The Phase of Development Called ‘Adolescence’ Essay

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Adolescent development encompasses, physical development, sexual maturation, cognitive development, emotional development, peer relationships, autonomy from the family, identity formation and increasing independence. All of these aspects of adolescent development are influenced by physiological, social and cultural factors. Different societies have different ideas as to what “adolescence” means, for example when a Jewish adolescent comes of age at thirteen years old, he is eligible for a “bar mitzvah”, which is the Jewish rite of passage to adulthood. A Jewish adolescent who has becomes a Bar Mitzvah (“son of the commandment”) is now ethically and morally responsible for his decision, as an adult is, in the eyes of the Jewish law (Encyclopaedia Britannic 2012). There are a number of important theorists who greatly contributed to the bank of knowledge on human and adolescent development. Piaget introduced the idea of abstract thinking. According to Piaget once children reach the formal operational stage which begins at eleven years and lasts into adulthood, children are able to think about abstract concepts, such as love, ethics and justice, they are able to consider hypothesises and test them. Piaget’s idea of abstract thinking relates to Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of morality, as both theorists believed, that a more complex ability to reason morally was achieved in adolescence. Erik Erickson uncovered another paramount aspect of adolescences. The developmental stage Identity vs. Role Confusion, put forward by Erickson reflects the universal angst of teens about “who am I?” (Byrne-Doran 2012). Another theorist, Robert Havinghurst highlights six key developmental tasks in adolescence, as being, physical maturation, formal operations, emotional development, membership in the peer group, adoption of a value system and sexual relationships (Sugarman 2001). He

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