Nov 8, 2017 in Sociology

Social Development Aspects of Adolescents

Adolescent years involves onset of puberty during which a young person matures from a  child to an adult. The development process of adolescents takes years and varies from person to person.

Adolescents can mature early or late. Girls who mature early (below 12 years) have a higher tendency of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, eating disorders and change in behavior compared to girls who mature late in their adolescent years. On the other hand, boys who mature early are more likely to be involved in early sexual activity. Boys who mature late tend to be more depressed, have school problems, have problems at home with their families and are more likely to be bullied compared to boys who mature early. Both girls and boys in their teens tend to spend a lot of time in order to improve their physical appearance for them to “fit in” with their friends.

During adolescent, most teens experience physical weight changes and they are likely to experience eating disorder. Approximately 14% of teenagers between 12 and 19 years are overweight. This means that these adolescents are at an increased risk of acquiring high blood pressure, type two diabetes and have a 70% probability of becoming obese adults. In cultures that adore thin people, the teens are most likely to be anorexic. In extreme cases, anorexia can lead to death.

Adolescents’ moral development can either be increased or worsened. Teens who cannot express themselves in terms of asking questions to clarify their values are more likely to develop teenage problems. Teens that are able to express themselves are able to develop self esteem.  Self esteem is an essential aspect for teens to build their sense of identity. High self esteem is necessary for teens to obtain reasoning skills and moral reasoning capacity.

Peer relationships change during adolescent years where teens shift their attention from family to friends. Depending on the group of friends teenagers have, adolescents develop moral judgment and values. This group of friends forms their basis of prestige, status and acceptance. Young teens (teenagers below 14 years) have a minimum one peer group for identification purpose. Most of these peer groups are groups of the same sex. Teens in their middle adolescents (14-16 years) mostly have gender mixed friendships. Mature teens (16 years and above) tend to focus on one on one companionships which most of the time lead to romantic relationships.

In conclusion, some teenagers mature early while others develop late. The adolescents should join peer groups that have a positive influence in their lives for their own benefit. Teens should also seek high reasoning skills and moral reasoning in order to deal with teenage issues in their development.

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