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The Characteristics Of Adolescents Essay

3113 words - 12 pages

The Characteristics of Adolescents
Works Cited Not Included

Adolescence, the period of life between childhood and maturity, may be
regarded as one of the most crucial stages through which the human
individual passes in his journey from conception to death. For many,
it is seen as the key stage in development. Changes in physique and
the maturation of the reproductive system bring with them associated
changes in emotions and the whole pattern of psychological
characteristics is restructured as the individual strives to attain a
sense of identity. Development in intellectual functioning provides
the adolescent with the ability to question himself, his family, his
world, and his values (Garrod, Smulyan, Powers, and Kilkenny, 1992).

Adolescents begin to develop principles- not necessarily those that
adults would like to have them develop- but nevertheless principles of
conduct. They are deeply influenced by "what is done" among their
peers or among people slightly older than themselves, whom they
respect. Adolescents tend to revolt against whatever code of morals
may be in vogue in their corner of the world, and they can become
completely obsessed by almost any moral problem. They are normally
prejudiced and uncompromising in whatever attitude they adopt. This
stage of growth is a difficult one for them and for everyone else, but
perhaps it is necessary as a step from the unthinking acceptance of
childhood to the independent thinking of an adult. During this period,
the adolescent is an unreasonable creature. He does a good deal of
hard thinking, accompanied by endless hours of talking with his peers,
about his philosophy of life. Intellectual, like physical maturity is
almost certain to arrive sooner or later. Provided a child is not a
mental defective, he will eventually achieve at least the minimal
level of adult intelligence (Buysse, 1997).

While a child can and does learn a multitude of facts about an
enormous number of things, he only has a limited range of interests.
The adolescent also acquires facts, but he wants to know the reasons
behind them. He has an intellectual capacity far above that of the
child, and he can grasp general principles, theories, and
implications. He can see through some of the surface responses of
people to their real feelings. He is no longer content with the
active, unorganised games of childhood. He wants socialisation and
organization in his activities. If the adolescent is male, he usually
has two abiding interests: sports and girls. A girl's main interests
are boys and social activities: dances, parties, outings, clothes, and
interminable conversations on the telephone. Members of both sexes
turn to music, romances, and comedies on television. They overhaul
their ideas about life and plan for a future that they now see is
rushing upon them....

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