Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Child Development: Adolescence

The final segment of child development...


According to Erikson, adolescence is the period of Identity versus Role Confusion. Peers and community are a much more significant part of adolescents' lives and development. Identities are experimented with and adolescents are beginning to establish an adult sense of self.

Physical/Motor Skills:
  • Puberty brings great physical change for adolescents; menarche, pubic hair, breasts, first emissions
  • Physical height increases rapidly and can effect motor skills; there is an initial clumsiness then an eventual re-organization of motor coordination
  • Voices change
  • Adolescents increasingly use specialized vocabulary
  • Abstract concepts are integrated into language
  • Logical reasoning is grasped
  • Persuasion becomes a part of discussion
  • Problem solving involves more thoughtfulness and understanding of all circumstances
Socialization/Sense of Self:
  • Peer groups and other social models (musicians, actors, mentors) are the main source of relationships
  • Adolescents view themselves as unique individuals
  • Attempts to integrate sexuality, ethnicity, life goals, fashion, music, activities, and personal interests into a cohesive identity
Allowing adolescents the freedom to explore while ensuring structure and boundaries that keep them safe goes along away toward helping them establish an identity that feels right for them and will serve them well as they move into adulthood.

This conclude the segments highlighting child and adolescent development. Development continues throughout the adult lifespan, sometimes paralleling different stages of child development. For more about adult development, check out:

Emerging Adulthood -- Arnett
Aging Well -- Vaillant

Source: Growth and Developmental Tasks (author unknown)