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1. The development of physical changes varies greatly among young adolescence. Of course all the information provided is a gross generalization and all the physical characteristics vary in length and age in which they start among teenagers.
2. Not only is a students body changing during adolescence but also their cognitive development. In Piagets theory a student who is in the ages of 12 to 15 is changing from a concrete operational stage to a formal operational stage. This change can happen during adolescence but it doesnt always happen during adolescence. Adolescence begins to become aware of limitations in their thinking and wrestle with concepts that are not in their own thinking. Some researchers believe that formal instruction; contradictions with their peers and experiencing complex problems will help adolescence to develop into the formal operational stage.
3. Not only is their physical and emotional changes going on in students lives during adolescence there is also socioemotional development. This is due to many factors some of them are the changing relationships with parents. Most students want independence, and to be treated like an adult but they also do not think that their parents can understand them although most students still think that their parents love them. This is why their allegiances shift to peers and other adults. Adolescence peers and friends are very important to them because if they belong they have a feeling of being needed or belonging this is usually why most adolescence will dress similar. Another factor in socioemotional development is the relationship with teachers. In elementary school students depend and easily accept their teachers during adolescence this relationship is more complex. Some students will chose teachers as role models and tell the teacher more then what the student will tell their parent.
Reflectivity or the analysis of ones self and ones own thoughts is one of the first things that happen during adolescence. Some of the things that adolescence will do are to critique their own thoughts, how they look, and try to change them. In Eriksons theory this is the stage where they are trying to find their identity and James Marcia builds four identity statuses on Eriksons theory.
1) Foreclosure that is the state in which there is a premature identity based on parents or other role models ideas of what the adolescence identity should be. This identity is not clear-cut and is based on others ideas.
2) Identity diffusion they may not have gone through identity crises but if they did they did not resolve it. Also they have not found an occupational path or a ideology commitment to be involved in.
3) Moratorium are in the midst of an identity crises and have experimented with occupational path or ideology commitments but have not chosen which one to follow.
4) Identity achievement were adolescence have made a conscious well thought out decision about occupational path or a ideology commitment. This choice was freely made and reflects their nature.
Two things are closely related to identity they are self-esteem and emotional development. Meanwhile for an adolescence to develop an identity they must be able to make changes and try new things.
Self-Concept and Self-Esteem
Both self-concept and self esteem change as children enter adolescence. Abstract thinking is one of the ways that adolescence will change and this means that their descriptions of themselves will be in a more abstract form. Two different theories of self-concept are mentioned in the book Susan Hartner with eight self-concepts and Marsh with five self-concepts. Hartner adolescence concepts are: scholastic competence, job competence, athletic competence, physical appearance, social acceptance, close friendships, romantic appeal, and conduct. Marshs five concepts are: academic verbal, academic mathematic, parent relations, same-sex and opposite sex.
Self-esteem during adolescence seems to be influenced most by physical appearance and social acceptance. Generally students entering junior high at or before seventh grade and girls that mature early are at the highest risk of long-lasting and most dramatic lowering of self-esteem.
As adolescence is reached students will tend to spend more time with their friends and peers and less time with their families especially parents. Along with the time spent with peers, adolescence tend to rely on their friends for security and support which is sometimes believed to be because of adolescence trying to find their identity. Along with close friends students find their ideas, values, companionship and entertainment in their peer groups that may consist in cliques or crowds. The difference between the two is that cliques are small intimate groups defined by their interests while crowds are generally defined by their reputation. Acceptance by peers plays a huge role in behavior and development of adolescence.
Most adolescence go through some type of stress which isnt surprising considering all the physical, social relationship, identity and self-esteem conflicts that are happening. Most adolescence feel angry and fearful which is very common and instead of telling adolescence not to be fearful or angry adults should listen and encourage students that these emotions are normal.
5. Some factors in adolescence that may place adolescences at risk and some things that can be done to help students. As a secondary teacher one must remember that emotional disorders can have a huge affect on our students. So teachers should be sensitive to stress levels, look for signs that a student may need outside help and remember that emotional disorders are common. By reaching out to students that are bullying and being bullied a teacher can help end bullying. Also making sure that your classrooms and halls are safe for everyone is a way to try to stop bullying even though it will probably still go on. By encouraging all students in their school work and by catching the signs of students that are at risk for dropping out teachers can help students to stay in school. Drug and Alcohol abuse is in our schools and very accessible to most secondary students. This is a hard subject to deal with and their isnt a good way to stop it. One of the only things that a teacher could do is to make sure that students dont talk about their drug or alcohol use and to make sure that they know that they dont have to use. By catching signs and encouraging students that they can succeed is something a teacher can do for delinquency. The last two things are risks of aids and pregnancy to curtail these make sure that there is programs in the school that teaches abstinence and the use of birth control because research has found this to be more effective then just teaching abstinence.