Common Obstacles in making Transition to Maturity
Adolescents who did not establish good habits during childhood will be unable to master the developmental tasks of adolescence. As Eisenberg has explained, Optimal development in adolescence depends on successful accomplishment of the development tasks in infancy and childhood.
Late matures have less time in which to make the developmental tasks of adolescence. The early matures are those who mature at the average age. Many late matures have barely completed the puberty changes when adolescence is drawing to a close.
Prolonged Treatment as Children
Adolescents who, because they were late matures, are often treated as children at the time when their contempraries are treated as near adults. As a result, they may develop feelings of inadequacy about their abilities to assume the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that comes with adulthood.
Adolescents who go to work after completing high school, or after dropping out of school, undergo a drastic role change almost over night. They must assume adult roles earlier than their contempraries who continue their education, and they are deprived of the opportunity to make a slow transition into adulthood.
A prolonged state of dependency, as when adolescents continue their education into early adulthood, is a handicap in making the transition to adulthood. Because girls, as a group, are more apt to be forced into a state of prolonged dependency than boys, they are especially handicapped in making the transition into adulthood.