The Interplay of Interpsychic and Intrapsychic Relationships in the Adolescent Stage of Life

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While this essay forms a collective piece of work looking at the interplay of interpsychic and intrapsychic relationships, I will look specifically at the uniqueness of this interplay in the adolescent stage of life. I will look at what is unique about adolescence and discuss how the adolescent stage fits into the general topic. I will critically evaluate differences in theories of the psyche and how they help us or otherwise to understand the adolescent psyche. Firstly, in definition, adolescence is a transitional period and cannot be firmly described in terms of age. It occurs after puberty and adulthood starts shortly afterwards. In the west during the last couple of centuries economic and social conditions have demanded that more young people should be educated to meet the needs of industry and commerce. As education extended into teenage years a gap was created between childhood and adulthood and the young people who filled it were described as ‘adolescents’. Adolescence appears to be a cultural creation amongst western societies. Transitions from childhood to adulthood in eastern and southern hemisphere nations tended to be shorter although as these countries develop the adolescent phenomena becomes more prevalent. Although some would argue that collective societies where a sense of community is strongly established are less likely to have a long period of adolescence than individualistic societies in the west. “One of the major developmental tasks that help us form our sense of identity and belonging is to successfully learn the basic cultural rules of our society while we are children, to internalize those principles and practices as we move through adolescence, and then use them as the basis for how we live and act as adults.” (Van Reken & Pollock, 2001, p. 40) Van Reken goes on to argue that where these rules are clearly defined in close

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