Adolescence is the stepping-stone to adulthood. During this developmental milestone individuals critically develop physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually (Wetherill & Tapert, 2013). Amidst these changes adolescents develop higher cognitive skills and begin to establish their sense of self. This developmental process can be hindered when the adolescent experiences a loss of a loved one. Currently limited research has been conducted on the physical response of the adolescent population. Coping strategies identified to be used by adolescents included avoidance behaviours and self-medicating. The following paper investigates the influence ineffective coping has on adolescent development. Areas that will be comprehensively evaluated include: the physical responses of bereavement, avoidance and efforts to self-medicate.
Restlessness, concentration difficulties and sleep disturbances act as physical stressors on the body and contribute to an adolescents’ ability to successfully facilitate the bereavement process. A study assessing the implementation of a Body Awareness Programme, targeted adolescents to develop their understanding of the bereavement process and physical symptoms (Bugge, Haugstvedt, Rokholt, Darbyshire & Solvi, 2012). The authors desired to introduce strategies that would support bereaved teens and offer possible techniques to effectively cope with the circumstance (Bugge et al., 2012). Results of the research demonstrate the necessary need to invest in bereaved adolescents due to debilitating effect it may have on them and their development (Bugge et al., 2012). This reinforces the negative effect ineffective coping has on this particular population and the need to intervene early.
Restlessness is the body’s way of expressing distress, alters perceptions and also enhances activity level, as one is unable to remain still (Head, & Paul, 2005). Understanding what restlessness is, provides insight to it’s impact on adolescents. It sustains a panic or anxious response rather than facilitating healthy bereavement. This negatively hinders an individual’s emotional and psychological capacity. Adolescents who were questioned in another study, labelled the inability to concentrate as a main contributor to the struggle of daily functioning while bereaving (Abddelnoor & Hollins, 2004). Identifying concentration as a physical symptom supports its influence on development. Abdelnoor and Hollins (2004) elevated participants’ responses to recognize how the bereavement process affected their academic success due to a lack of motivation and attentiveness in the classroom. Through this finding, it reveals the concentration’s role in an adolescent’s cognitive development as students are unable to keep their attention on the school material and, therefore, are absorbing less of the information taught. A sample of students analyzed, investigating the prevalence and severity of bereavement, recognized an academic...