Good Case Study On Adolescence
The complexities of the human body begin at creation and continue on through its life span. There are physical, social, and cognitive changes throughout the various stages of a person’s life. Psychology studies many parts of human behavior and mental functions through a scientific approach. An integral component of the study of psychology is developmental psychology, which examines growth in particular age ranges. The phases that have been studied most are Infancy (birth-2 years old), Childhood (ages 3-6), Middle Childhood (ages 7-12), and Adolescence (ages 13-18). The focus of this essay is on adolescence, commonly called the teenage years. One can learn about adolescence through examination of the changes in the physical body, socialization, and cognition.
The physical changes most prominent to human beings occur during infancy and adolescence. This stage of growth is pivotal to every individual as the transition from childhood to adulthood begins. The visible growth is in the physical appearance- he or she may be taller, hair begins to grow in various parts of the body, a deeper voice develops in males, and females start to grow breasts. There is much more happening inside the body that is responsible for the outward changes seen by everyone.
Puberty begins at these stages of development when hormonal fluctuations begin that are preparing the body to become sexually reproductive. In males, the increase in testosterone is responsible for the changes in the physical body, and for females the hormones are estrogen and progesterone. Changes in various parts of the brain are also occurring adding to moodiness and an increase in sleep.
Socialization is another important part of the development during the adolescent years. As the physical changes take place, there are changes in social behaviors as well. The interaction with parents can become strained at times because the longing for independence is strong at this point in the development. The combination of moodiness with the need for independence is often to blame when parents complain about how challenging their teenager is.
Another significant difference is socialization during this time in one's maturity includes the desire for acceptance by peers which becomes especially important. Freedom to express themselves through music, style, and hobbies are a priority during this juncture. The other significant milestone of this age may include attraction to another individual, resulting in a boyfriend or girlfriend. Many of these changes are easy to understand as one gains awareness on the combination of physical changes with social development.
The last area of dramatic change occurs in cognitive behavior. Between the ages of 13-18 years of age, the focus of thoughts finally becomes less egocentric and more engaged and inclusive of the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of others. The ability to analyze and question what he or she is exposed to begins. A perfect example is the questioning of authority figures, such as parents, which results in an increase in arguments as they begin to express individuality. According to Piaget’s theory, five areas of basic thinking abilities improve during adolescence- 1) Attention, 2) Memory, 3) Processing Speed, 4) Organization, and 5) Metacognition (Boundless Psychology, 2014).
Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
The theory that fits best with the adolescent stage of development in human life is Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory. The psychosocial theory focuses on the discovering of self-identity, which are quite evident when looking at the various changes that occur during one's teenage years. The primary function of changes- physical, social, and cognitive seem as though they are working towards the individual learning who he or she is between the years of thirteen to eighteen. Further detail of Erikson’s psychosocial theory provide more justification on why this theory fits the adolescence stage best, this is just a brief analysis of the topic.
Impact of Culture
The final discussion on the adolescent stage of psychological development is about the impact culture has during this era of one’s life. Culture, regardless of what part of the world or tradition a teenager is exposed to, has a strong influence on him or her and their identity. Imagine examining the life of a teenager growing up in New York City versus a teenager raised on a farm somewhere in Texas; the type of views each will have on life will be extremely different. The choices they make and lifestyles they live will most likely be dramatically unlike because of the difference in the culture each was exposed to during his or her adolescent years.
In conclusion on the topic of adolescence and the various achievements that are experienced physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially, one cannot ignore the intricacies of the human body and brain. All parts of the mind, body, and experiences of all individuals are significant, and therefore a respect for mankind and studies that forward understanding must be acknowledged and honored.
“Cognitive Development in Adolescence.” Boundless Psychology. Boundless, 14 Nov. 2014.
Retrieved 24 Jan. 2015 from https://www.boundless.com/psychology/textbooks/boundless-psychology-textbook/human-development-14/adolescence-73/cognitive-development-in-adolescence-283-12818/
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development; Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology (Cognitive Development) The SAGE Glossary of the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Publication Date: 2009 Publisher: Sage Publication (Thinking Styles and the Eriksonian Stages.) Zhang L; He Y; Journal of Adult Development,
2011 Mar; 18 (1): 8-17. (journal article - research, tables/charts) (Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development) Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology.
2008, Database: Credo Reference Collections
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