Cognitive Development in Adolescents on their Perception
Adolescence, the stage between childhood and adult life leads to the realization of many changes in every individual. Changes in mental emotional and physical appearances affect the persons involved in different ways. The effects can also extend to those with whom these people interact. It is also during adolescence that personal changes can result in the modification of behaviors in certain unexpected ways such as adoption of negative behaviors (Clea & Jayne, 2009).
During adolescence, youths develop social, cognitive, emotional and psychological needs that they strive to fulfill. The methods used in the fulfillment of these needs are dependent on the perceptions held by the individuals. The perceptions held by individuals are changed as a result of the developmental changes experienced. Perceptions held about different aspects of life such as family life and peer relations can result in the development of issues such as weight gain, delinquency and social isolation.
The period of adolescence is accompanied by various physical changes which also come with emotional and mental changes. These changes may be difficult to deal with hence adolescents should have the support of those close to them. The most difficult aspect in adolescence is dealing with puberty and sexuality changes. The desire for exploration and comprehension of differences in sexuality makes adolescents to find ways of coping with the changes. In this process, some of the adolescents fail to understand the changes in their bodies leading to development of negative behaviors such as social isolation. The sensitivity to remarks and comments about them also increases (Harrison & Hefner, 2008).
In some cases, negative changes are experienced in identity and self worthiness. In terms of moral development, adolescents sometimes find it difficult to behave morally due to failure to understand the changes that are ongoing in their lives. Engagement with those considered of low moral standings such as criminals therefore easily influences adolescents to adopt the same behaviors. This is because they are still unable to control their behaviors or to uphold moral responsibility.
Emotionally, adolescents are prone to immaturity depicted through self-centeredness. The belief that the adults around may not be fit to guide them makes them prone to error. In addition to this, they are easily influenced by stereotypes because they lack the ability to distinguish between reality and fiction (David, 2004). Behaviors such as drug abuse often manifest during adolescence because the individuals involved have no strength and will to desist negative influence.
The adolescents deserve to be guided and shown the way to take responsibility for their actions. Social development among adolescents depends on the level of emotional maturity attained. Interactions with peers and close relations determine the social capacity developed by the adolescents. Because of the influence of their peers, adolescents are more likely to adopt disrespectful attitudes towards their parents due to peer influence which asserts that family ties are not important.
Another aspect that defines adolescent development is change in behavioral patterns. Behaviors that involve risk taking and resilience such as drug use are the norm for them. Because of this, it is the role of parents and/ or guardians to check the level of emotional and psychological development in their children. The adolescents also develop behavior changes in terms of their perceptions about their parents. This may lead to disrespectful attitude. To better address this, it is essential to understand their behavior change patterns and thus offer guidance towards maturity (Michael, 2010).
Because of the nature of their engagements, teenagers tend to aim at finding opportunities to engage in negative behavior during times when there is no supervision. In spiritual and cultural development, the adolescents are still unable to make sound decisions and tend to experiment with many cultures and religious traditions. Alternatively, they may adopt the practices with which they were brought up due to inability to support their attitude changes.
Clea, M., & Jayne, B. (2009). The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development. John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
David, W. (2004). Why do they Act that Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for you and your Teen. Simon and Schuster Publishers.
Harrison, K., & Hefner, V. (2008). Body Image and Eating Disorders: The Handbook of Children, Media, and Development. New York, Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.
Michael, C. (2010). Adolescence, 11-21 Years: The Health System Must Adapt to the Needs of Adolescents, and their Needs Reside as Much in Preventive Medicine as they Do in Curative Medicine. Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
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