Monday, July 20, 2009

Adolescence Essay

Adolescence is the period in a child’s life when they are no longer a kid; they begin to transfer into their teenage years. It is a time when one’s parents become more difficult and friends become more important. The acknowledgment of adolescence began in the twentieth century when Antonio Marro published La Puberta, and G. Stanley Hall published his collection’s Adolescence. These publications described adolescence using subjects and metaphors known to the public (Borgatta 1). Although Hall and Marro’s work may be difficult to comprehend, it is vital to understanding the shape and cognition of our youth today (Borgatta 2). Adolescence may be defined in many ways, but the best denotation is the one of a teenager.

The word may be looked upon in several ways. According to The American Heritage High School Dictionary, “adolescence is the period of development from the onset of puberty to maturity.” The word is derived from the Latin word adolescere, meaning “to grow into maturity,” during the commencement of the twentieth century (Lerner 33). Adolescence can be studied and experienced through the social account of youth. The meaning and explanation of adolescence is constantly changing as the years progress. Transition markers and roles secernate childhood to adulthood, giving the word adolescence it’s meaning (Borgatta 3).

The span of years that is suggested as the “adolescence period” is between 10-14 years of age. This period of time brings the oncoming of puberty. “Puberty is characterized by accelerated physical growth and intense psycho-social adjustment” (Mattson 6). Rapid transitions begin to take place, and their bodies start to transform. Boys commence to develop later than girls, causing stress due to identity quandaries. Hormonal changes are also a part of the development in adolescence. It is proven that the times of hormonal changes or other biological changes are influenced by social, cultural and psychological factors (Lerner 36). The basic process of development in adolescence is proven through these changing relations.

Emotionally there are many challenges that adolescents must undergo every day. It is known that not all teenagers progress at the same time or the same speed. Therefore, many teenagers will experience a diversity of problems. Problems may consist of hormonal or physical changes, family issues, community changes, school and even their peers. The transition from elementary school to middle school can cause numerous fears as well. As a result of research, in order to understand a teenager one must combine knowledge from all behavioral sciences and humanities. This provides parents and teachers with the information on how to best cope with their child and work out their problems (Lerner 34). An anonymous person once quoted, “it’s that period in life in which the young feel a great urge to answer the phone” (7).

With any adolescent it is important to recognize the individual differences and characteristics that one possesses. There are numerous amounts of diversity among teenagers that must be stressed. Different areas of ethnicity, race, and cultural background are to just name a few. Since adolescents are all entitled to their own opinions and appearances, one cannot expect to influence everyone in the same way (Lerner 37). Especially since hormonal and psychological changes are occurring, people must be extra sensitive with their words and actions. Adolescents may choose to be interested in different activities. Whether it includes watching television, playing a sport, going shopping or reading a book, they are all deigning to their own preferences. Normal adolescence development involves variability with people and involvement as well as inner strength (Lerner 38).

In 1962 Philippe Aries’ rememberable Centuries of Childhood portrayed a diverse range of thoughts. His painting referred to adolescence as a period of time when children simply merged directly into adults, at the approximate age of seven years (Borgatta 4). Today, while adolescence may no longer be referred to at that age, there are reasons for this change. Teenagers may be addressed as adolescents, as well as a child turning 10. Nevertheless, kids will be kids and as William Shakespeare said, “not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy” (7).

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