Humanities
University of Southern Mississippi Challenges of A Teenager Discussion

University of Southern Mississippi

Question Description

Can you help me understand this Social Science question?

Prompt: When you were an adolescent, what do you think was most difficult about being a teenager? You may answer either from your own personal perspective or in general related to your cohort. Then, what do you think is most difficult for today's teenager?


minimum of 500 words. 100% own personal opinion. I attached some notes regarding the chapter information

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Adolescence is a stage in life that is a transitional period going from childhood to adulthood. Adolescence begins around the age of 12 and can go until the age of 24. Adolescence is a time of growth and adaption for both children and parents. Early adolescence can still have traits of childhood. The beginning of puberty is what marks the end of childhood. Early adolescence encompasses physical changes that are associated with sexual maturation. Puberty refers to maturation of physical sexual characteristic. Puberty typically occurs in females earlier than males. The average age for females is 10, but it can sometimes occur earlier. The average age for males is 12, but onset can occur earlier in males sometimes even as early as 9. Late Adolescence begins the journey into emerging adulthood. Late adolescence typically begins around age 16. This stage includes psychosocial changes as adolescents are moving towards an increased independence. Adolescents are gaining more personal responsibilities during this time of transition. During the teenage years, teenage minds change in ways that a person remembers, thinks, focuses, reasons, relates to others, and in decision making. Teenage decision making can be impulsive and focused on the immediate and lack any consideration for long-term consequences. While the teenage brain can be impulsive, it can also be a positive thing meaning teenage brains have greater memories and more of a willingness to think outside the box. During adolescence, drugs and alcohol can have greater damaging effects on the developing mind. Adolescent brains can be more vulnerable causing these substances to be more addictive. Some damage might not be undone which can lead to addiction, depression, and mental disorders. The teenage brain is very proficient at learning new skills such as learning a new language, a musical instrument, etc. However, these cognitive skills do not mean that the emotional side of a teenage brain is as efficient. The teenage brain can be more emotional and erratic at times. Although adolescents think they can stay up all night, in reality, adolescents need sleep for proper development. Family Status are the aspects of family structure and positioning: single parenting, socioeconomic resources, employment, and education. Family Process is the relationship within the family. The relationships can be intergenerational (grandparent involvement) or intragenerational (sibling involvement and relationships). Parenting styles do need to adapt during the adolescent stage. Parents must now learn to meet the needs of a maturing child. During this time adolescents can begin to pressure parents to be treated more maturely and demand more independence in the relationship. While some independence is needed, adolescents still flourish on parental attention and meaningful relationships. The quality of time spent together is what is critical. During adolescence, parents become more authoritative, less authoritarian, but eventually parents become more permissive as their adolescent grows older. This is due to the increasing autonomy of the adolescent. Seven styles: Autocratic: teens have no freedom of expression with their opinions and are not allowed to make any decision about their life. Authoritarian: Teens can express their opinion, but parents still make the decisions Democratic: Teens and parents share the power, but parents can still veto the power of making decisions. Permissive: Teens begin to take more responsibility for decisions and actions, but still have an understanding that parents will have input in the decision-making process. Egalitarian: Teens and parents have equal power , and the decision-making process is a joint effort. Laissez-faire: Teens have complete control for making decisions. Parents may give information and opinions, but generally teens disregard those opinions. Ignoring: Parent do not take part or have any interest in an adolescent’s behavior. It is important to have a good foundation of healthy eating as a child is brought up, so that during the teenage years adolescents are more likely to make positive food choices. Family meals and food choices along with positive parental role models can remain significant despite pressures from peers. With adolescence comes an increase in appetite. Without positive guidance from parents, teens are more likely to be tempted to eat less-nutritious easy-to-access foods. Continued health monitoring is also important throughout the teenage years. Monitoring health allows for any early detection of irregularities and also helps to aid in keep immunizations up to date. Establishing a relationship with a provider can also allow for a teen to build rapport with the doctor which can make it easier for the teen to talk about any confidential or personal issues and health concerns he or she may have. The misuse of prescription drugs and fatal overdoses has been on the rise and has become a health epidemic among teens. The teenage brain is more susceptible to alcohol abuse and drug abuse. Although teens sometimes feel they are invincible, they need to be aware of the vulnerability their brain has to drug and alcohol use. Those adolescents who have been reared under a more authoritative style of parenting have a greater ability to resist succumbing to the pressure from peers of using alcohol or drugs. If parental role modeling is appropriate, teens are again less likely to engage in habits such as smoking, drinking, or drugs. While it is a sensitive subject, suicide is one of the highest leading causes of deaths among 1124 year old children. Despite a popular myth, asking an individual who you may suspect to be having suicidal thoughts will not cause that person to want to commit suicide. Suicide can be related to may factors such as clinical depression. Some mental illnesses begin to be present during late adolescence and can be factors. Bullying can also be a factor for suicidal thoughts or attempts. An adolescent who is depressed can feel that this is the only escape. Eating disorders are becoming more recognized as a mental health disorder. An eating disorder can sometimes be a means for a person to feel they have control. Low self esteem and a distorted body image can also be reasons a teen might develop an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by starvation and a low body mass in an individual. This eating disorder is accompanied by distorted body image and it is commonly accompanied with excessive exercise. It can start with dieting and the desire to be a certain weight, but it becomes life threatening and may even require hospitalization. Therapy for this disorder can aid in treating malnutrition and psychotherapy to teach a teen how to become more autonomous in a less self-destructive way. Bulimia is a disorder that involves intaking copious amounts of food, and then purging those foods from the body by inducing vomiting or abusing laxatives. Those individuals with bulimia know their behavior is inappropriate unlike those suffering from anorexia. Binging and purging is done in secret to avoid discovery. This condition also responds positively to therapy: both individual and family/group therapy. Family climate is use to describe the well-being of family members on an emotional level. When change in a family takes place that can alter the system’s functioning, the structure and unity of the family system is threatened. Family systems to face changes and challenges especially when a child becomes an adolescent and he or she begins to have that desire for individuation. This can pose a threat to the family’s functioning and system cohesion. During this stage, parents can sometimes be reluctant to release their teen from the boundaries and limits that were set in place during earlier developmental stages. Those parents who struggle to allow their child autonomy can sometimes be referred to as “helicopter parents”. Parents who utilize the authoritative parenting style can still provide structure for their growing adolescent and while being firm they can present it in a more warm and loving way. Peer groups are a part of an adolescents formation of his or her personal identity. Teenagers look to peers for their own self-evaluations. Peer groups help adolescents form and redefine their personal identity. During adolescence, boundaries between child and parent are more distinct, but the boundaries between peer groups begins to blur. Adolescence is the time of struggle towards liberation. Individuation is the process that leads to this and it is part of the identity formation in adolescent development. This process beings in adolescence, but it may not be completed in some until adulthood. Working part-time jobs, choosing friends, and dating are several steps an adolescent takes towards emancipation. During adolescence, an individual’s understanding becomes more flexible. Instead of thinking being governed by perceptions, adolescents are able to have more abstract thinking and reasoning. Adolescents are able to detach from reality and think of many possibilities (for example, playing the devil’s advocate). Cognitive egocentrism can hinder mature thinking. Egocentrism can establish itself in several ways: Exaggeration and dramatization -which is interpreting something in a more complex way than is necessary. Imaginary audience- adolescent’s believe that they are the center of everyone’s attention and every move they make is being inspected. (self-consciousness about their appearance; who they are seen with) Incongruence- there can be a difference in what they believe and how they act. In other words, they can be sensitive to how others treat them, but they can be insensitive to other people’s feelings. Personal Invincibility- they take chances and risks because adolescents often feel that bad things will not happen to them. One of the first interpersonal social experiences that addresses sexuality for a teenager is dating. More teens are becoming sexually active at younger ages. For many, as they age adolescents become more involved with just one partner as opposed to promiscuity. Sex education is needed for teens because adolescence is that time of experimenting and exploring. Sexual choices require that abstract thinking process. If teens do not have proper and informative sex education, they may resort to learning about sex on their own with unreliable resources that are not factual. Parents can help to provide information to their child by providing resources that can talk about abstinence or understanding safe sex. Almost half of STIs reported are among adolescents between the ages of 15 to 24. Some of this could be due to lack of sex education information available to teenagers. Sexual expression should always be consensual. Coercion in sexual relationships along with unequal power can lead to intimate partner violence and rape. Young women should be taught that they do have the right to say no and should be supported in that decision by their partner. Contraceptive use signals that an individual understands the consequences of a sexual activity such as pregnancy or disease. Teenagers are sometimes influenced on their use of contraceptives by a variety of cognitive distortions about their ability to become pregnant. If teens can delay the onset on becoming sexually active until later adolescence they are more likely to use contraceptives. Parents’ openness to communicate about sex with their child and providing information to their child can also influence an adolescent to be more likely to use contraceptives. Peer groups also have an influence on each other. If peers are positive about the use of contraceptives, their friend group will also be more likely to adopt this belief. Gender roles begin to become clearer during adolescence. Sexual orientation is influenced by biological, genetic, and environmental factors. Ad adolescents begin to explore their sexual orientation they can become concerned about peer acceptance. Family rejection can be a harmful risk to those LGBT young adults. The strongest support is family acceptance. Emerging adulthood is the beginning of early adulthood. This transitional stage was first described by developmental psychologist, Jeffrey Jenson Arnett. Emerging adulthood is between the ages of 18 to 25. In this stage emerging adults have five defining characteristics: Exploring one’s identity Having feelings of instability Focusing on one’s self Emotionally feeling between adolescence and adulthood Experiencing a range of life’s possibilities Most adults find this time of their life as a time of transition where they are completing the final aspects of individuation from their family system. Many are not married and still rely on their parents for some financial dependency. Some young adults even find themselves returning home for a period of time. Unhealthy prolonged dependency sometimes takes place with adult children and their parents. It could be due to parents who are overinvolved, adult children who need prolonged help due to higher education, or parents did not encourage individuation in their child. A lack of boundaries can also be a factor. Parents can encourage their child towards individuation by establishing deadlines for tasks to be accomplished. Most pregnancies among teens occur due to the lack of using contraceptives. Teen pregnancies can result in both short and long term consequences. Teenage marriages are more likely to be high risk and prone to divorce. If the father in the teen pregnancy is more involved, the relationship is more likely to be more stable and lasting. Early marriage is an option but it is not always the optimal solution. Public assistance for an unmarried, pregnant teen can be an essential resource. The most important thing teen parents can receive is the support to finish their education. The younger the mother, the less likely she is to return to school after giving birth. Dropping out of school can cause long term consequences as the teen gets older and begins to seek employment. Teen mothers are sometimes less likely to engage in prenatal care which can cause physical complications for the young mother. A lack of health care can also affect the health of a young mother. Mental health can also have negative affects due to a lack of social support and resources. The quality of the relationship between the young mother and father prior to the birth of the child can have an influence on the coparenting that will occur once the child is born. Paternal involvement can also depend on the mother’s support and expectations. A variety of programs have been established to help young fathers understand the changes in their lives as they become parents. Programs available can aid teen parents by providing counseling, peer education, or services to increase contraceptive use (which appear to be more beneficial than those programs that only teach abstinence). Other programs are those that bring awareness to the potential of contracting an STI if engaging in sexual activity. Sex education programs that offer information about both abstinence and contraception use have been found most helpful in causing teens to delay becoming sexually active, showing a reduction in the amount of sexual partners, and an increase in the use of contraceptives. Programs have been developed to reach pregnant teens in the public school system. Programs are also being established to reach those in schools that are already parents. Due to the negative impact a lack of education can have on an individual, some schools and programs are even beginning to offer child care services to teen parents so they can continue education. Participation in programs can help young parents to receive the education and skills they need to improve their parenting skills. Many of these programs include information about child development and infant and child behavior. ...
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Running head: CHALLENGES OF A TEENAGER

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Challenges of a Teenager
Challenges of a Teenager
As a teenager, the most difficult thing that I witnessed with most of my teens is the
physiological changes that are experienced during adolescence. These changes are induced by

hormonal variations. Almost everything changes during adolescence and hormonal effects begin
taking shape and many physiological characteristics changes, for example, some hormones may
be secreted and may cause the growth of breasts and pubic hair which brings into play a whole
new person. Accepting these new changes and the new person is one of the most difficult things I
witnessed for most of the teenagers as it lowered their self-esteem. These hormonal variations
may also cause mood swings and it may greatly affect interaction in a family or any social
setting with teens.
These physiological changes make teens feel that they are mature but they are not and are
rather in the process of growing up. The adults do not appreciate them as mature people and tend
to look at them as immature. These changes affect the way they perceive themselves and tend to
look at themselves as different people in the community. For example, during our time, most of
the females felt embarrassed due to the visible growth of breasts and some of them even tried to
hide them so that they could not be seen. Psychological support and guidance of teenagers during
these times would be the best thing to help them appreciate such changes.
The most difficult thing for today’s teenager is peer pressure. Everything has changed
and how people interact and communicate in the society has also changed more so with
technology and the internet taking shape in the globalized village. Most often teenagers tend to
compare themselves with peers who often post false information on social media. Most teenagers
tend to benchmark themselves usin...

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