Adolescence or teenage is a time of all round changes. It initiates at 11yrs and ends at 19 yrs. There are changes as to how teenagers think, feel and communicate with others and also how their bodies grow. Many physical, psychological and emotional changes occur in adolescents during this age. Most girls will be physically mature by now and most will have completed puberty during this time. However boys shall grow in height, have pimples and see hair growth. They might have concerns about their body size, physical appearance, shape or weight. Eating disorders can be commonly observed, especially among girls.
During this time, they are developing their unique personalities and opinions. Relationships with friends will remain important, yet they will have other interests also, as they develop a clear sense of “WHO THEY ARE.”
This is also an important time to prepare for more independence and responsibilities. Many teenagers start contemplating about their careers or even start working and many prepare to leave their homes for higher studies.
There are four basic areas of teenage development which are as follows:
1. Physical Development
Gain Weight and Height (boys), more muscular, change in voice
Girls are near their adult height and become more feminine.
Increase hair growth on arms and legs.
2. Emotional/Social Change
Emotions controlled by hormones.
Mood swings, sulking, craving for privacy, short temper all controlled by hormones.
Have more interest in opposite sex.
Go through conflicts with parents.
Show more independence from parents.
Have a deeper capacity of caring, sharing and for developing more intimate relationships.
Spend less time with parents and more time with friends.
Feel a lot of sadness or depression which can lead to poor grades at school, alcohol, drugs, unsafe sex and other problems.
Worried about self- image as to know, “WHO AM I.” or “WHERE I FIT IN.”
Very concerned about self- esteem.
3. Cognitive Development
Learn rationally, able to think reasonably and understand abstract ideas.
Show more concern about future school and work plans.
Be better able to give reasons for their own choices, including about what is right and right and what is wrong.
Compares themselves with peers.
They feel that they have reached the stage of full maturity and expect others (parents) to treat them as “FULLY GROWN.”
Want to experience adventure.
Begins to understand people better.
They strongly feel that their own ideas are the truest.
4. Sensory and Motor Growth
Boys continue to get stronger and more agile even after puberty.
Girls tend to level out.
Getting plenty of exercise helps improve strength and coordination in boys and girls.
Let us throw some light on the ideology or thought patterns of teenagers:
The thought patterns of adolescents is highly controlled by hormones. Listed below are the kind of thoughts they generally have: -
1. Think more abstractly.
2. Highly focused on friends.
3. Seeking independence, hence, always in conflict with parents.
4. Dramatic thinking or exaggerated emotions.
5. Negative thinking pattern, use terms like, “Never “and “Always.”
6. Negative self-labelling.
7. Often question more extensively and also analyze more extensively.
8. They debate and develop intolerance for opposing views.
9. Have “Should” thinking.