PSY 375 Middle Childhood and Adolescence
PSY 375 Middle Childhood and Adolescence
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Date Created: 11/12/15
Running Head THE ADOLESCENT BATTLEFIELD The Adolescent Battlefield Names Psy 375 January 23 2011 Teacher The Adolescent Battlefield Adolescence is undoubtedly the most unstable part of an individual s life span development It is during this time that individuals are transitioning from childhood to adulthood This period of transition varies slightly with each individual however all adolescents go through a myriad of developmental changes during the ages of ten to fourteen These developmental changes happen rapidly and intensely to the physical cognitive social and emotional growth of the adolescent Physical Changes Physical changes include puberty which is a period of sexual maturation Puberty in adolescent females and males differ in extreme ways except that it prepares both sexes for adulthood and reproduction In females the first sign of puberty is the development of the breasts with other signs including the growth of hair in pubic areas and armpits as well as the widening of the hips and finally the first menstrual period which is called menarche In males the first sign of puberty is an increase in the size of the penis and testicles followed by the growth of hair in pubic areas and armpits These signs are followed by muscle growth deepening of the voice and the first ejaculation of the seminal uid called the spermarche Hormonal and Social Changes Adolescents also experience emotional moodiness because of hormonal in uences Frequent emotional changes and sexual desires lead adolescents to try to find their own individuality through a variety of means that can include suddenly acting out of character Social changes occur when an adolescent tries to bond with his or her peers This is when they experience peer pressure and do things they would not normally do Adolescents experience almost uncontrollable hormonal behavior that often times come in sudden bursts and this sometimes drives them to seek sexual pleasure or rebel against authority figures they once had more respect for Dramatic changes in behavior occur because adolescents are acting on new and powerful impulses in a changing body Berger 2008 stated to understand any single adolescent of any age keep variability in mind Although egocentrism is typically evident at the beginning of adolescence intuition in the middle and logic at the end any one of these forms of cognition may appear in any adolescent at any time p 391 Peer Relationships Peer relationships tend to change and evolve rapidly between middle childhood and adolescence The majority of these changes are attributed to the school environments in which children become accustomed Children and adolescents typically spend between six and eight hours in school each week day These hours are spent surrounded by peers and classmates with whom they interact with on a regular basis Naturally both children and teenagers seek the acceptance and friendship of peers which is why middle childhood and adolescence are considered to be two major points of change in peer relationships In middle childhood the comprehension of friendship becomes one of the momentous factors that in uence a child s peer relations Friendship is a crucial aspect to the social development of school aged children Even school aged children develop a fear of rejection by peers which contributes to the need for approval and acceptance This aspect of peer relations remains a factor throughout an individual s entire lifetime During middle childhood deeper friendships are formed Unlike early childhood friendships during middle childhood become more meaningful as the child s social skills begin to develop and evolve Children around the ages of eight to ten begin to develop and increased awareness of others feelings and intentions Blume amp Zembar 2007 As middle childhood progresses peer relationships continue to evolve but the primary characteristics remain the same As children near the end of middle childhood they are capable of mutual roletaking and collaborative negotiation Blume amp Zembar 2007 p 179 This is the basic extent of peer relationships at this point in a child s life As the child enters the stages of adolescence his or her peer relationships will continue to transform Adolescence is a time of many changes for a teen Identity issues selfesteem and hormone uctuations are just a few of the characteristics that can in uence peer relationships during adolescence Teens often face a great deal of peer pressure which can have either a positive or negative in uence on the teen s choices Social acceptance is at an alltime high during adolescence The need to fit in and have friends is a constant factor in a teen s life During adolescence the teen strives to break away from his or her family unit in an attempt to become independent According to Lowenstein 2010 para3 peers are often more accepting of the feelings thoughts and actions associated with the teen39s search for selfidentity It has also been suggested that during adolescence teens tend to gravitate toward other teens that have similar life circumstances or problems This creates an environment in which the teen feels comfortable and is more likely to be socially accepted by his or her peers Relationship Changes Every individual desires to fit in and experience connection with those who share the same interests attitudes and characteristics similar to their own Individuals choose associates who recognize and are fond of them and perceive them in a positive way Teenagers are no different and in fact have a stronger desire to fit in at this stage in their development Teens desire to be with their friends more than their family In the course of the teenage years a young person associates more with his friends devoid of adult regulation Young adults feel a closer link to their peers and independence because this is the time in their lives where they are trying to separate from their parent s view of whom they are and cultivate their own individuality Parents may have a hard time accepting that the viewpoint of their teenagers friends frequently hold more in uence than their own but this is a hard reality that parents must accept Their friends generally pay attention to agree and identify with the disappointments trials and anxieties related with the plight of an adolescent Finding positive peer pressure has become the challenge and to develop healthy friendships children s selfidentity selfesteem and selfreliance all come into play Positive peers can motivate a teenager for success and in this way they can conform to behaviors that are healthier Adolescents feel the need to be accepted and have a sense of belonging If a teen thinks he is being rejected or isolated by family or peers he will be at danger of falling into risky behaviors just to fit in In these circumstances social demands can abate common sense and fuel the fire by moving the young person away from encouraging in uences and enticing him into unsafe behaviors such as drugs If teens socialize with those using drugs or exhibiting self destructive conduct he is more likely to do the same Teens are beginning to experience new changes in their bodies and the pressures are very strong to date and engage in sexual activities which can be extremely confusing to them According to UpToDate 2010 Adolescent sexuality is in uenced by many factors including your gender identity sexual orientation the culture you live in and how your body develops Although it is normal for teens to want to begin to experiment with physical intimacy most teens are not able understand the consequences of sexual activity for themselves and their partner SUMMARY para7 Berger KS 2008 says that The time between the first onrush of hormones and full adult physical development lasts between three to five years Many more years are required to achieve psychosocial maturity Complexities in the teen years can be overpowering but are universal Their body is shifting hormones are intense fitting into school and a chaotic home life may be part of the changes they may be encountering This time in an adolescence life is the greatest transitional period that they will ever experience Conclusion Adolescence can be a veritable battlefield of hormones impulses strange new hairs newly bulging bodyparts dangerous pressures and unreliable selfesteem Teenagers are engaging in an epic battle for the quality of their future lives The mistakes and achievements a teenager lives through will shape much of the way he views the world as an adult especially in the realm of social and sexual relationships Teenagers start to feel judged about who they are as individuals right at the same time their body goes through new and awkward changes that affect self esteem dramatically and with unreliable selfesteem comes desperate behavior In order to find a false sense of security or happiness teenagers may do so by doing drugs with friends just to fit in or escape the difficult reality of being a teenager However those who survive puberty and hang on to the lessons they learned about social relationships and how to handle uctuating emotions will have a solid foundation upon which to build more and more meaningful relationships as adults It seems as if evolution designed the hardest part of life toward the beginning so adults can settle in and relax after they begin to feel comfortable in their own bodies again bodies that have gone through difficult trials and tribulations during adolescence but have come out the other side stronger physically mentally socially and emotionally References Berger K S 2008 The developing person through the life span 7th ed New York Worth Publishers Blume L amp Zembar M 2007 Middle Childhood to Middle Adolescence Development from Ages 8 to 18 Pearson Allvn Bacon Prentice Hall Lowenstein D 2010 Adolescence and Peer Relationships Retrieved January 22 2011 from httDWWWdrlowensteincom datauser docsadolescenceandDeerrelationshiDsDdf UpToDate 2010 Patient information Adolescent sexuality Retrieved from httrWWWthodatecompatientscontenttonicdo topicKevRW7152emi5LrR
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