Adolescence Open Questions

Historical accounts of adolescence: There are different ways in which adolescence comes into being. Different people have different accounts on how it happened to them. According to lifespan theorists, different individuals record different accounts because there are different situations that lead to differential onset of adolescence. These include emotional, psychological, physiological and even nutritional factors.

Hormonal changes during adolescence: Girls and boys experience difference changes in emotions at adolescence. Girls begin to produce the Oestrogen while boys produce testosterone (Berk, 2010). These are responsible for secondary sex characteristics. The hormones lead to the development of many parts of the bodies responsible for reproduction including the gonads.

Reaction to menarche and spermache: Menarche is the first menstrual flow for girls while spermache is the first ejaculation of a boy. Most girls react to menarche with fear or shame while most boys react to spermache with excitement. Moreover, both could have elements of confusion.

Impact of adolescent on parent-child relationship: When puberty sets in, the relationship between parents and who previously used to be children is altered. The adolescents feel more mature and do not wish to get instructions from parents; as they could be on their own. This helps in adapting to the new status of adulthood.

What parents can do: At adolescence, the feeling that one is an adult may lead to deviance and taking up of wrong decisions. As a result, adolescents need a lot of parental guidance. To foster communication on sex-related issues, parents are required to be more open and supportive.

Effective sex education program: Should affect multiple behaviors simultaneously, should lead to attainment of positive health goals, initiate delayed sex, reduce frequency of sex, reduce number of sex partners and promote use of condoms and other contraceptives. Such programs should foster a consistent and clear message; equip adolescents with life skills and also communication skills.

Effective substance abuse prevention program: They should be based on intensive research, encourage activity that would divert thoughts of drug abuse, include information on nutrition, how to avoid peer pressure, how to choose friends, effects of drugs and life skills. Such programs should be based on current knowledge. They should be science-validated.

Formal operation: At college, many students are not formal operational. This is because of the way they were socialized during adolescent. In many instances, they may have been withdrawn during adolescence thus at college, they do not want to mix with others or socialize with them. In other instances, the students are literally not yet mature.

Cognitive change: During adolescence, many cognitive developments happen. These include ability to use various mathematical operations, capability to verbalize thoughts, onset of systematic thought, ability to make independent decisions, effectiveness in problem-solving, reasoning, remembering, understanding and perceiving.

New cognitive abilities: As mentioned above, there are many new cognitive abilities at adolescent based on psychological domains. These include ability to transform learning into practical skills, advanced moral judgment, evidence-based or logical decision making, debating skills and meta-cognition. There is also an advanced level of aesthetic cognition.

Preventing dropping out of school: Preventing adolescents from dropping out of school could be school-based or home-based. Generally, one establishes reasons for wanting to drop out, having a robust support structure, seeking professional advice, consulting the teachers or parents for an all-inclusive strategic plan and being present in the life of the teenager; to prevent any voids in parenting.

Characteristics of adolescent self-esteem change: Self-esteem could either be low or high; positive or negative. Negative self-esteem is characterized by overweight, lack of parental support, negative portrayal by media, stigmatization from others, language difficulties and poor performance. High self-esteem is mostly characterized by opposite issues. These include a happy and supportive family, possessing the desired body shape and size, good performance among others.

Identity statuses: The four identity statuses include achievement, moratorium, foreclosure and diffusion. Identity diffusion is the state in which the adolescent neither has nor made any commitment or choice while identity foreclosure is that which the teenager is willing to make commitment or choice. Moratorium is that which the adolescent is in a crisis of what to choose while identity achievement is that which the adolescent has gone over the crisis part and has been able to make choices and commitments.

Identity development: There are several strategies of supporting a healthy development of identity. The first one is allowing an open communication. This gives one freedom to explore his or her values. Secondly, make the adolescent engage in extracurricular activities which would help him or her to engage in real adult work thus becoming more responsible. Finally, give opportunities to interact with other cultures. Thus helps in developing ethnic tolerance.

Resolving identity conflicts: To solve identity conflicts among adolescents, strategies are based on the context of the identity crisis. These include preventive strategies, transformational strategies and internal strategies. The latter helps the adolescent to deal with identity conflict while preventive strategies help him or her avoid identity conflict. Transformative strategies help the adolescent change ideologies.

Kohlberg’s 6 stages of moral understanding: The first is obedience and punishment orientation, second individualism and exchange, third interpersonal relationships, fourth maintaining social order, fifth individual rights and social contract and sixth universal principles.

Adolescent friendships: Gender differences in adolescent friendships are very manifest. Boys and girls have a different understanding of romance, platonic relationships and social cohesion. Generally, there is negative interaction between boys as opposed to girls. But girls exhibit more control over friendships.

Cliques and crowds: A clique is a small grouping that helps the adolescent understand himself or herself better. Crowds are big groupings that are formed on the basis of reputation. Peers in a clique do activities together but function of a crowd is to help locate one in the social structure. Due to their size, they cannot help an individual learn important things.

Adolescence depression: Boys and girls express depression differently. Some signs include irritability, fatigue, inability to concentrate, restlessness, changes in eating disorders, sadness and the like. Girls may be more emotional while boys may be more withdrawn.

Adulthood: Sometimes it is difficult to know the onset of adulthood because of the different rates at which different people mature. Generally, adulthood is expected to begin immediately after adolescence. But socially, adults are recognized on the basis of the roles they have. Some tasks entail moving out of the parents’ house, marital arrangements, starting a career, or a family among others.

Health: A healthy adult life is very important. Some of the tips include exercising, enough water intake, enough rest and sleep and good nutrition.

Weight loss: Effective weight loss is always difficult to attain. But the tedious ways have proved to be the most effective and contributing to lasting behavior change.

Dualistic and relativistic thinking: Dualistic thinking categorizes though into right and wrong or good and bad. A young college student or an adolescent is bound to think that only what can be found in professors’ notes is right. However, relativistic thinking assumes that ideas are not absolute and that truth is contextual. There are many sides to an argument. The commitment in relativistic thinking is that one selects two opposing views and gives conditions for their holding as opposed to taking a single stand and proving it.

Personality types: John Holland developed a theory of personalities with regard to careers. He came up with six personality types: doers, thinkers, creators, helpers, persuaders and organizers. The vocational choices are investigative, realistic, artistic, conventional, social and enterprising.

Social clock: The concept is used to explain the expectations of the society up on a person after reaching specific stages of development. For instance, at early adulthood, one is expected to get married. According to Berk (2010), it entails ‘age-graded expectations for life events, such as beginning a first job, getting married’ and the like.  For young adults, it accords them with the feeling that since the society expects them to do something; they are capable of doing it. This improves their confidence.

Traditional and egalitarian marriages: As the name suggests, in an egalitarian marriage, there is an aspect of equity: all parties are equal in their own right. Such marriages are formed out of free consensus. Both parties participate in household income generation. However, in a traditional marriage, the breadwinner is the man. Such marriages could be done without the free consent of the wife.