What are the General Characteristics of Adolescence amoung Students ?



Adolescence both in terms of age (between 10 & 19 years) and in terms of a phase of life marked by special attributes. These attributes includes:

Adolescence both in terms of age (between 10 & 19 years) and in terms of a phase of life marked by special attributes. These attributes includes:

1) Rapid physical growth and development- Change in voice change in weight, height and strength.

2) Physical, Social and psychological maturity, but not all at the same time- Physiological change means change in the internal system of the body. Some of them gain weight, height later. So, they feel inferior.

3) Sexual maturity and the onset of sexual activity

4) Experimentation

5) Development of adult mental processes and adult identity.

General Characteristics of Adolescence:

According to Piaget the final period of intellectual development is the period of formal operations, which begins at about the age of 11 and is consolidated during Adolescence.

At the formal operational stage adolescent develop the capacity for abstract, scientific thinking. Formal operational adolescents can 'operate on operations'. The following are the: major characteristics of this stage:

(1) The adolescent's System of Mental operations has reached a high degree of Equilibrium - Adolescence thought is flexible and effective. He can deal efficiently with the complex problems of reasoning. He can imagine the many possibilities of solving a problem.

(2) The Adolescent is able to apply logical thoughts to all classes of problems - The fact that the adolescent is logical in his approach does not mean that he no larger thinks illogically. Rather, it is a fact that the adolescent shows further advancement in his intellectual development with increasing ages. But, he cannot differentiate between logic and reality. He cannot distinguish between what is real and what is logical.

(3)The Adolescent is able to use Abstract Rules to solve a whole class of problems - For example, consider the problem 'what number is 30 less than 3 times itself? The adolescent has learned a higher order operation and may set the equation X+30 = 3X and quickly finds the answer of 15.

(4) Formal thought is Relational and Systematic - The adolescent deals with propositions, not objects. He plans the tests adequately or designs the experiments properly. He observes the results accurately. He draws proper logical conclusions from his observation. Thus, Adolescent thought is rational and systematic.

(5) Adolescent becomes concerned with the Hypothetic-Deductive Reasoning - Formal operational thinkers can form hypotheses, set up mental experiments to test them, and isolate or control variables in order to complete a valid test of the Hypothesis.

(6) Adolescent becomes concerned with Analogical Reasoning and Reflexive Ability-The child can explain 'why 'and 'how' the Analogy works. They are able to systematically generate all possible solution to a problem or engage in combinational reasoning.

According to ERICKSON'S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY OF DEVELOPMENT, the Adolescence comes under the stage of IDENTITY. ROLE CONFUSION (12-18 yrs). The Adolescence marks the first time that a conscious effort is made to answer the question "Who am" the conflict defining this stage is identity vs. role confusion.

Identity refers to the organization of the individuals, drives, abilities, briefs and history into a consistent image of self. It involves deliberate choices and decisions, particularly about vocation, sexual orientation and a philosophy of life. If adolescent fail to integrate all these aspects and choices or if they feel unable to choose at all, role confusion threatens.

According to KOHLBERG'S STAGE THEORY OF MORAL REASONING Adolescence comes under the stage of 'conventional moral reasoning' (10- 20) yrs.

Judgement here is based on the loyalty to the established social order, to the expectations of the family, social group, country. The individuals now make moral decisions by considering factors of less concrete and a more social nature such as approval of others, family locality, opinions to the law and order.

1) Interpersonal Harmony:

Good behaviour is that which pleases or helps other, based on family and cultural code. Intentions, not just effect, become significant. Approval of others becomes significant.

2) Authority and social order/law and order:

The child respects authority by doing what is required and protecting social and religious codes because they are there. As development continues, the individual moves from concerns of other to a more generalized orientation to follow societal rules and law.