Childhood and Adolescence Definition by Different Authors

Meaning of Childhood

Childhood refers to the stage of being a child. It is the period between infancy and adolescence. It is the second phase of human development and marks the end of infancy and the onset of adolescence. There is no universal definition of childhood and different personalities have tried defining childhood in different ways.

Definitions of Childhood

Jean Jacques Rousseau, an 18th century philosopher, observed

“childhood as a period occurring between birth and 12 years”

The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986 states,

“a child is a person who has not completed 14 years of age.”

The Indian Mines Act classifies those below 18 years of age as children.

Meaning of Adolescence

Adolescence refers to the transitional period of an individual between childhood and adulthood. It is the stage of developing maturity. It starts around the age of 10 and ends around the age of 21.

Definitions of Adolescence

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states adolescence refers to

“any person between ages 10 and 19”

Steinberg, 2014, defines

“Adolescence is a dynamically evolving theoretical construct informed through physiologic, psychosocial, temporal and cultural lenses.”

G. Stanley Hall, founder of adolescent science, conceptualized adolescence as a

“process of physical and psychosocial rebirth.”

Elliot and Feldman, 1990, state

“Adolescence is a distinct phase of the developmental life cycle in humans and other animal species.”

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