Human growth undergoes different stages beginning from birth to adulthood. The phase encompasses critical developments that have a great influence on individual wellbeing. Amongst the steps, the adolescence period is the most significant for the overall changes human experiences. It involves the physical, psychological, and cognitive advancement of a person (Santrock 24). Generally, it is a transition point from childhood to adulthood where an individual progresses to maturity. Adolescence begins at about 11 years and end at 19 years of age for both boys and girls. During this time, various observable changes occur in the person’s body and behavioral conduct. It is significant for people to properly understand the noticeable and the hidden traits associated with the development, especially amongst individuals of 15 years of age.
John is one of the students taking his upper secondary education in the school. Currently have been interacting with him on most occasions where we share a lot of information ranging from education life to social life. He has been a close friend since he was about 10 years of age until now 15 years old. During this period of knowing John, several growth changes have occurred. Relating him to the past version of him, there is complete alteration ranging from body size to his reasoning ability. Lately, I have been able to observe the following alterations to his development.
Currently, John has been asking several questions about himself and how people see him in school. For example, he is concerned about his personality, like physical appearance, life after completing schooling, and whether he is attractive to other people. Generally, at this stage of growth, an individual tends to understand more about themselves through self-reflection. When John started asking me about his traits and how his peers perceive him, I realized he was exploring himself in relation to the emotional changes he has been going through. At the age of 15, John wanted to comprehend the overall perspective of life around him. I encouraged him to properly comprehend himself to enhance his emotional stability.
Most of the time, John had no idea of what he wanted to do, and he kept jumping from one role to another. Furthermore, his romantic relationship was not stable as he switched from one girlfriend to the other. These behaviors indicated the state of identity confusion he was facing (Crocetti 17). In most cases, John engaged in searching for new friends and duties since he had not specified the exact people he wanted to have a relationship with and the kind of responsibility he liked. When I observed his tendency of shifting from one role to the next more frequently, I knew he was going through the adolescence development stage known as identity versus identity confusion.
In most scenarios, John had a consistent argument concerning the nature and type of activities he preferred to undertake. During the adolescence stage, individuals have different options to make about the role and behavior they want to have in their life. Because of the various possibilities, they end up in a psychosocial moratorium state. For instance, sometimes John would engage in a given work, then after some time, he becomes completely uninterested and starts looking for an alternative (Crocetti 17). Seeing his behaviors, I understood his phase of growth, and I knew allowing him to find where he belongs would be effective for his overall development.
Lack of Individuality
When having a discussion with John, he was not able to express himself effectively. He lacked the ability to communicate his thoughts concerning different situations. After noticing this act, I knew his family had not supported his adolescent development. Generally, adolescents’ parents play an important role in establishing a positive identity in young adults. In this case, the guardians had poor communication styles that affected his self-assertiveness.
John always likes being alone most of the time, and he has limited friends who associate with him. In cases of giving opinions over a given subject, he automatically disagrees with other people’s points of view. He lacked the element of mutuality because of the detachment habit (Santrock 345). He only valued his own perspective, thus impermeable to different viewpoints. His conduct portrayed the inadequate role his parents played in creating inclusivity to influence his cognitive development.
In most situations, John could easily outburst over petty issues, especially between him and his peers. Observing John displaying anger, I realized he has weakness in managing his emotions. Generally, in the adolescence period, an individual should understand that being aggressive towards a friend can ruin the relationship. However, John lacked emotional competence, which affected his social life with the people around him (Perry et al. 541). I had to advise him to know how controlling, and communicating feelings is an effective way to overcome anger issues.
Spending Time with Peers
On most occasions, John always spends time with his adolescent friends. They play together, attend parties and go to the same school (McCoy et al. 65). Upon noticing the behavior, I warned John of giving his peers much attention because they would influence his conduct. In adolescence, the social development of people is not strongly established thus, they tend to imitate one another’s conduct that can lead them into trouble.
At home, John showed both his elder brother and parents disrespect by not performing the duties assigned to him. In some critical conditions, he could manage to stage a fight with his 20-year-old senior. Majorly, adolescents learn by repulsion; therefore, he was against the opposition he was receiving from his parents. When I noticed the immoral conduct, I advised his father to lower the restriction since he is adolescence.
Continuous Isolation from Parents
Most of the time, John’s parents complained of the limited attention they were receiving from their son. He often spends time with his friends giving the guardians an insufficient chance to interact with him (Santrock 404). When I heard of the issues and confirmed the change in behavior, I told John to spare some moments to enable him to build a parent-child relationship that is important during the social development phase.
Engaged in Romantic Relationship
Currently, John has been involved in romantic relationship with his girlfriend. He always spends time with her making him to have limited duration to perform his course and studies. When I realized he is having love affair, I advised him about the negative impacts associated with engaging in such connection especially to his education life. I understand he is exploring himself but showing him the right direction is essential for his social and emotional development.
In conclusion, the adolescence development stage is a crucial stage of life that requires both adolescents and their parents to cooperate for effective physical, social and cognitive growth. Individuals at this period experience changes in their behaviors and their acts. They become inquisitive, disconnected, role experimenting, and disrespectful. The alterations are stimulated by their learning process to identify and realize themselves. Parents should be cooperative to assist them in understanding themselves for a better life in the future.
Crocetti, Elisabetta. “Identity Dynamics in Adolescence: Processes, Antecedents, and Consequences.” European Journal of Developmental Psychology, vol. 15 no. 1, 2018, pp. 11-23. Web.
McCoy, Shelly S., et al. “Adolescent Susceptibility to Deviant Peer Pressure: Does Gender Matter?” Adolescent Research Review, vol. 4, no. 1, 2019, pp. 59-71. Web.
Perry, Nicole B., et al. “Maternal Socialization of Child Emotion and Adolescent Adjustment: Indirect Effects through Emotion Regulation.” Developmental Psychology, vol. 56, no. 3, 2020, p. 541. Web.
Santrock, John. Adolescence. 17th ed., McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.