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Adolescence and Its Affect on Development

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Adolescence and Its Affect on Development
August 25, 2013

Adolescence is probably the most difficult period in life of every individual because it is a transitional stage between childhood and adulthood. In this period adolescents undergo significant changes in physiological and social aspects. Naturally these changes produce a significant impact on their lifestyle, behavior, psychology, etc. We will explain how this stage affects development and the positive and negative consequences of developmental choices during this time. In addition we will describe changes in peer relationships in middle school and adolescence and well as examine adolescent egocentrism. Finally we will analyze pressures often faced in adolescence, such as peer pressure, substance abuse and use, dating sexuality, and changes within family relationships. Peer Relationships in Middle Childhood and Adolescents

During middle childhood, children become physically stronger and can develop coordination compared to when he or she was younger. Also, the children begin to develop stronger cognitive skills and can make their own decisions. “They become more able to think in a purposeful, voluntarily manner, to maintain attention to tasks, and to generally take in, process, remember, and utilize information” (Oswalt, p.1, 2010). When the child starts school, many personalities are combined and the need for social acceptance is tested. At this age, young boys and girls are learning to build self-esteem and social understandings. “The social concerns of school-age children often focus on the communal needs of acceptance by peers and avoidance of rejection” (Blume, p. 1, 2010). Romantic feelings will arise with the opposite genders but not sexualized as with adolescences. However, sometimes the child will want to begin to experiment and get involved with delinquent behaviors toward others. Mostly this is started in the home and acting out from what is happening is a cause for concern with the peers and faculty. Middle childhood can be difficult for some individuals not raised in a loving environment and abandonment will cause stress. Becoming an adolescent is a very big step in a young adult’s life.

The challenges of this part of the teen’s life are the wrong circle of friends will lead to rebellion, drugs, and criminal behavior. Also, teen pregnancy is an important factor with the controversy of birth control in schools or the teen being a full-time student while working to help support the family. These two responsibilities will have a profound effect on the life of an adolescent because they involve the teen becoming an adult. Then the difficulty of trying to find one’s place becomes challenging and rejection will sometimes lead to thoughts of suicide. The risks are more dangerous, not being able to find where to fit in will lower the self-esteem and delinquent behaviors can turn toward violence. At this point in the adolescence life, developing strong friendships can help raise self-esteem and change the outcome of negative consequences that will change the life of the teen. Most adolescence will face personal challenges such as experimenting with alcohol, drugs, and sex. There are many advertisements regarding to avoiding the consequences but some of the adolescences will fall into at least two of the categories. Having a strong connection of friends to help deal with the difficulties during adolescence will guarantee a sense of security that will last through the teenage years. Examine Aspects of Adolescent Egocentrism

Adolescence egocentrism children begin to think of their feeling and themselves only (Egocentrism, n.d.). Also, adolescence egocentrism cannot identify another person’s perception and his or her reality is not realistic in anyway. Egocentrism occurs when one believes he is the only person who exists in the world and everything is about him or her (Chapter11: Adolescence: Physical and Cognitive, n.d.). What is ironic about this is that they are unaware of their behavior being this way. They become self-absorbed and inconsiderate. They are in a world of their own. Adolescents think and worry about their looks, how and what people think about them. Hormones rise in adolescence where they have melt downs of the littlest things. Studies conducted believes, egocentrism is brought on because of them starting a secondary school and are faced with a new social environment (Egocentrism, n.d.). Meaning they have to protect themselves of being hurt or getting a negative view of them. Also, establishing an identity comes into play or making a name for themselves is how they put it.

They do not want to be like any other person, so much so that if one person wears an outfit they have they will not want to wear it any more. They are concerned people will say you copied off him or her. Another possibility of adolescence egocentrism is rejection from parents can raise higher levels of self-consciousness. Their minds are so immature and cannot understand anything other than what they perceive. They are not aware the things their parents tell them is in the best interest for them. They begin to ask why and how come. They begin to become rebellious and defiant. Coming to the conclusion their parents do not understand and are trying to hurt them. Saying comments, such as no one understands me or you do not know what it is like to be a teenager as if his or her parents went from a baby to an adult. There are two sides to egocentrism one is the personal fables is the concept they are the only one who are going through adolescence (Chapter11: Adolescence: Physical and Cognitive, n.d.). Imaginary audiences think they are the only person the world sees (Chapter11: Adolescence: Physical and Cognitive, n.d.). Also they no longer want to hug their parents around anyone afraid what his or her friends will think about him or her. The funny part of this all is their friends are thinking the same way so they are not concern to what they are doing their concern to what their peers are thinking about them. Because of the psychological metamorphosis this is why they feel and think this way (Egocentrism, n.d.). Analyze Pressures Often Faced in Adolescence

Peer Pressure
According to Berger (2008), teenagers will begin to develop a strong relationship with the friends and peers from school. This is a time when peers begin to replace family members when concerning leisure time and social time. During adolescence, the teens will group their self with other people in an effort to understand their self or understand their own personal identity. The teens or peers that the young person surrounds their self with will have a major impact on his or her live during this time. Peer pressure can be categorized as a positive or a negative. Many young people will give into what everyone is doing; and believe they should do it too. Sadly, during adolescents there will be plenty of times where everybody is doing it something, and it will persuade some children to not use his or her best judgment or acts as if they do not have common sense.

This will be a frustrating time for parents because the child will attempt to please friends and will become so lost in the identity of the group of friends they have that he or she will lose his or her own identity. On the contrary, there is such a thing as positive peer pressure. Most of the time people only reference the negative part of peer pressure, positive peer pressure will encourage the child and will help with developing positive and healthy values. A positive peer relationship will only bring the best out of the adolescent’s personality and lifestyle. While on their journey of searching to figure out who they are they will learn from their peers and sometimes experiment with different things in life.

Drug Use and Abuse
Curiosity and peer pressure has much to do with experimentation. Teens will begin to use drugs just as an attempt to fit in with their peer group, for their own enjoyment, or even relieve their self of the stress that comes from the adolescent life (Berger, 2010). Peer pressure falls in when the teen begins to continue to use the drug, at this point they are no longer just experimenting. This is a negative way for the teens to learn how to handle stress or other problems in their lives with positive peer relations they will be able to learn how to cope with stress in a better way. Sometimes the teen does not want to go against the group or choose not to participate because that will make them seem as they are not a part of the group. One has to remember that during this time in the adolescent’s life he or she is trying to identify their self with a group. Peer pressure basically produces drug use that will lead to the abuse of drugs. Dating and Sexuality

During this time in a child’s life his or her sexual impulses are highly increased. This will cause changes in his or her behavior, and create an interest in the opposite gender. Relationships begin to form from friendship or attraction, instead of the sexual desire (Galarza-Garrett, Staler, Taylor, & Wilson, 2011). During adolescence, a person will begin to try to understand his or her sexuality and may start to form relationships with the opposite gender. When dating starts to occur, it is important for friends and family to support the child emotionally (Berger, 2008). The emotional support system from the adolescent’s peers helps him or her acknowledge the good and bad outcomes of adolescent romance, even though most of the romances are short term. These romances help him or her to understand the feelings of depression, rejection, anger, and sadness (Berger, 2008). With a balanced support system of his or her family and peers, the ending of a relationship becomes easier to handle emotionally. Changes within Family Relationships

As a child develops into a teenager, the search of independence, especially from family becomes heightened (Berger, 2008). During the teenager years, children frequently argue with his or her guardians regarding the everyday choices and other important topics, such as beliefs and ethics (Galarza-Garrett, Staler, Taylor, & Wilson, 2011). During the teenage years, children start to spend more time with friends instead of their families. The burden of complying with the family activities may create disobedient actions by the child when the situation is not handled by the parent (Berger, 2008). The peer pressure toward the need to be accepted and connect with a certain group of peers may cause a change in the child’s physical appearance and his or her behavior to adapt to certain peers (Galarza-Garrett, Staler, Taylor, & Wilson, 2011). The severity of pressure from child’s peers may affect religious beliefs, and family values (Berger, 2008). We have all been in this very spot and have encountered these very issues. Currently we have children or loved ones pushing these same buttons we pushed with our parents. We should take what we learned and use it to counterattack what comes our way. Having been on the giving side allows us to be well equipped to now be the receiver, we know what to expect and how to ensure it is handled accordingly. Continue to love them and grow with them, support and understanding is the best remedy.

Berger, K.S., (2008). The developing person through the life span (7th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers. Galarza-Garrett, M., Staler, S., Taylor, R., & Wilson, P., (2011). Middle Childhood and Adolescence Development. Retrieved from http://psychological-musings.blogspot.com/2011/02/middle-childhood-and-adolescence.html Blume, L. B. (2010, July 20). education.com. Retrieved from


Oswalt, A. M. (2010, June 9). Mental Help.net. Retrieved from

Berger, K. S. (2008). The developing person through the life span (7th ed.). New York: Worth

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