Adolescent Developmental Process

Topic: Developmental Psychology
Words: 694 Pages: 2

Why Adolescent Boys and Girls are Acting Out

Adolescent boy and girl
Figure 1. Adolescent boy and girl (Unsplash, n.d.)

The adolescent years bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood, and this timeframe can be especially challenging for parents. Several changes occur when a youngster grows into a teenager. as a parent, you should understand these changes to be able to communicate with your child and spot deviant behavior. This fact sheet will provide several key facts about the process of adolescent development that each parent should know.

The development of adolescence includes but is not limited to changes in one’s body, emotions, and mind (Foulkes & Blakemore, 2018). Adolescence might be a moment of both bafflement and epiphany. Many parents complain that their once-obedient children now push back and lash out whenever they are asked to do anything or given instructions. The adolescent years are pivotal both for the developing kid and the parent, as it is at this time that the groundwork for becoming an autonomous and self-reliant adult is established. It is also during this time that the parent-child relationship goes through a period of change (Foulkes & Blakemore, 2018). Depending on the day and the child’s disposition, this is a time when the youngster prefers to spend less time with his or her parents but is still comfortable in their company. Thus, key factors that may occur during the adolescence period are:

  • Changes in the body.
  • Changes in behavior.
  • Preference to spend more time alone.

Adolescence is a crucial stage for brain growth and establishing one’s uniqueness, and as a medical educator, I would impart this to the parents. Realizing that the child’s mental, emotional, and social development will help you be more patient and understanding. In addition, being aware of your child’s or adolescent’s behavior might help you accommodate their changing needs. It is also important for parents to know how to recognize typical development as opposed to aberrant behavior in their children (Santrock, 2019). Spotting unusual habits and dealing with them can prevent issues from becoming out of control.

  • Parents should spot aberrant behavior as opposed to normal one.

Adolescence is a time of transition and growth in many ways. The maturation of certain brain regions and accompanying emotional shifts play a significant role in explaining why the kid may appear strange or emotionally unstable. It is normal for children to feel down after a breakup, rebellious when asked to do something, or irritable after being babysat (Foulkes & Blakemore, 2018). All these feelings originate in the limbic system, which regulates emotional responses and is the site of reward processing.

Parents should know that this is a natural part of the child’s development and try to see the positives as they go through this. That is why it is important to help children build EQ so they can control their feelings while they are young (Foulkes & Blakemore, 2018). As a parent, one may struggle to adapt to the child’s new circumstances, it is natural that the child may experience similar feelings of anxiety and frustration. Figure 2 shows the stages of a teenager’s brain development, which fully matures only once the person reaches twenty-five. While they may be at the peak of their emotional experience, their capacity for sound judgment may still develop. In the brain, the prefrontal cortex is in charge of making sound decisions (Foulkes & Blakemore, 2018). Regulating strong feelings, this area does not finish maturing until at least the early stages of adulthood.

Adolescence’s brain development
Figure 2. Adolescence’s brain development (Foulkes & Blakemore, 2018).
  • A teen’s brain is not fully developed until about 25, particularly regarding its thinking capacity (Steinberg, 2019).

Teenagers’ brain is not fully formed until they reach their 20s. Indeed, research has revealed that the teenage brain is only approximately 80% formed (Foulkes & Blakemore, 2018). Here, the brain’s reward and pleasure circuitry, the limbic system, comes into play. This area develops before the frontal lobe, which may help to explain why many young people who experiment with drugs and alcohol love the “highs” but fail to recognize the hazards involved.


Foulkes, L., & Blakemore, S. (2018). Studying individual differences in human adolescent brain development. Nature Neuroscience, 21(3), 315-323. Web.

Santrock, J. W. (2019). Life-span development (17th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Steinberg, L. (2019). A behavioral scientist looks at the science of adolescent brain development. Brain and Cognition, 72(1), 160-164. Web.

“Unsplash.” (n.d.). Web.

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