous areas of functioning. Hormonal shifts lead to meaningful changes in the adolescent body, sexuality, and mood. Cognitively, adolescents are working to develop adequate judgment and inhibition. In fact, the brain structures that regulate these functions aren’t fully developed until the age of twenty-five. Social relationships are also changing, as adolescents further individuate from their caregivers, friendships become more complex, and romantic relationships emerge. These changes may impart significant emotional stress as the adolescent works hard to develop corresponding, coping skills, and strategies.

In this section, we will discuss how temperament presents during adolescence, then look at how anxiety presents itself across the four dimensions of the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional. At the end, we will go over some tools for you to use when addressing adolescents’ anxiety.