Adolescence and young adulthood is a time of continued cognitive development. This is the stage in life that is associated with the increase and subsequent decrease of impulsively taking risk. Peer relations are extremely important for teens in that they experience a whole new realm of reality, unique to themselves. The frequency of time spent with peers increases as the time spent with parents and family throughout the course of adolescence (Savin-Williams and Berndt, 1990). The roles of the family established during childhood helped the family unit to keep a system of equilibrium.
During adolescence, teens are looking for a different kind of support from their family and this may be a stressful time for the family until a new system of equilibrium is established. In this paper, I will explain how adolescence can change and effect the continuity of life span development in family relationships. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, adolescence is defined as the period of psychological development from the onset of puberty to maturity. They are going through so many changes, emotional, physical, psychological, and social.
Parents may find themselves pushing their family budget to its limits to help keep up with trends of peer culture. Also parent-adolescent relations are pushed to the limits as well. “Adolescence is marked by disagreements, bickerings, emotional tensions, and minor conflicts with parents over everyday details of family life, such as chores, feeding pets, doing school work, and getting along with siblings”(Shulman, 1991, p. 155). The conflicts increase between ages of 10 and 15 and then decreases. Parents beliefs may also influence their interactions when dealing with adolescence.
This is also where less effective management occurs, less monitoring, discipline, and reinforcement of positive behavior. But they exercise what they consider reasonable control and are flexible to encourage independence. Through those various breaks in independence, this is where we find many of those impulsive and risky behaviors that can change one’s life, such as drugs, teen pregnancy, gangs, skipping school, and gender identity. Personality, I’m going through first hand experience of adolescence dealing with girls, late night phone calls, trends and fads, the desire to go be apart of the “ in crowd”.
My son is fourteen and his very open about his current life changes. But many parents don’t really experience this because of a lack in communication. Communication is very a important part to any good relationship. This is true for the relationship between parents and their children. This becomes more difficult in adolescence. Riera (1995) suggests being a consultant-parent than a manager will help their teenager develop and exercise their decision-making muscles. This will help avoid two common mistakes, treating them like children and treating them like adults.
They are just starting to figure out who they are other than a son or daughter. Some controversies associated with adolescence in changes and their effects on continuing life span development in family relationships are how they are negatively perceived and viewed. Also the thought processes of research studies are typically one-sided. “Adolescents often engage in behaviors that can substantially impede their future life success” (Chung and Elias, 1996). I believe that this is hindering the study of adolescence in family relationships.
Not only the negative aspects, but not including all factors. For example, research does not give examples of positive effects that adolescence has on family. It also does not include the positive examples from making bad decisions. There are many teenagers whom have made poor choices. They have managed to persevere and still have success in life. Teens have been to jail, ex-gang members, teen parents, and some even have been shot. But they have managed to turn their lives around. Not by themselves, but with the help of their families.
Not all adolescents are bad and are out of control. Some parents have managed to keep their teens in their sight and still allow them to be independent. In conclusion, adolescence will continue to be a hot topic because of the misconceptions behind research studies that assume behaviors and decisions made by younger adults. We will continue to make sure accurate and factual information is available to the next generation. I think as life span development progresses, and new aged adolescents are produced, the more inaccurate information will emerge.
Adolescence. (n. d. ). The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved July 06, 2008 from Dictionary. com web site: http://dictonary. reference. com/browser. adolescence. Riera, M. , 1995. Uncommon Advice for Parents with Teenagers: Celestial Arts: Berkley, CA. Sarvin-Williams, R. C. , and Berndt, T. J. , (1990). Friendship and Peer Relations. At the threshold. (pp. 277-307) Cambridge, Massachussetts. Shulman, S. (Ed. ). 1991). Close relationships and socioemotional development. Norwood, NJ: Alex Publishing Corp.