Social Development

  • At this age, friendships and romance become more important while cliques become less so.

Get tips for encouraging positive relationships >

  • Older teenagers are less influenced by peer pressure. They’re more likely to seek out experts when they want to know or do something.
  • Teenagers are heavily influenced by their friends when it comes to clothing, styles, music, and fads.
  • Your child is more likely to seek out advice and help from a friend than from you.
  • A lot of teenagers pair off into couples. Dating becomes more pervasive, and some teens develop intense romantic relationships.

Learn more about teen relationships and early sexual activity >

  • Older teenagers enjoy going to parties. Many like being with large groups of friends. Make sure your older teenager knows what to do at parties where alcohol or drugs are prevalent. Some teenagers can attend these parties without participating in these activities, while other teenagers are more susceptible.

Learn more about high-risk teen behaviors like tobacco use, alcohol use, and drug use >

  • Since many teenagers spend more time away than at home, make sure you know where your teenager is, who your teenager is with, and what your teenager plans to do. Encourage your teenager to update you if plans change.