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Why Adolescents is so Difficult

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Adolescent can be hard on teens because of the many life changing decisions that have to be made. The changes that occur during this stage of life can also be hard to deal with. Many mental, physical, and hormonal changes happen that eventually make us young adults. This time can be confusing and hard to comprehend at times. Adolescents face many pressures as they try to find a sense of themselves. Adolescents have many choices, decisions, and problems that occur that they have to deal with, but eventually the will have to become independent and assume the responsibilities of adulthood. Why Adolescence can be Such a Difficult Period of a Person’s Life For many people, adolescence is one of the most difficult periods in a person’s life. It is a hard time because of many factors that come into play.

There are many changes that occur in a short period of time that can make them difficult to deal with. During adolescence teenagers are trying to figure out who they are, what they want to become, and what they want to do they face an identity crisis that makes the changes even harder. Between school, community, and family obligations these just make the changes that adolescents face even more challenging. There are many things going on that can complicate the situation. Teens are looking for freedom, independence, and trying to find their way in the world. They are changing very rapidly in a short period of time. Physical changes are the most noticeable; the body is growing rapidly and developing new characteristics. Also physiological changes are occurring. The brain is developing key parts, such as decision-making and thought processing.

What is adolescence?

“Adolescence is the developmental period of transition from childhood to adulthood, beginning around 10 to 12 years of age and ending at 18 to 21 years of age”, (King, 2011). The post common change happening at the time is puberty. Rapid physical changes, there are also hormonal change, and social changes that occur during this time. “Puberty is a period of rapid skeletal and sexual maturation that occurs mainly in early adolescence”, (King, 2011). Hormonal changes occur during the puberty stage. There is also a large increase in hormones during puberty, such as Testosterone, which is the main male sex hormone. Testosterone is the hormone that changes a male’s voice, height, and physical development. Estradiol is the main female hormones. This hormone is associated with skeletal and physical development in females. These raging hormones are believed to cause some of the ups and downs associated with adolescents through their development, (Harvard, 2005). The development is also linked to social standings in adolescents. Earlier maturing boys are usually more popular and successful in their pursuits. Later maturing girls are also usually the most popular and successful, (King, 2011).

Development of the brain

During Adolescence teenagers brains are also developing. “The amygdala, which is responsible for processing information about emotion, matures earlier than the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for making decisions and other higher-order cognitive functions”, (King, 2011). Adolescents have trouble controlling emotions because their brains are not yet developed enough to handle them. They are also lacking decision making skills that they will develop later in life. This can affect how a teen responds when faced with peer pressure, (Harvard, 2005).

Peer Pressure

“Peer pressure is the influence a teen’s social group has on him or her”, (Teen Help, 2012). Peer pressure is a part of life for everyone, and it pressure can be both positive and negative. The group of people that teens choose to hang out with has a huge influence over them. Teens will begin to focus more on their peers or friends as they enter adolescence. An adolescent trying to find his true identity and fit in can be strongly influenced by his peers. Peer pressure can have negative effects such as encouraging an adolescent to do drugs, alcohol, or engage in other illegal behaviors. Peer pressure is not always bad, the right friends can encourage teens to do well in school, get involved in activities, and avoid drugs, alcohol, and other risky activities. Peers also help teens learn good social skills and better ways to communicate. They also learn how to interact with others.

Peer pressure can cause adolescents to always going along with what others want. This can give them a low self-esteem, and prevent them from doing things they enjoy. Negative peer pressure is when teens feel pressured to do something they know is wrong, such as smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or stealing, or something they don’t want to do such as cutting class or other illegal activities. Teens may to give in to negative peer pressure because they want to fit in and be liked by others. Also the development of decision making part of the brain can affect our willing ness to give into peer pressure. Negative peer will always affect adolescents, (Teen Help, 2012).


During adolescents, teens are struggling to find their true identity. They want to find out who they are. “Identity is the difference or character that marks off an individual from the rest of the same kind, selfhood”, (Boundless, 2011). Through the years adolescence tries many identities. Some choose to take on their parent’s beliefs and values. While some teens take on an identity that is conflicted with their parents, but conforms to a certain group. Teens are not only finding their own identity, but also their social identity. An adolescent social identity includes their interactions with friends, family, and groups. They want to figure out whom they want to be with. They form friendships with certain people, and decide which group of people they want to be like. This also helps tens when forming close relationships with others. They want to fit in with groups and be liked by others. Getting a boyfriend or girlfriend is a way to practice forming intimate relationships with others.

Adolescents are also trying to find a sense of who they are. Through the formation of relationships, and finding their own identity leads to self-esteem increases. Teens are able to increase their self-esteem by getting involved in positive groups, and finding a sense of belonging in them. Adolescents also find their active identities by determining what there like and interests are. They explore new hobbies and other activates and decides what they like to do. Another identity that teens try to fill is their physical identity. Some teens struggle with their gender, race, or age. They try and find out where they fit in physically. They decide which groups of people fit their own appearances best, (Boundless, 2011). Discrimination

Many teens have to deal with discrimination in their adolescent years, and it can even carry them into adulthood. They are discriminated against because of where they come from such a different country, area, or back ground. They also are discriminated against by how they look. Their race can affect what group of people they hang out with, and can also affect their opportunities. There can also be confusion in the gender of a teen. They struggle to find out who they are physically, and which gender group they fit into best. Finally adolescents are discriminated against because of their age. Younger adolescents are usually ignored by older peers who are trying to be “cool”.

They don’t talk to younger adolescents because they want to be liked by their own peers. They feel the need to keep to themselves so they won’t stand out. They follow their group all of the time no matter what. Adolescents can also be discriminated against by other adults. Since adolescents are not children and are not yet adults, their authority figures don’t exactly know how to treat them. Some give teens too much freedom, while others can be too conservative not giving a teen the rights they deserve. Since they are in a period right between to major development stages, it can be hard to know exactly how a teen should be treated, (Pickhardt, 2012).

Home Conditions

All teens come in different shape, sizes, appearances, and personalities. Each adolescent is struggles to find out who they are in life and what they want to become through their identity. Many factors play a role in teens discovering themselves. Conditions at home can also affect teen development. The support and foundation a teen has at home can help him or her through the adolescent stage. If the child doesn’t have this it may be even tougher for him to make it through this rough period in his life. Also having a network of friends that provide a positive influence can help adolescents through their tough time. Adolescents who struggle with their background and forming positive relationship can have even more trouble making it through this period of life. If teens have a good set of beliefs and values facing the challenges of adolescents can be a lot easier for them, (Palya, 2000). Assuming Responsibilities

Finally adolescents have to assume the responsibilities of adulthood. The have to make their own money, get a job to pay for their needs, and be independent. These can be challenging because there are many life changing decisions that can affect the adolescent greatly in the future. They have to decide their career path that they want to take. Teens also decide if college is right for them or if they want to further their education. Adolescents are also moving out of their parents’ house and living independently on their own. They also have to leave some people behind, and make new friends and form relationships with others. It is a major life change, but it sets us on the path to adulthood, (Williams, 2012).

In conclusion, adolescents face many challenges, such as: hormonal changes, puberty, psychological changes, relationships with others, peer pressure, identity crisis, discrimination, home conditions, and assuming responsibilities. Adolescents have to make very hard decisions about how they will face these challenges. Without full development of their decision making abilities these decisions can be made even harder. They are also faced with pressures by their teens and other role model which can influence their decisions. The choices and adolescent makes now can affect him or her for the rest of their life. It is important for them to have support and a good foundation so that they will be able to a make it through this challenging time.

Palya, W. (2000). Adolescence. In D. Walter (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Psychology. Alabama: Gossamer Threads. Retrieved from Pickhardt, C. (2012, July 23). Why adolescent children can be hard on themselves. Psychology Today, Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence King, L. (2011). The science of psychology: An appreciative view. (pp. 279-312). New York, McGraw Hill. Williams, R. (2012). Surviving adolescents. (Master’s thesis, Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, England)Retrieved from http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/expertadvice/youthinfo/parentscarers/growingup/adolescence.aspx Harvard. Beyond raging hormones. (2005). (Master’s thesis, Havard University)Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog-extra/the-adolescent-brain-beyond-raging-hormones Teen Help. (2012). Peer pressure. Retrieved from

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