Early and Late Adolescence - Essay Example

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Running head: EARLY AND LATE ADOLESCENCE Changes observed during Early and Late Adolescence Customer’s Name Institution Name Changes observed during Early and Late Adolescence The developmental transition of a child after the age of 11 could be divided into two stages…
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Early and Late Adolescence
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"Early and Late Adolescence"

During this stage, a combination of cognitive, social and physical changes of critical nature take place, and young people feel increasingly vulnerable (Vernon, 2002). Early adolescence is a conflicting period between group identity and alienation. That is because the rate of bodily changes affects a person’s self-concept, adolescents want to be like everyone else to gain communal acceptance, and are anxious about appearing awkward or different at the same time. Males and females alike may behave clumsily, and/or uncoordinated because of their physical, social, and cognitive transition. Identity formation during early adolescence is closely related to the physical changes that early adolescents’ experience. During this time, physical changes appear more rapidly, whereas, the rate of maturity varies tremendously across genders. The various parts, of the body, gradually come into proportion. For example, the trunk broadens and lengthens, and thus the limbs no longer seem too long. Weight gets distributed into the other areas, of the body, where previously there was little or no fat. This is where genetics, hereditary and cultural features intrude and influence a kid’s health, like they could turn obese or slimmer and athletic. Similarly, height also gets affected and increases gradually. An average girl reaches her mature height between ages of 17 or 18, and the average boy a year or so later. Hormonal changes cause the spurts and development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics associated with puberty. Other prominent features of physical development include reproductive system’s maturation, and increased muscle strength. Psychologically, “this period is characterized by increased self-consciousness, introspection, inner conflicts, stress, uncertainty and disorientation” (Brinthaupt & Lipka, 2002). One of the most important developing features during this period is the increasing importance of friendships and peer relationships. Social comparisons are applied to a greater number of early adolescence social activities, and peer relationships begin to have both positive and pessimistic effects. The feeling of being accepted by his or her peers nurtures the emotion of high self-esteem, on the other hand, negative peer relations or attitudes could become a source of teasing and ridicule for kids. Friendships, especially conflicts within friendships, play an influential role in the examination and evaluation of the early adolescent. It is a significant time during the development and revision of self-views, and peer-friendships most likely influence self-esteem and self-definitions. Another important feature, in this stage, is a child’s tendency of overcoming childish attitudes, and behavioral patterns as he/she prepares for adulthood. Adolescents tend to become unrealistic and see themselves and other as they would like them to be rather than as they are (Hurlock, 2001). These non real aspirations are very much responsible for the heightened emotionality characteristic of early adolescence (Hurlock, 2001).  In a cultural context, a crowd plays an important channeling role by providing interactions with the opposite sex, and setting rules for approval or disapproval of particular choices. Kids display differentiated skills and competencies during this time, which differ from both cross and within countries between boys and girls. Although children show same-gender preferences across cultures, contextual factors also affect this pattern. Read More
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