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Development During Adolescence: Questions Essay

1008 words - 4 pages

Question 1: Discuss adolescence:

a)The period of adolescence and the cultural aspect thereof
Pinpointing the start of any developmental phase is difficult as different people view adolescence and who is classified as an adolescent in different ways. This is because of perspective as well as cultural differences of what an adolescent is. As a rule of thumb,we say that the onset of adolescence is when puberty starts. This is fairly easy to notice because of the physical changes. However, determining the end of adolescence is much harder. There are criteria from a social, legal, psychological and economic perspectives which determine the end of adolescence. In some cultures, youth are expected to go through an initiation of some sort or have to partake in a ritual in order to be accepted as an adult in the communities. Other cultures mark the start end of adolescence with a feast. As you can see,it is almost impossible to pinpoint the exact start and the exact finish of adolescence. As a norm though, we say that it starts between 11 and 13 and ends between the ages of 17 and 22.

b)Educational implications of Physical Development
Adolescents are trying to figure out who they are and who they are meant to be and they are trying to figure out what their place in the world is. Something that plays a huge role in these searching is the feeling of being accepted. Physical development doesn't occur on a certain day at a certain age with certain effects, each person starts developing at a different time and at a different speed. This can cause feelings of embarrassment and shame so as educators, it is important to be able to speak openly and frankly about the development that takes place including their sexual development. It is important that when discussing sexual maturity and the responsibility that comes along with it, that we also make them aware of the dangers of having unsafe sex without being prescriptive and authoritarian. Discussing the somewhat awkward topics like masturbation, nocturnal ejaculation and menstruation is very important and we should make a point to clear up myths and fallacies.

c)Factors that could lead to heightened emotionality
Some of the main characteristics of adolescence are the intense emotional outbursts, emotional stress and intense emotional experiences. These are caused by many factors such as the following: having to adapt to many new situations that they never had to deal with during childhood; the pressure of the expectations of them to conduct themselves as adults in social situations; unrealistic demands placed upon them by themselves, parents, teachers and even peers; family relations which may be taking strain because of the yearn for independence and the questioning of the parents values; the demands of social situations, especially those involving the opposite sex; the pressure caused by realising how important school is and how important academic success is for the future;...

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