Adolescence is the transition stage between childhood and adulthood. It is also referred to as teenage years and puberty. During puberty,both boys and girls experience hormonal changes that occur in their early youth. The period of adolescence can extend well beyond the teenage years which can be between 10 – 24 years. The development characteristics of an adolescent include physical,cognitive and social emotional development.
They are further divided into three different stages: The first stage being the early adolescence (11 – 13 years of age). This is where both sexes grow body hair, increased perspiration and oil production in hair and skin, they grow capacity for abstract thought, struggles with sense of identity, feel awkward about one’s self and one’s body and worry about being normal. In girls, breasts and hip develop on set of menstruation, mostly interested in the present with limited thought to the future and increased influence of peer group.
The boys develop growth in testicles and penis, they experience wet dreams, deepening of voice, physical growth as they gain height and weight, intellectual interests expand and become more important, deeper moral thinking, desire for independence, tendency to return to “childish” behavior particularly when stressed up and growing sexual interests. The second stage is the middle adolescence(14 -18 years)where puberty is completed and physical growth for girls slows down while for boys continues.
In cognitive development there is continued growth of capacity for abstract thought,greater capacity for setting goals,thinking about the meaning of life and in social emotional development. There is intensive self-involvement changing between high expectations and poor self concept,worries about being normal, tendency to distance themselves from parents,increased sexual interest with feelings of love and passion,driven to make friends and greater reliance on them. Late adolescence is between 19 – 24 years of age where young women are typically physically developed.
The young men continue to gain height, weight and body hair. In the cognitive development, the girls have the ability to think ideas through from the beginning to the end while the boys have ability to delay gratification. In social-emotional development there is increased concern for others,increased independence and self reliance,peer relationship remain important and increase of more serious relationships besides traditions and culture regain some of their importance. EXPLAIN ATLEAST FIVE PSYCHOSOCIAL CHALLENGES IN ADOLESCENT AND HOW YOU WOULD HELP ADOLESCENTS COPE WITH THEM. . SEXUAL ACTIVITY With reference to some stage about adolescence,the teenage boys and girls experience an increased sexual urge for the opposite sex without knowing the consequences of early boy – girl relationships. The girls may end up pregnant causing the girl to withdraw from the society or to abort and discard the shame. Arbotion is an act of killing which is not allowed within the society. In sexual activity,both the boy and the girl may be infected with sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis which may affect their childbearing in adulthood. 2. ANOREXIA NERVOSA
A problem peculiar to adolescents and the number has recently grown especially in girls. They tremendously loose weight and has a multi-organ dysfunction in the period of most rapid growth and can lead to serious developmental disorders both psychological and physical. The ex-anorexia nervosa patients tend to have problems during pregnancy,childbirth and child rearing. They may suffer from a child rearing disorder and find it difficult to take good care of their child or even unable to feed the child with baby food. It is a physical sign that starts to develop a psychological problem affecting the social nature of the teenager. . DRUG ABUSE At some stages in adolescents, there is increase of peer relationships and also a tendency to distance themselves from parents. These areas lead the adolescents to smoking, drinking alcohol, excess dieting due to peer pressure and influence. The behavior results to poor health, seclusion from home, school avoidance. This may result into a social problem. 4. CHILD SUICIDE This factor would arise when the person does not communicate the value of life, decides that life is valueless and does not provide for solutions .
In this case the person had only the passion of love indicating a problem in the social environment as to be less valued. 5. VIOLENCE When teenagers are driven to make friends and have greater reliance on them, they are denied chances to seek advice from elders and as a result, violence occurs due to misunderstanding and bad groupings which becomes a threat to the society. Violence also occurs when the child is nurtured in a cruel environment thus the child grows into adulthood not knowing the co-existence of love especially within the family members. HOW TO HELP ADOLESCENTS COPE WITH THE ABOVE CHALLENGES.
This can be achieved by creating awareness raising activities and consultants in cooperation with families and schools so as to create understanding of the adolescents’ childhood anxieties or misgivings respect their dignity as people who have partially acquired competencies such as those of an adult. Parents should be made aware that for good health, good diet contributes a lot to the development of a person both physically, mentally and psychologically. Such a child may not develop health disorders in the future or even have an adverse effect on the next generation.
There is therefore need for supplementary guidance and outdoor activities with the help of specialists. Besides, there should be creation of organizations like community health care in line with medical services and child welfare for an interactive activity which will be responsible for the primary care for the psychological and health care problems of the adolescent. With regard to health issues during adolescence, the public relations (PR) need to be strengthened through television, radio, magazines, pamphlets and posters.
Particular emphasis should be placed on contraception and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse and early pregnancies. In school, teachers should work as a team to give guidance on adolescent health care in collaboration with school nurse or school pharmacists. The gymnastics and physical health education (PE) should be reinforced and encouraged in schools and the midwives, police personnel, ex-drug regulatory officials and doctors should be invited to hold talks with adolescents on prevention of drug abuse and sex.
With relation to ministry of education and science it is necessary to urge adolescents to recognize the value of life and to be aware that they will be responsible for rearing their own children in future by encouraging the development of teaching materials, tools and methods which can convey clear messages. REFERENCES. Kaplan P. S. (2004). Adolescence. Boston: Houghton Milffin Company. Lawrence. W. Green, Marshall. W. Kreuter. (1991) Health Promotion Planning: An Educational and Environmental Approach, second edition.