Skip to main content

De adolescentie als reorganisatiefase

Een integratie van neurobiologische, psychoanalytische en ontwikkelingspsychopathologische perspectieven


Adolescenten komen maatschappelijk regelmatig in het nieuws. Meestal is dat in negatieve zin vanwege moorddadige incidenten op school, internetseks of comadrinken. Ook trekken opvallende vormen van psychopathologie de aandacht zoals automutilatie, eetstoornissen, alcohol- en drugsmisbruik.

Adolescence as reorganisation phase

In the course of the 20th century, the picture sketched of adolescence shifted from a turbulent period to a nonproblematic transitional phase. However, recent empirical research shows that during adolescence explosive changes in the development of the brain occur, which together with far-reaching changes in the social environment, lead to a reorganization of psychic development. Adolescence is the period of transition between childhood and adulthood. It is defined in legal terms as extending from 12 to 18, but from the perspective of developmental psychology it is regarded as covering the years from 11 to 23. During adolescence, both healthy and pathological development courses are initiated that determine how the individual will function in adulthood. Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the onset and persistence of adult psychopathology. The present article discusses recent research on adolescence from an interdisciplinary approach and a biopsychosocial view. The importance of adolescent psychotherapy in the developmental phase from 11 to 23 years is stressed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Allen, J.P. & Land, D. (1999). Attachment in Adolescence. In J. Cassidy & P.R. Schaver (Eds.): Handbook of Attachment. Theory, research and clinical implications. New York: The Guilford Press, 319-335.

  2. Arnett, J.J. (1999). Adolescent Storm and Stress, reconsidered. American Psychologist, 54, 317-326.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bales, K.L. & Carter, C.S. (2007). Neuropeptides and the development of social behaviors: implications for adolescent psychopathology. In D. Romer & E. W. Walker (Eds.): Adolescent psychopathology and the development of the brain. Integrating brain and prevention science. New York: Oxford University Press, 173-196.

  4. Bij de Les (2006). Hersenen jongeren niet klaar voor het nieuwe leren. Interview met prof. J. Jolles. Bij de Les, juni 2006, 16-19.

  5. Blakemore, S. & Choudhury, S. (2006). Development of the adolescent brain: implications for executive function and social cognition. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 296-312.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Boschma, J. & Groen, I. (2006). Generatie Einstein: slimmer, sneller en socialer. Communiceren met jongeren van de 21e eeuw. Amsterdam: Pearson Education Benelux.

  7. Briggs, S. (2002). Working with adolescents. A contemporary psychodynamic approach. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  8. Cicchetti, D. & Rogosch, F.A. (2002). A developmental psychopathology perspective on Adolescence. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 70, 6-20.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Dahl, R. E. (2004). Keynote Address. In R. E. Dahl & L. P. Spear (Eds.): Adolescent brain development : vulnerabilities and opportunities. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1021, 1-22.

  10. Damasio, A. (1999). The feeling of what happens: body and emotion in the making of consciousness. New York: Harcourt Brace.

  11. Damasio, A. (2000). A second chance for emotion. In R.D. Lane & L. Nadel (Eds.): Cognitive neuroscience of emotion. Oxford: University Press, 12-23.

  12. Dartington, A. (1994). Some thoughts on the significance of the outsider in families and other social groups. In S. Box (Ed.), Crisis at Adolescence : Object relations therapy with the family. New York: Jason Aronson.

  13. Dennett, D. (1987). The intentional stance. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

  14. Elkind, D. (1967). Egocentrism in adolescence. Child Development, 38, 1025-1034.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Feinberg, T. E. (2005). Neural hierarchies and the Self . In T.E. Feinberg & J.P. Keenan (Eds.): The lost Self. Pathologies of brain and identity. Oxford: University Press, 33-50.

  16. Fonagy, P. & Target, M. (1996). Playing with reality : I. Theory of mind and the normal development of psychic reality. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 77, 217-233.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Fonagy, P., Gergely, G., Jurist, L.J. & Target, M. (2002). Affectregulation, Mentalisation and the development of the Self. New York: Other Press.

  18. Freud, A. (1958). Adolescence. In The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child.New York: International Universities Press, 255-278.

  19. Freud, A. (1965). Normality and pathology in childhood. New York: International Universities Press.

  20. Gallese, V., Eagle, M.N. & Migone, P. (2007). Intentional attunement: mirror neurons and the neural underpinnings of interpersonal relationships. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 55, 131-176.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Gemert van, T.M., Ringrose, H. J. & Wiersema, H.M. (2007). Emotieregulatietraining. Een programma voor adolescenten met emotieregulatieproblemen. Amsterdam: Boom.

  22. Giedd, J. N., (2004). Structural magnetic resonance imaging of the adolescent brain. In E.D. Dahl & L. P. Spear (Eds.): Adolescent brain development. Vulnerabilities and Opportunities. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1021, 77-85.

  23. Glas, G. (2006). Ambiguïteit in Eric Kandels’ neurowetenschappelijke fundering van de psychiatrie. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie, 48, 849-856.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Gorman Barry, P., & Welsh, M. (2007). The Brainwise Curriculum : Neurocognitive Development Intervention Program. In D. Romer & E. W. Walker (Eds.): Adolescent psychopathology and the development of the brain. Integrating brain and prevention science. New York: Oxford University Press, 420-440.

  25. Gunnar, M. R. (2007). Stress effects on the developing brain. In D. Romer & E. W. Walker (Eds.): Adolescent psychopathology and the development of the brain. Integrating brain and prevention science. New York: Oxford University Press, 127-147.

  26. Hall, G. S. (1904). Adolescence : its psychology and its relation to physiology, sociology, sex, crime, religion and education. New York: Appleton.

  27. Harpur, J., Lawlor, M. & Fitzgerald, M. (2006). Succeeding with interventions for Asperger Syndrome Adolescents. A guide to Communication and Socialisation in Interaction Therapy. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

  28. Heuves, W. (2003). Young adolescents : development and treatment. In V. Green (Ed.) : Emotional Development in Psychoanalysis, Attachment Theory and Neuroscience. Creating Connections. Hove: Brunner-Routledge, 189-205.

  29. Kandel, E.R. (1999). Biology and the future of psychoanalysis: a new intellectual framework for psychiatry revisited. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 505-524.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Ledoux, J., Debiec, J., & Moss, H. (Eds.) (2003). The Self : from soul to brain. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1001. New York: New York Academy of Sciences.

  31. Laufer, M. & Laufer, M.E. (1984). Adolescence and Developmental Breakdown. New Haven CT: Yale University Press.

  32. Lewis, M.L. (2000). The Emergence of Human Emotions. In M.L. Lewis & J.M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.): Handbook of Emotions. New York: The Guilford Press, 265-280.

  33. Nelson, E.E., Leibenluft, E., McClure, E.B. & Pine, D.S. (2005). The social re-orientation of adolescence: a neuroscience perspective on the process and its relation to psychopathology. Psychological Medicine, 35, 163-174.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Ploegmakers-Burg, M. (1988). De adolescentiefase: de ontwikkeling van de adolescent binnen de cyclus van het gezin. In B. Driessen & H. de Hoogh (Eds.): Psychiatrie met adolescenten: zelf doen maar niet alleen. Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus, 47-61.

  35. Rutter, M. (2002). The interplay of nature, nurture, and developmental influences. The challenge ahead for mental health. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 996-1000.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Rutter, M., Moffit, T.E., & Caspi, A. (2006). Gene-environment interplay and psychopathology: multiple varieties but real effects. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 226-261.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Rutter, M., Kim-Cohen, J. & Maughan, B. (2006). Continuïties and discontinuïties in psychopathology between childhood and adult life. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 276-295.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Searle, J. R. (2005). The Self as a problem in Philosophy and Neurobiology. In T.E. Feinberg & J.P. Keenan (Eds). The lost Self. Pathologies of the brain and identity. Oxford: University Press, 7-20.

  39. Schulenberg, J.E., Sameroff, A.J., & Cicchetti, D. (2004). The transition to adulthood as a critical juncture in the course of psychopathology and mental health. Development and Psychopathology, 16, 799-806.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Sowell, E.R., Thompson, P.M., & Toga, A.W. (2007). Mapping adolescent brain maturation using structural magnetic resonance imaging. In D. Romer & E. W. Walker (Eds.): Adolescent psychopathology and the development of the brain. Integrating brain and prevention science. New York: Oxford University Press, 55-84.

  41. Spear, L.P. (2000). The adolescent brain and age-related behavioural manifestations. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, 24, 417-463.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Sroufe, L. A. (1995). Emotional development : The organization of emotional life in the early years. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  43. Steinberg, L. & Morris, A.S. (2001). Adolescent Development. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 83-110.

  44. Steinberg, L., Dahl, R., Keating, D., Kupfer, D.J., Masten, A.S. & Pine, D.S. (2006).The study of developmental psychopathology in adolescence. In D. Cicchetti & D.J. Cohen (Eds.): Developmental Psychopathology. Volume 2: Developmental Neuroscience. New York: John Wiley, 710-742.

  45. Stortelder, F.B.M. & Lantman, R. (2003). ADHD en Puberteit. Praktijkervaringen met een cursus voor ADHD-pubers en hun ouders. Kind en Adolescent Praktijk, 4, 28-34.

  46. Stortelder, F.B.M., & Ploegmakers-Burg, M. (2005). De ontwikkeling van het Zelf. Een psychoanalytisch ontwikkelingsmodel van de Infantresearch. Kinder- en Jeugdpsychotherapie, 32, 11-29.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Verheugt-Pleiter, J.E., Schmeets, M.G.J., & Zevalkink, J. (2005). Mentaliseren in de kindertherapie. Een leidraad voor de praktijk. Assen: Van Gorcum.

  48. Verhulst, F. C. (2000). Inleiding en epidemiologie. In F.C. Verhulst & F. Verhey (Eds.): Adolescentenpsychiatrie. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1-21.

  49. Walker, F.W., Sabuwalla, Z. & Huot, R. (2004). Pubertal neuromaturation, stress sensitivity and psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 16, 807-824.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marian Ploegmakers-Burg.

Additional information

f.b.m. stortelder, kinder- en jeugdpsychiater/psychoanalyticus en m. ploegmakers-burg, klinisch psychologe/(kinder)psychoanalytica zijn beiden werkzaam bij GGZ Buitenamstel, Afdeling Kinderen en Adolescenten in Amsterdam.

About this article

Cite this article

Ploegmakers-Burg, M., Stortelder, F. De adolescentie als reorganisatiefase. PSIE 34, 169–185 (2008).

Download citation