Adolescence media: characteristics and changes that occur in it
The average adolescence is one of the sub-steps we went through human beings after childhood and before adulthood. It is a stage that is crucial for the development of complex psychological processes such as identity, and it treats itself of a period in which significant changes occur at the biological and social level.
We will see below what are the phases of adolescence and how is characterized average adolescence.
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What is adolescence?
Adolescence is one of the stages of the human life cycle. It is characterized by important changes at the psychological, biological and social levels , and is considered as the stage that follows childhood and precedes adulthood, so it is one of the broadest and most crucial moments for any person.
The psychologist and International Consultant in Programs and Policies of Adolescence and Youth, Dina Krauskopof (1999) tells us that adolescence is the period between 10 and 20 years of age. More than a transition process, it is a stage that marks different differential aspects in human development, manifesting itself as important transformations at the psychosocial level and in sexual development.
Likewise, One of the processes that takes place in this period is the individuation , since it contributes to the personal and social definition, as well as to exploration, the differentiation of the family environment, the search for belonging and the construction of a sense of life.
We will continue with the analyzes carried out by the same researcher to describe the main characteristics of middle adolescence, as well as the differences with the other sub-stages of this period.
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Phases of this stage of development
In an attempt to facilitate their understanding, adolescence has been divided into different sub-stages, among which is early adolescence, which is also the pubertal phase or puberty; the average adolescence and finally, the late adolescence or final phase of the adolescent period. Each corresponds to the following ages :
- Early adolescence, from 10 to 13 years old.
- Average adolescence, from 14 to 16 years old.
- Final phase, from 17 to 19 years old.
The first of these stages is characterized by a different body with caregivers and peers, so it requires a readjustment of the body schema and a major concern about it.
In contrast, the second stage entails a social differentiation of the family group and of the pairs , which requires an important reaffirmation. This reaffirmation occurs at the individual level but in close connection with external recognition.
Finally, in the third stage, it is based on the development of projects, exploration of social alternatives, and search for related groups.
Adolescence average: general characteristics
As mentioned earlier, the average adolescence is characterized by a concern for reconcile both personal and external recognition . While the first stage recognition is based on physical or physical exploration, in the second stage there is a special psychological concern, which manifests itself in the search for affective bonds and in the acceptance of the peer group.
Due to the above, the main reference group and even psychological security, ceases to be the family nucleus and begins to focus on friendly or affective bonds with their peers .
This is a process that is fundamental for the development of autonomy, individual responsibility and identity, as well as in the development of complex cognitive processes such as symbolization, generalization and abstraction, which allow to establish broader visions of the world.
Likewise, it constitutes the basis of a good part of the concerns during this stage, in fact, sentimental relationships usually begin to consolidate during this stage , around shared experiences and interests.
Finally, intergenerational relations are a key element, since they allow the identification process to be strengthened through establish complementary or antagonistic differences between themselves and members of different groups .
Some psychosocial elements
We summarize below some of the specific elements that surround adolescence, especially at a psychosocial scale. According to Krauskopof (1999), the average adolescence is mainly characterized by a concern for personal-social affirmation, which includes some elements that we will see below:
- Differentiation of the family group.
- Parental grief for the loss of a desired child.
- Desire to affirm sexual and social attractiveness .
- Emergency of sexual impulses.
- Exploration of personal skills.
- Concern about the social and for new activities.
- Questioning of previous positions.
Characteristics of neuronal, cognitive and psychological maturation
As we have said, adolescence is characterized by the manifestation of changes at the biological level as psychological and social. According to the World Health Organization (2010), some changes that take place during middle adolescence, especially related to neurological, cognitive and psychological development are the following:
- Growth of the prefrontal cortex , which is related to the influence on social problems and the development of skills to solve problems.
- Cognitive skills such as the development of abstract thinking (although there is a concrete thought under stress situations); and a better understanding of the consequences of the acts, along with a special concern for himself.
- Development of body image .
- Development of impractical or implausible projects.
- Important feeling of empowerment.
Social factors associated with this phase of life
To all the above it is added that, although adolescence can be considered a period through which all people pass, its specific development and its specific characteristics may vary according to the cultural elements that surround you.
Thus, there are historical and social factors that can affect adolescence to be experienced in a way by some people, and very different ways by other people.
These elements can be, for example, the social changes produced by globalization, where there is a demand for cultural exchange while socio-economic polarities are accentuated.
Another element is the modernization and rapid technological development that social relations go through and the identity construction of adolescents ; This issue is compounded by the increase in life expectancy and, therefore, a possible prolongation of this stage of development.
Finally, due to the knowledge and intergenerational gap between generations, the aspirations of adolescence tend to be different from family expectations and even the educational system, which in turn generates new communication needs for links.
- Stages of Adolescent Development (2010). World Health Organization. Retrieved August 28, 2018. Available at //apps.who.int/adolescent/second-decade/section/section_2/level2_2.php
- Krauskopof, D. (1999). The psychological development in adolescence: the transformations in a time of changes. Adolescence and Health, 1 (2): Online Version. Retrieved August 28, 2018. Available at //www.scielo.sa.cr/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1409-41851999000200004