Introduction: Adolescence in a global context
Adolescence is a unique window of development and a profound period of social, psychological, economic, and biological transition. Children do not take a direct path to adulthood; more is known today about the challenges faced and opportunities available during the adolescent period and how these shape life trajectories. The Sustainable Development Agenda has laid out an ambitious set of goals that when implemented will have an impact on their life chances, choices, and transitions to adulthood. The chapter describes a number of definitional and conceptual issues in adolescent development research. It raises a challenge to policymaking, which will need to engage with the interdependent and complex nature of adolescent development embedded in context and evolving over the life course. An integrated framework for policy-coherent responses for adolescents is proposed, reinforcing protection and empowerment as two sides of a coin. Implications for a maturing field of adolescent development research are discussed.