Adolescence is the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood; it generally refers to a period ranging from age 11 and 19. Adolescence has many psychological and social stages, as well as biological. The beginning of adolescence is usually marked with the beginning of puberty. Adolescence can be prolonged, brief, or practically nonexistent, depending on the type of culture in which it occurs. Adolescence is somewhere between childhood and adulthood. It is filled with constant change, uncertainty, but it can be wonderful and full of expectation. Everything a child learned to believe is suddenly challenged. One day you are a cute child that everybody seemed to adore, and the next day your skin and body are changing. While the physical changes of puberty are an important indicator of adolescent development, many other kinds of changes also occur during the adolescent years; cognitive, self-concept, social / moral reasoning and the ability to think abstractly.
Adolescents enter the cognitive stage known as formal operations, and are able to think more abstractly and hypothetically. They can define right from wrong, in terms of cop = good and robber = bad. According to Erikson, adolescence is a time of "identity crisis", or a critical period in the life long process of forming one's identity, a conflict stage which he labeled identity versus role confusion. During this stage, adolescents try to define themselves in terms of career, religion, and sexual identity. They try to figure out where they are heading in life, and how they fit into society. Often times adolescents in Adolescent Years 3 this stage change their minds and experiment with new looks, majors, and new experiences (Cheathouse, Feb., 2004).
The influence that these factor's have effect the forming of one's identity and independence. An adolescent's self-image is connected to their identity. Adolescents are influenced by what other people who they interact with in their lives thinks of them. An adolescent will seek to please peers, parents, and teachers. When adolescents feel they let down the important people in their lives, they react with attitudes and behaviors. The approval that seems necessary at this stage can help determine responsible behavior and their sense of social competence throughout life (Cheathouse, March, 2006).
Adolescent and Puberty
The first approach that will help explain the pattern of development in adolescence is through the physical development stage. Physical Development involves the bodily changes that adolescence have when they approach the puberty stage. Puberty is often referred to as "a period of rapid skeletal and sexual maturation that occurs mainly in early adolescence" (Advocates for Youth, 2002). During the puberty stage, female and male individuals undergo several changes suitable for their physical stature and composition. Puberty among girls usually begins at age 9 to 12, while boys begin at age 11 to 14. Changes include growth of hair in the genital areas and under arms of both males and females. Body proportions also change with females developing bigger hips and breasts, ovulation, and menstrual cycle begins. Males, meanwhile, start producing sperm, erections and ejaculations, wet dreams, and darkening of the scrotum.
Adolescence Years 4
At this time of development, body changes are not the only worry for boys and girls, "fitting in" is a big concern during adolescence. Girls may become self-critical, because they are aware of what people think of them. While, boys may get assertive and show off or become withdrawn and depressed. Being liked is a big part of adolescence, so they look to those around them for support which leads them to their peers.
Adolescents and Peers
Identifying with peers...