Adolescence is a transitional period in the human life span that links childhood and adulthood.
THE NATURE OF ADOLESCENCE
As it is in the development of children, genetic, biological, environmental, and social factors contribute in the development of adolescents. The genes inherited from both parent influence thought and behaviour during the period of adolescence, but inheritance as it is now known has interaction with social conditions present in an adolescent’s world – with family, peers, friendships, dating, and social experiences. New experiences and development tasks appear during adolescence, an adolescent’s thoughts are more abstract and idealistic Biological changes trigger a heightened interest in body image. This period has both continuity and discontinuity with childhood.
There is an issue of worrying about how and what adolescent will turn out. It is viewed as a turbulent period charged with conflict and mood swings. Presently, adolescents face demands and expectations, as well as risks and temptations that appear to be more numerous and complex than those faced by adolescents a generation ago. None the less, contrary to the popular saying of adolescents as highly stressed and incompetent to handle some issue, the majority of adolescents successfully find their path from childhood to adulthood. By some ratings, adolescents of today are being described as doing better than their fellows from a decade earlier.
Recently, more adolescents complete school, especially in African setting where adolescent girls were not allowed to attend school, more adolescents now have positive relationships with others.
People’s attitudes on this period of adolescence emerge from a combination of personal experience and what the media portrays, neither of which produce an actual picture of how normal adolescents develop. Many adults measure their current perceptions of adolescence. So adults may portray adolescents of our today to be more troubled, less respectful, more self – centered, more assert ore, and more adventurous than they were.
Here in issues of taste and manners, every young person of every generation has seemed radical, unnerving and different in their behaviour, mode of dressing, the pattern of hair style, the choice of music and in general look. Although it is a massive mistake to confuse adolescents’ enthusiasm for trying on new identities and enjoying moderate amounts of indifferent behaviour with hostile nature toward parental and societal standards, many adolescents move toward accepting, rather than rejecting parental values by acting out and boundary testing.
However, no matter how it is viewed majority of the adolescents experience the transition from childhood to adulthood more positively than is portrayed, though too many adolescents of our today are not provided with adequate opportunities and support needed to became competent in life as adults. Further more, today’s adolescents are presented with a less stable environment when compared with adolescents of a decade ago due to so many socioeconomic factors that emerge as life goes on. Such socioeconomic factors as high divorce rates, high adolescent pregnancy rates and increased geographic mobility of families have a contribution to this lack of stability in the lives of adolescents. The media has contributed what today adolescents looks like by exposing them to a complex menu of life style options. Although studies have shown that the adolescent drug rate is showing some signs of decline, the rate of adolescent drug use in some areas like U.S is higher than that of other country in Western world. More importantly, our today’s adolescents face the temptation of sexual activity, at increasing young ages.
This discussion centers on important points about adolescents. They do not make up a homogeneous group. Adolescents of individual kinds negotiate the lengthy path to adult maturity successfully, but too large a group will not.
In all, ethnic, cultural, gender, socioeconomic, age, and lifestyle differences influence the actual life trajectory of every adolescent. So the portrayals of adolescence are differently and emerge depending on the particular group of adolescents in view and being described.