Adolescence is a critical life stage—a time of enormous physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. During adolescence, boys and girls develop the ability to think abstractly and critically. They begin to form a sense of who they are and what role they want to play in the world. While parents continue to be important in their lives, adolescents transition from strong parental control in childhood to greater independence as they move through their teenage years. Meanwhile, as adolescents' social networks expand beyond their immediate families and neighborhoods, peers play a greater role in influencing their opinions, attitudes, and behaviors .