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Adolescent development lags much behind that of younger children. The experiences and characteristics that make up one person's identity are what set them apart from all others. Therefore, chronological age is not always a reliable indicator of a child's or adolescent's developmental level. Here are some of the many facets of progress:
Factors that influence a person's physical growth include their genes, their ethnicity or race, their gender, their diet, their level of physical activity, their level of rest, whether or not they use tobacco or alcohol, the effects of stress, the presence of environmental toxins, their socioeconomic status, and their level of education or income. Factors that influence a person's cognitive growth include their upbringing, whether or not they have access to quality early education, the encouragement and guidance of their teachers, their own intrinsic drive, their gender, and their cultural or ethnic background. Influence and access to media, as well as predispositions toward risky or antisocial behaviour, all contribute to how a person feels and develops throughout time, along with their particular temperament, parent-child connections, support system, life events, and transitions. Influence of peers, level of popularity, community, and social setting all play a role in a person's social growth.