According to Dolgin (2011), “Biological theorists - primarily biologists and psychologists – believe that adolescents are the way they are because of their genes, hormones, or evolutionary history. These theorists downplay environmental influences and tend to believe that the adolescent experience is similar regardless of where someone is raised” (p. 32). “Development occurs in an almost inevitable, universal pattern, regardless of sociocultural environment” (Dolgin, 2013, p. 32).
Alienation is defined by Dictionary.com (2013) as “the state of being withdrawn or isolated from the objective world, as through indifference or disaffection.”
Thus alienation would be viewed by the biological theorist as having its roots in the evolutionary development of humans and in their genetic background, ensuing physical maturation and development, and hormonal processes of adolescence (Dolgin, 2011). Though some level of alienation could be viewed as normal psychologically for all adolescents, and is likely part of their process of individuation from a biological perspective, significant levels of alienation correspond more closely to unsuccessful individuation (Tieman, 2004). Biologically, one can address abnormal levels of alienation through the use of a variety of modalities designed to bring the adolescent’s levels of hormones and neurochemicals back into normal levels. This can involve exercise or meditation on the one hand, or anti-depressant or anxioloitic medications on the other, depending upon the severity of the feelings of alienation and what is available to the individual adolescent exhibiting higher than normal levels.
Some adolescents can work through their feelings of alienation through involvement in sports and other activities that provide them with a good aerobic workout (Paluska & Schwenk, 2000). Other activities of a physical nature, like yoga, which provide them with focused and concentrated physical activity, controlled breathing, and meditative thought processes can also prove beneficial (Smith, Compton, & West, 1995). In some instances, though, if the feelings of alienation result in a clinically significant level of depression or anxiety, appropriate psychotropic medication prescribed by a psychiatrist may prove effective (Oberlander & Miller, 2011).
Substance use and abuse are major issues facing the world of adolescents today. As indicated previously, the biological view of this issue would focus on a number of factors of a biological nature, including the relative immaturity of the areas of the cerebral cortex dealing with balancing risk and reward in the adolescent (Steinberg, 2008). Thus to some extent, adults have to expect adolescents to try some risky behaviors because they are willing to take greater risks than adults for the same reward. Should substance abuse become a major problem for an adolescent, biological remedies would include detoxification, healthy aerobic exercise to help balance neurochemicals,...