Adolescent Development Essay

Total Length: 1909 words ( 6 double-spaced pages)

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There are multiple stages of development that all children go through. The depth and breadth of these developmental changes ebb and flow greatly as growing children move from one stage of development to the next. Overall, there are several major developmental stages in the life of a child. There are the toddler years, the prepubescent years and the adolescent/teenage years. The brief literature review that follows in this report shall focus on the last of those. To be complete with this analysis, adolescence is not the end of human development given that many suggest that development extends into the 20's and 30's. Even so, the adolescent years of development are hailed by many as being the most pivotal, at least in some regards. While many would debate the above, it is clear that the adolescent years are among the most important.


Regardless of the development or life stage that is in question, there are many developments and changes that occur during the adolescent years and they come in many forms. These forms include physical, cognitive, emotional, social and beyond. There are environmental factors that play a part including social situations, parentage and so forth. Indeed, there is very much both a nature and nurture effect in play for every teenager as they develop. While biological happenings and changes are important, what the environment of a teenager does to influence and shape those changes is important as well. One very interesting facet that perhaps people, including scholars, do not focus enough of their attention on is how the different facets of development influence each other. For example, it may not sound intuitive to many that physical activity and development would influence mental or personality development (or vice versa) but there are some that suggest that this is absolutely a factor. For example, there was a study done earlier in 2016 that focused on how tennis training has a marked and definite effect on the development of personality. This held true in younger children as well as adolescents. Of course, the manner and method of the training would dictate what those precise effects happen to be. Even so, it is clear that the physical and mental/social paradigms of development are interconnected in very vast and complex ways (Demir et al., 2016).

Something else to be cognizant of when it comes to development is that every child and adolescent grows and blossoms in an individual way. While it is preferable to act on general trends and patterns when it comes to the topic, every teenager manifests and grows in their own way. Beyond that, just because two teenagers (even siblings) are in the same general environment and situation does not mean that their development will come off or result in the same outcomes.
They will likely be similar but there will surely be differences as well. One mental facet where this clearly happens a lot is when it comes to creativity. There are terms that get thrown around like "peaks," "slumps" and "bumps." This refers to the hills, valleys and challenges that are encountered by all adolescents as they try to foster and grow their creativity. Some adolescents encounter a fairly docile path while others have more challenges. It all depends on the adolescent involved, their personal path of development and their environment. As noted above in part, the arc that a child takes in terms of creativity may not be the same as others and could in fact be entirely different. The main point to derive from the above is that using a one-size-fits-all approach to react to and assess developing adolescents is not always the wisest thing to do. There needs to be some modicum of customization and tailoring to the needs and progress of the adolescent in question. That all being said, general trends and similarities are what they are and should not be ignored (Barbot, Lubart & Besancon, 2016).

When it comes to the development and teaching of adolescents, sexual education is a very controversial and complicated topic. Indeed, the topics of love, sex, romance and so forth have huge implications and the proper approach to use is very much debated and discussed. One manifestation of this paradigm is the use and discussion of abstinence-only education. There are indeed religious and moral implications when it comes to sex. However, many hold that partitioning off talk about contraception and the reality that many teens have sex even when the adults around them try to keep them from doing so is less than wise in terms of teen pregnancy, the spread of sexually-transmitted disease and so on. Just as with the other topics mentioned in this brief literature review, there is not a single way that seems to be entirely effective and that addresses the concerns of everyone involved (Ballanoff, Johnson, Shirtcliff & Galvan, 2015).

One might ask why there is such discord when it comes to the right way to foster development and social….....

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Anderson, J. E. (2015). Brain Development in Adolescents: New Research - Implications for Physicians and Parents in Regard to Medical Decision-Making. Issues In Law &

Medicine, 30(2), 193-196.

Ballonoff-Suleiman, A., Johnson, M., Shirtcliff, E. A., & Galvan, A. (2015). School-Based Sex

Education and Neuroscience: What We Know about Sex, Romance, Marriage, and Adolescent Brain Development. Journal of School Health, 85(8), 567-574.

Barbot, B., Lubart, T. I., & Besancon, M. (2016). "Peaks, Slumps, and Bumps": Individual

Differences in the Development of Creativity in Children and Adolescents. New

Directions For Child And Adolescent Development, (151), 33-45.

Cyr, B., Berman, S. L., & Smith, M. L. (2015). The Role of Communication Technology in Adolescent Relationships and Identity Development. Child & Youth Care Forum, 44(1),


Demir, E., Sahin, G., Senturk, U., Aydin, H., & Altinkok, M. (2016). Effects of Tennis Training

on Personality Development in Children and Early Adolescents. Journal Of Education

And Training Studies, 4(6), 28-34.

Hamre, B. K., & Cappella, E. (2015). Measures of Early Adolescent Development and School

Contexts: Narrowing the Research to Practice Divide. Journal Of Early

Adolescence, 35(5-6), 586-596.

Nigg, J. T., & Nagel, B. J. (2016). Commentary: Risk taking, impulsivity, and externalizing problems in adolescent development -- commentary on Crone et al. 2016. Journal Of

Child Psychology And Psychiatry, And Allied Disciplines, 57(3), 369-370.


Tagsold, J. T., & Decuir-Gunby, J. (2012). Film in the College Classroom: Using "Twilight" to Examine Adolescent Development. Journal Of Effective Teaching, 12(3), 87-93.

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