Every person usually passes the adolescence stage which entails a transition from childhood to adulthood. Many societies view this as a luxury as one moves from puberty to adult status. Adolescence begins at puberty up to around 18-21years, but other people usually have a late adolescence. Adolescence is not only marked by physical changes of the body, but young people also experience cognitive, emotional and interpersonal changes. Teenagers are usually influenced by outside factors e.g. religion, culture, school, environment and mostly the media. There are some theories of adolescent development which would be discussed in this paper which have a unique focus and similar elements (Zimmerman, 2014). In our case study of Dean who is 16 years old, he is under middle adolescence with characteristics of self-independence, cognitive development, future interest, sexuality, ethics, and self-direction. He has been experiencing social effects from his peers who are living a different life to his and has experienced casual and platonic relationships(Broderick, 2015). Dean has no one to talk with about his emotions, his attention to studies has gone down in recent time due to his alcoholism nature which led to his arrest because of driving under the influence of alcohol and all this his father view is a course of Dean not being in a stable relationship with a woman.
From the case study above it has been noted that Dean is experiencing a change way of life has a great impact on his life. Many life span theories can be used to explain this case scenario that Dean is facing. Feud’s stage of psychosexual development explains how personality develops during the tender age of a person. In much erogenous pleasure seeking of ID, superego and ego drive a person towards a particular behavior. Psychosexual suggest that behavior of a person develops at the age of five and the early experiences play a role in personality development which influences the behavior of a person later in their life. This initial development can be used in our case to explain the Dean experience when his parents got separated when he was eight years of age. Through the divorce, it also affected his performance in the third grade of which his family doesn’t take seriously about the matter. Completion of psychosexual stages usually leads to a strong personality. Positive experiences during this phase resulted in the development of competence, productive and creative adulthood. Lack of parents support and encouragement by parents at this juncture leads to adverse outcomes such as drinking, smoking, etc. Dean required help and support from his foster mother and his father. They are mostly concentrated in their occupations and never on Dean Studies. These developments lead to Dean’s change of behavior (Montgomery, 2005).
Piaget theory of cognitive behavior focused on the understanding of the world by children and try to explore and make sense of the world. He came with the intellectual development of distinct stages that include, sensorimotor stage birth to 2 years of age, preoperational stage 2-7 years, concrete operational stage 7-11 years and formal operational stage adolescence to puberty. Children usually understand new things from the environment they live. The environment enables those in adolescence to know new things from what they experience. As children undergo Cognitive development, it is always important to maintain a balance between changing behavior because of the new knowledge and the previous experience (Zimmerman, 2014). In the case of Dean, he learned about sex from the school where his classmates had already started having sex. When they were discussing sex, he always comments on few things, and this always makes him feel out of place.
He has no experience about this because he has no close person whom he will always talk to about sex and emotions. He also experiences harassment because he is not in love with any girl just like his peers and they always view him as gay. Even after all this experience he plays calm and still maintain his behavior and doesn’t change to suit the new action that he came to learn. The intervention of this is to provide peer counseling to Dean and enable him to understand sex and all the associative that accompany it. It will allow him to gain knowledge of the matter and always feel free to discuss it with his peers so as to make him be on the same page with his classmates. It will impact him with enough knowledge and change his mind about what other students seeing him as gay just because he doesn’t associate with girls.
Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development view personality develops in stages and describes the effects of social experience across the whole life of a person. He represents ego identity as regularly change of behavior of a person due to social interactions and new experiences. Competence motivates behaviors and actions of an individual with experiencing conflicts which serve as a turning point in development. The theory provides a viewpoint of development throughout a person life span and the influence of social relationships on development (Nelson, 2008). Dave social experience of conflict between his parents created a psychological problem. He became a lackluster student in class after his parents divorced and lack good parental care from his parents who are always busy and led him to alcoholism which his father thought will teach him a lesson after being arrested. Seeing his friends driving and going to places on weekends of which he was prohibited from doing made him develop psychological effects because why not allowed to do that. The intervention of this is to make Deans parents understand that their children need some time to mingle with friends so as to develop a sense of belonging with his buddies. It will enable him to feel independent and know that he can take care of himself without the presence of his parents to guide him. They should also set some time to interact with Dean to teach him few things about life (Broderick, 2015).
The theory of cultural anthropology and development addressed by Margaret Mead emphasizes on the meaningful of social institutions and cultural factors in development. Significant identity has become a task in adolescents as it has become difficult in modern societies where people are democratic compared to the primitive societies. Models provided by parents are old-fashioned compared to those that are provided by the media and social platforms. Adolescence leads to children wanting to gain self- dependency and evaluating a person’s behavior to those of the age mates and discards the parent’s value for the standard of the peers. During this stage of adolescence social change, exposure to religious and secular systems and technology makes life to individuals ambiguous, unpredictable, and complex, etc.
Mead criticized American families for an emotional life of the growing youth making it difficult for one to make own choices. Dave experience this every time he is in his locker. Asking himself why his fellow students find pleasure in sex something not interested in him. He becomes thoughtful about harsh comments he is always told because he is not associating with girls making him divert his attention from classwork and relating with his schoolmates. The intervention of this is the universal strategy of intervention, where all those who are in adolescence stage are given counseling on how to relate with each other. Adolescent individuals should be taught by the parents about the culture they are supposed to live by so as to maintain the purification they were raised with. It involves associating with them to know what difficulties they are facing and always know the kind of life they are going through (Nelson, 2008).
In Stanley Hall theory of adolescence as a period of storm and stress and used evolution to describe youth as a turbulent transitional stage. He claimed that individual organism during development corresponds to those that human being passed to develop the way we are now. Egoism, vanity, and conceit are the characteristics of this stage with abasement, humiliation, and bashfulness. Hall describes adolescence as wanting seclusion and solitude with crushes and friendship, and the peers have a strong influence over the person (Arnett, 2007). Dave had many relationships with girls but was always looking for the right girl to exploit all that his friends were saying with him and not to be gay as he was always critiqued to be. All this led to the development of stress by Dave leading to him being arrested and sentenced for six weeks drug education(Broderick, 2015).. The intervention of this is the provision of education to adolescence group on drug education in schools for them to be familiar with the country’s law so as not to break the law. If this were in place, Dave wouldn’t have been arrested for drinking while driving.
Adolescence is a very crucial stage in development for all genders. Every child should be given advice by the parents at home and teachers at school so as to make the children understand about all what happens at this stage. Many theories that have to explain the development of an individual help to identify different aspects that lead to certain behaviors of the children. Parental care is importance to enable the better value of their children from the tender age as they will carry the values developed up to when they become adults. Social interactions among those in adolescence stage bring a change of behavior too many individuals, and they always try to live the life which others are living. The challenges that young individuals undergo deteriorating performance, drug abuse, peer pressure should be intervened before they grow to a big thing. Parents are responsible for taking care of their children but not to limit their independence as this will make them have different mindsets and always look for the freedom to explore what they usually see their peers doing.
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