Adolescence refers to the teenage years found between 13 and 19 and is normally considered the transitional stage to adulthood from childhood. However, the psychological and physical changes that occur in them can start earlier, at the ages of 9 to 12, these are the preteen years. This stage, adolescent, can be a time of both discovery and disorientation. It is a transitional period that can bring up self identity and independence issues. External appearance and peer groups tend to play a big role in decision making.
Many adolescents today appear to have problems and get into trouble most of the time. Teenagers and their parents are always struggling between the adolescent wanting independence while at the same time still needing parental guidance. At times all these misunderstandings and conflicts result into behavior problems. The adolescent develops problems such as poor school performance, substance use, or aggressiveness. Often, these problems appear to be detrimental because most of the teenagers are simply unable to comprehend and fully understand the danger involved whenever faced with these problems. Therefore, from a social cognitive psychologist point of view, it is evident that these problems have explanations.
One of the major explanations to these problems is puberty. It brings about both mental and physical significant changes to a teenager. Notably, adolescents’ physique includes change in bodily figure and growth of pubic hair, whereas the mental changes involve increased awareness of the opposite gender and becoming more self conscious. Excessive sebum levels of sebum lead to the development of acne. Acne is scarring and often has a strong psychological effect on adolescents such as low self esteem, in some cases; adolescents face depression and even suicide due to these effects.
Besides puberty, adolescent problems can also be caused by the influence of peer pressure. Adolescents experience extremely social lives during this stage, where they meet many people of different kinds or personalities and befriend them. Mostly, friends are often providing help, moral support and generally beneficial. When the problem of peer pressure starts to kick in, the teenagers are forced to fit in whether willingly or unwillingly, this often gives in to their influence. This leads to involvement in negative activities.
Family status is another common explanation to adolescent problems. The two kinds of families associated with this fact are “dysfunctional” families and families in a state of poverty that poses little or no income and struggle in obtaining basic needs. Adolescents from these families are forced to engage in negative activities such as prostitution, robbery, murder and burglary in order to support their families. “Dysfunctional” families, on the other hand, are families that experience misbehavior, conflicts and often abuse its individual members regularly and continually. This lack of understanding and empathy impacts the personality and behavior of adolescents in a negative way. They develop mixed feelings of hate and anger with the temptation of running away hard to resist.
Furthermore, adolescents from these families exhibit a lack of self discipline that leads to their engagement in negative activities that result in poor performance. The adolescents also suffer from poor self image, paranoia, suicidal thoughts and low self esteem. Conclusively, adolescents should be more conscious and aware of the challenges they face, they must taught on the consequences of each action. Hopefully by doing this, adolescents will not have to see their lives thrown away, not to mention squandering of their chances of a bright future.
Eau Claire. Problems: Helping Parents Manage Teenager Behavior.
James Alexander, Ph.D. 1999. Adolescent Behavior Problems.
Mani, Joseph Muya. How to deal with problems affecting adolescents.