Adolescents can build formal systems and reason general theories. These systems and theories can extend beyond practical experience into more abstract concepts. The empirical concrete experiences of earlier childhood are no longer required, instead an adolescent can consider abstract principles like concepts about justice and fairness, or contemplate abstract principles like human rights, love and human existence.
The adolescent is able to think hypothetically and reason deductively, and are able to conduct research on formularized ideas. Adolescent thought though can be preoccupied and marred with egocentrism. This can manifest itself as an extreme desire for independence, feelings of invulnerability and a feeling of continuous judgment.
Parents of children in the adolescent stage still remain an influential force in the child's life. The child tends to share similar beliefs and moral structures as the parent and the generational gap is not as large as perceived.
It is important for parents and educators to remember that despite stereotypes adolescents are still strongly influenced by older role models.
There is a new focus on social peer interaction during adolescence, with increase sexual curiosity and desire. The first and closest friendships of early adolescents tend to be same sex but by late adolescents romantic and opposite sex friendships begin to develop. These formulative peer groups become a strong source of information and encouragement for the adolescent, influencing their worldview.
Adolescents have the high instances of crime of any age group, and almost all adolescents engage in delinquency, though the vast majority to not take criminal life paths or develop into persistent criminal. Also adolescent are often the targets of crime, especially violent crime. The violent crimes tend to be committed by some one form their own age group and can be a source of anxiety for many adolescents.