How do young people develop into adults?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are three ways that young people develop into adults, and they’re all interconnected. Although you can take different pathways, all potential pathways influence one another:
  • Biological processes produce changes in your physical nature and include genes inherited from parents, brain development, height and weight gains, changes in motor skills, and the hormonal changes of puberty.
  • Cognitive processes refer to changes in your thinking abilities, intelligence, and language. Putting together a sentence, memorizing a poem, mastering trigonometry, imagining what it would be like to be a movie star, and solving a crossword puzzle all involve cognitive processes. Tempted to jump out a window because it looks like fun? Your executive function, or frontal lobe processing, would help you figure out whether it is a first-floor window and safe or whether it’s a recipe for a broken leg (or worse).
  • Social and emotional processes involve changes in your relationships with other people, changes in emotions, and changes in personality. An infant’s smile in response to a parent’s touch, an adolescent’s joy at seeing a favorite band perform on stage, your relief when your classmates stop calling you your least favorite nickname, or the trauma of getting cut from the team all reflect the role of social-emotional processes in development.    

Continue Learning about Wellness



Wellness is a difficult word to define. Traditionally wellness has meant the opposite of illness and the absence of disease and disability. More recently wellness has come to describe something that you have personal control over. ...

Wellness is now a word used to describe living the best possible life you can regardless of whether you have a disease or disability. Your wellness is not only related to your physical health, but is a combination of things including spiritual wellness, social wellness, mental wellness and emotional wellness. Wellness is seen as a combination of mind, body and spirit. Different people may have different ideas about wellness. There is no single set standard for wellness and wellness is a difficult thing to quantify.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.