Adolescence is the transition
period before adulthood. A number of physi-cal and psychological objectives are
of physical maturation.
of sexual maturation.
of personal identity.
of sexual relationships.
Adolescence is therefore filled
with major changes that need to be taken into account when caring for
adolescents with health-related problems.
adolescent-relevant issues, e.g. sex/drugs/smoking.
and personal integrity.
All those working with adolescents
need to acquire the appropriate skills to manage and communicate effectively
with young people.
Adolescence marks the beginning of
the development of more complex thinking processes. These include:
ability for abstract thinking (thinking about possibilities).
ability to reason from known principles (form own new ideas or questions).
ability to consider many points of view according to different
(i.e. compare or debate ideas or opinions).
ability to think about the process of thinking.
During adolescence, young people
acquire the ability to think systemati-cally about all logical relationships
within a problem. The transition from concrete thinking to formal logical
conclusions occurs over time. Each adolescent progresses at varying rates in
developing his/her ability to think in more complex ways. Some adolescents may
be able to apply logical operations to school work long before they are able to
apply them to personal dilemmas. When emotional issues arise, they often
interfere with an adolescent’s ability to think in more complex ways. The
ability to con-sider possibilities, as well as facts, may influence
decision-making, in either +ve or –ve ways. The interactions that occur between
puberty and psy-chological development are important, esp. in the context of
developing self-esteem and a sense of sexuality and body image.
Adolescence marks the period of
time during which there is a gradual shift in the balance between dependence on
others to position of indepen-dence. The timing of this process is variable and
will depend on the social and cultural environment.
and social changes occur against a background of physical changes of puberty.