LESCENTSDevelopmental Characteristics of AdolescentsCassie D. SawyerUniversity of PhoenixThe development of an individual at any stage in life is a precious and noteworthy occurrence. These stages are usually not easy physically or emotionally and cause a great deal of pain, hence we get the words growing pains.
In this paper I will be describing the growing pains of adolescents (ages 12-18). The different aspects that I will include in my paper are: 1.) physical development (of both boys and girls) ; 2.) socio-emotional development; 3.
) cognitive/language and 4.) I will discuss some of the challenges that these young people go through while trying to become adults. Let us begin with the physical development. This stage by far is the most visible to the eye.
When a young lady hits the stage of physical development in adolescence, she undergoes a great deal of hormonal changes that cause her body to develop. She begins to gain a little bit of weight and body fat with the development of her figure. This includes the enlargement of her breasts and hips.
The young lady will also start to level off in height. As the body hits this stage and the hormonal changes occur she will begin menstruation, which will also cause a slight change in behavior. The behavior usually is a little bit more self-sufficient and the want to be on their own.Physical development for a boy can also be a traumatic stage, with some boys growing faster than others and also with the development of their bodies and their voices changing. In this stage the boys physically develop into young men with the onset of the male hormone testosterone. Boys have growth spurts during this time and tend to start to fill out physically. They gain weight and muscle mass.
A few things physically that both the girls and boys have is:that they grow more hair on their bodies, that their sexual desire exists, their coordination blossoms, their brain has its last growth spurt and their organs stop growing.The next stage of development that we will examine is the socio-emotional stage. In this stage the girls and boys have basically the same development. This is the stage in which the moral development of a young person takes shape. Sigmund Freud would say it is the development of the super ego, whereas Kohlberg would say it is the post-conventional stage.
They were both basically correct in the fact that they do know right from wrong. Whether the id and the ego battle each other or if it is process of skill, I dont think we will ever know. We do know at this stage they can come to a reasonable conclusion and they know which conclusion they should choose, whether they do or dont. This also has to deal with the fact that they want to start dating independently. Most young people at this age feel they are ready to take on the world. They try to assert themselves in many ways and this is one of them.
This is also why we have so many babies having babies. They are definitely not ready for this responsibility, but Im sure you wouldnt be able to convince them of that.Another category in the socio-emotional stage is modeling and peer-pressure.
Everyone at this age wants and needs to fit in, so they do whatever is necessary to fit in. Sometimes the moral stage is tested at this time. they figure out whether they can be in a gang and if they can steal or hurt people. Some people are just unable to do these things, thank goodness. In this aspect they also want to look alike, dress alike, act alike and speak alike. This is their way of having their own clickAt this stage they are trying to figure out their identity. Whether they will hang out with the gangsters or jocks, whether they will lie, cheat and steal or if they will be in a band.
How strong will their personality and their will to do things will be. If you consider the items mentioned above, their is one big consideration in the socio-emotional category, that is self-esteem. This is what fuels the fire for the modeling and peer-pressure and what you do as an individual in times of crisis or decision making. This is the single most important aspect in the healthy development of an adolescent.
The next category we will look at is the cognitive/language stage. This stage deals with the processing of information in ones head, instead of doing it with their hands. It is also the time when these young people are able the hold information and then process it later. This is a very critical stage where logic and strategy are used in decision making along with the thought processes. At this juncture in the young persons development they start to construct if and then statements and use the words therefore and however in the development of statements and sentences. They are also very flexible in their ideas and are open to the elaboration of thought processes. Young people at this age also like to think about the future and what is in store for them and how to get to where their can attain their goals.
The last category we will be discussing is the challenges that incur for this age group. Even though most of it deals with self-esteem and peer acceptance, we should not overlook the amount of stress and alienation that these young people feel at this point in their lives. Peer groups for this age is the most important thing they see, whether good or bad these groups are usually the most important part of their day and night. The moral development that has occured at this stage is sometimes thrown out the window, so they can belong. The type of things that are challenges for young people at this age are: drugs, alcohol, theft and lying. They also start to be sexually active and teen pregnancy becomes a big issue for young people. They must decide whether or not they would like to be in a gang, and whether it is a positive or negative gang.
Who are they going to hang out with?This group is also making the transition into adulthood. Trying to take on more responsibilities as far as moral dilemmas are concerned and also trying to make something of themselves to become a positive member of society.In conclusion, this is by far the hardest part of life for every person. There is astounding 18% mental illness rate for adolescents, for the mere fact of wanting to fit in and also wanting to do the right thing.
This group of young people is definitely a rare breed, but most of us seem to make it out alive and to be positive members of society. The way we handled ourselves as a youth and the decisions we made as a youth, impacted the way we turned out as adults. This should make us all remember the little things that happened when we were in this situation, when we see a young person struggling with their identity, to stop and lend a hand. I believe I can use the knowledge of this unusual creature, called the teenager, in a way that the young people will respond positively. The adolescent student needs a little bit of TLC along with a person who is firm, yet fair.
They need a role model and someone that relates to them and respects them. If a teacher is able to connect in this way with a student then the student is much more apt to learn and receive more intellecutally and emotionally. The bottom line for this student is; understanding, compassion and sense of direction from their teachers and role models.