SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN ADOLESCENCE
Adolescence is a growth stage or period in which an individual transform from childhood to adulthood. It is experienced by individuals between the age of 12 to 24 years. This period is characterized by various changes from physical changes, social changes and emotional changes, but in this study, my main focus is on social and emotional development.
Social development in adolescence can be explained as changes that occur in their relationships and personality relating to social contexts while emotional development is basically associated with their discovery of their identity and expression of their emotions. In a broader definition, social and emotional development are the main traits that define how children’s interact with their family members, friends, and peers during this stage in their life. But it also important to point out that both social and emotional development differs from one child to another and it all depends on the various factors present in their development environment.
In a social development, some of the noticeable changes in teenagers are as follows. Their zeal to develop an identity. It is marked by an identity crisis in which they try to weigh their value and through this, they are able to make an informed decision on what role in life they are to play. From this identity crisis, they are those that are able to identify their identity and end up developing a strong sense of who they are, while others end up in a state of confusion in that they are not sure of their identity.
In identity development, in adolescent children, various factors play an important role and are very crucial to the complete realization of their identity. They include their ethnicity which is their state of belonging, a good example being a culture of origin. The other factor is gender, a good example of this being the occupational choices made by adolescent females or males.
Another change associated with social development in adolescent teenagers is at some point in their life they seek more independence. It is mostly indicated by the interaction they have with their family members especially their parents and peers. In relationships with their parents, they tend to interact frequently with their mothers than they do with their fathers. This adverse or distant relationship with their fathers is mostly related to depression at this stage which can be relieved by fathers maintaining a close relationship with their children resulting in the enhancement of their psychological well-being CITATION Kea79 l 1033 (Keating ; J, 1979).
On the other hand, a distancing relationship from parents portrayed by adolescent children may be adaptive as they form a close relationship with their peers or other individuals outside their families. Research indicates that adolescent teenagers that have a close relationship with their parents portray positive attributes of self-reliance, self-esteem, better performance and few adjustment problems which is crucial at this stage.
Another way in which parents can be helpful to their children at this stage of their life is through excise of good parenting styles. Authoritative parenting style has proved very efficient and effective when dealing with adolescent individuals as it entails parents exerting control on their children and later reasoning with them pertain the various measures taken towards their wellbeing. And as a result of this parenting style, adolescent children brought under it portray competent behaviors of self-reliant, better mental health, better performance and lower incidences of psychological problems which are very common to individuals in this stage.
In terms of emotional development, adolescent’s youth come across new life-changing experiences that challenge their abilities to deal with these intense emotions. Which is portrayed in them as strong feelings and intense emotions at the different time, what is mostly known as unpredictable moods or mood swings. Which occasionally results to increased conflicts and rebellion among the adolescent.
In cases where the adolescent youths are not able to cope effectively with this emotional changes, the results can be very destructive to their lives to the extents of committing suicide and other negative behaviors such as bullying. Therefore, in order to deal with this emotions, they must learn to identify and handle these stressful situations that act as stimulators of powerful emotions without in anyway harming or hurting themselves or even others. Instead should learn healthy ways of coping with these situations and at the end of these emotional situations, they are able to undergo emotional development or emotional efficacy. Emotional development is very important in their life as it enables them to be very successful at what they do and also enjoy a meaningful relationship with others CITATION Lar93 l 1033 (Larson & Ham, 1993).
In conclusion, it is important to know that adolescents’ youths’ experiences many changes in every aspect of their life. Therefore, in order to deal with these changes, they should always learn to cope with them effectively by themselves and where necessary always accept help from other people that are a bit experienced in dealing with these changes like parents.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Keating, D., & J. A. (1979). Adolescent thinking. In Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp. 211-246). New York: Wiley.
Larson, R., & Ham, M. (1993). Stress and “storm and stress” in early adolescence: The relationship of negative events with dysphoric affect. Developmental Psychology, 29, 130-140.