How our life stage developments parallel what society expects Essay Example
How our life stage developments parallel what society expects Essay Example

How our life stage developments parallel what society expects Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1406 words)
  • Published: September 12, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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This essay centers on an in-depth investigation of the adolescent phase in human development. The primary objective is to identify societal anticipations for teenagers and understand how they're projected to manage their peer relationships and self-conception. Contributions from sociologists and psychologists will be utilized to delve into why adolescence frequently presents conflicts with society's expectations.

Across our lifespan, we traverse various phases of growth, from the moment of our birth until our demise. One such pivotal phase is adolescence, a stage in life nearly everyone faces with some degree of distress. This period signifies mental and physical maturation as we shift from being children to becoming adults. The teenage years are laden with discomfort, ambiguity, bewilderment and concerns about self-perception. Feelings run high during this time, patience often wears thin and there's an inherent conflict between th


e yearning for independence and parental restrictions.

All in all, the majority of individuals emerge from adolescence relatively unharmed and proceed to live ordinary lives. Adolescence marks the stage when a dominant positive ego identity is firmly established. During this time, individuals become conscious of a future that is within their grasp and incorporate it into their life plans. Adolescence serves as a significant turning point, redirecting and affirming one's future. It is logical to assume that careful consideration should be given to utilizing this crucial period to strengthen the positive self-perception that is vital for personal growth and development.

Many parents, teachers, and clergy often lack the readiness to guide adolescents, overlooking the fact that they themselves were once in that stage of life. Researchers and scholars have identified adolescence as a crucial phase, if not the most crucial phase, in

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human development. According to figures like Erikson, it is a pivotal turning point that permanently molds a person's future. In fact, social scientists contend that the outcomes of the adolescent development process ultimately reflect in our societies. The significance of adolescent development to society lies in its connection to the tendency of societies to operate without a central ethos and simply follow prevailing trends.

According to Erikson, adolescents face the expectation of adapting to significant change, which adds to the difficulty and confusion of this stage in their lives. Adolescence, the period between 13 and 18 years old, is commonly known as the "Teenage Years". During this stage, individuals develop the ego of "identity versus role confusion". This means that adolescents unconsciously attempt to establish their identity by experimenting with different roles to see if they align with who they are.

Youths might temporarily adopt the "grunge" style, characterized by loose jeans and t-shirts. However, their peer group significantly impacts their development and worldview. Research by Akers and Krohn in 1980 shows that during adolescence, peers have the most influence on decisions about alcohol, drugs, sex, and crime. Physical changes are more noticeable compared to mental and social changes during adolescence but it doesn't mean they're simpler. Adolescents frequently encounter alterations in their appearances, regardless of whether these transformations are real or imagined.

Throughout adolescence, the stage of puberty brings about a swift growth phase and equips teenagers with the physical ability to reproduce. The absence of evident signs of sexual maturity in comparison to their contemporaries can negatively impact a teenager's perception of self, self-worth, and induce feelings of isolation, rejection and being different. In societal norms,

late-maturing girls tend to be less impacted since petite figures are often still deemed attractive. Conversely, boys who mature later may experience feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and anxiety.

According to research by Clausen (1975 Human Development, p. 241), teenagers are found to be more emotionally expressive, resort to more attention-seeking behaviors, and have more concerns about body and social acceptance compared to their peers who mature at a normal rate. Families are often taken aback when their seemingly compliant children transform into self-centered and argumentative teenagers. This transformation occurs because teenagers, who appear more adult-like, feel societal pressure to become more independent, make career and sexual choices, take on additional adult responsibilities, and mature.

Some individuals find it extremely challenging as even though they possess an adult physical body, they are not yet mentally matured. Expected to make smart decisions about their career paths and display maturity, teenagers often struggle as society still perceives them as children. The period of adolescence is widely recognized by social scientists as a time for identity exploration and self-discovery, impacting their mental and societal growth. This journey not only affects parent-child relationships but also influences moral growth, interactions within educational institutions, and peer relationships.

Erikson (1980) proposed that during adolescence, there is a nuclear conflict of "identity versus role confusion." According to Erikson, adolescents require time to explore numerous roles before settling on one. Erikson also suggested that young love tends to be more conversational than sexual, as adolescents need to confidentially project their developing self-image onto another person and have it mirrored back to them. Furthermore, Erikson proposed that intimate relationships formed during adolescence are typically brief and should not

be considered overly significant.

Peer groups serve as a platform for adolescents to articulate their sentiments and emotions about individuals of the opposite gender. These groups grant teenagers a feeling of acceptance, particularly as their family interactions decrease. Evidently, whether they are popular or introverted or extroverted, teens pay significant attention to the actions and views of their peers.

Teenagers are attracted to friendship circles as they often respect and support their viewpoints. These circles also serve as a safe haven for communication and nurturing trust among pals. Nonetheless, it's crucial to understand that these teenager friend groups can occasionally partake in non-conforming behaviors like underage drinking, smoking, or sexual acts - actions viewed unfavorably by society and which are against the law.

The bonds made in the period of adolescence are noted for their enhanced stability and closeness, surpassing those formed earlier. During this phase, adolescents spend more time communicating with friends and derive joy from these interactions over any other activities (Csikszentmihalyi, Larson, and Prescott, 1977). It's considered odd by society if adolescents don't establish connections with others. Creating friendships, both with same-sex peers as well as those of the opposite sex is crucial during this life stage.

According to (Josselson ; Greenberger 1977), individuals who fail to establish friendships during their teenage years encounter emotional problems and struggle to connect with others. Additionally, they face challenges in forming meaningful relationships with individuals of the opposite sex due to a lack of understanding regarding the significance and intricacy of bonding with another person.

The teenage years are a time when sexual encounters typically occur, challenging cultural norms that restrict sex to adulthood. However, the rise in teenage pregnancy

and sexually transmitted diseases has resulted in ongoing resistance to accepting adolescent sexual behavior.

However, society disapproves of single parents and premarital sex. Meanwhile, teenagers receive mixed messages emphasizing the importance of sex appeal. This leaves them in a position to make choices that often conflict with their parents and teachers. Examples include wearing short skirts, using makeup, and consuming alcohol. Many parents worry when their teenage child becomes secretive and distant. They feel they have failed when their previously content teenager withdraws and spends more time with friends than family. However, teenagers require this space and distance to connect and bond with their peers.

Parents often feel sidelined as they are not seen as crucial in their kids' everyday lives like they were when the children were smaller. Nonetheless, many parents can partially comprehend their youngsters' experiences and sympathize with them, realizing that their adolescents will ultimately form a distinct viewpoint on both family and society at large.

In summary, this essay explored the similarities and differences between adolescence and society's expectations regarding relationships. It examined the perspectives of different researchers, like Erikson, on intimate relationships and how they serve as a foundation for future relationships. Ultimately, this essay depicts the uncertainty of teenage life and emphasizes the importance of peer support over parental guidance.

The phase of adolescence is characterized by uncertainty and the pressure on teens to make important, grown-up decisions in some life areas, even as their parents continue to control other aspects. This situation naturally leads to conflicts of interest. Nonetheless, this adolescent stage is fleeting, and most adolescents progress into adulthood in due time. Their experiences during their teenage years, be they good

or bad, serve as a roadmap for their future relationships and achievements.

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