Lifespan Development: Adolescence

Date:  2021-03-26 19:24:56
8 pages  (2026 words)
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Lifespan development is the branch of psychology that studies intra-individual and inter-individual changes and how these specific changes affect or relate to each other. The study occurs from conception to death. Adolescence is a stage of ones lifespan, and various changes take place in the person during this level (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2006). It is one of the stages in development that determines to a significant degree how an individual progresses through the latter stages. During this stage, there is emotional, physical, social and cognitive maturity experienced in the individual.

Physical development is slowed down during this juncture, and it is more of an internal rather than external development. Developing at this stage is therefore not physically observable because most of the growth has occurred during puberty. There are apparent individual differences at this level. Sexual differences are noticeable. Boys are considered to experience their growth spurt later than girls, but theirs takes longer than that of girls (Cronin, & Mandich, 2015). They surpass girls in strength due to continued growth in muscles. There are significant individual differences especially on various parts of the body influenced by some factors that may include maturity.

Cognitive development occurs where people at this stage become pay more attention. Their focus becomes concentrated on relevant information, and there is a better adaptation to the varying demands of tasks. There are more efficient strategies, efficient storage, representation and retrieval of information (Sigelman, & Rider, 2014). There is an increase in knowledge which indicates an easier use of information. The awareness of cognition or meta-cognition expands which results in new and better strategies in problem solving and acquisition of information. There is an improvement in cognitive self-regulation and the processing capacity due to development in the brain.

Social development during adolescences comes with a task that is often difficult for various individuals during this stage. There need to be adjustments in the social life of these persons which relate to the opposite sex which was not in existence (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2006). There also needs to be variations in individuals outside the school and family environments. They experience different changes which come with issues like new social grouping, peer pressure, social rejection and acceptance and its values, the value of friendship and new social behavior. Peer groups and their influence make a lot of difference in an individual during this stage.

Emotional development in adolescence is attributable to the social pressures and new conditions they encounter which they receive little or no preparation for during childhood. As they make adjustments especially concerning their emotionality, many of the individuals during this stage will face emotional stability and which is considered a form of logical balance (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2006). There is the issue of creation of romantic relationships which may not always be successful and this could way them down emotionally. There is also the problem of the unknown future for individuals in the adolescence stage, and many of them will worry about what will happen.

Development during this period, therefore, needs to occur in all these aspects of the individual. There may be instances where an individual stagnates in previous stages like childhood as Erikson and Freud propose in their theories which means that the person will not go through development during the adolescence stage successfully. It is, therefore, a recommendation for previous steps to be successful for one to go through adolescence in a healthy way.

Method

Individuals in adolescence stage are not in the company of their parents in many instances. Many of them feel that they are old enough and can make major decisions on their own. They also do not want to be seen in the company of their parents because they may be viewed as still children. Many of them are in groups, and these are usually their peer groups. They are trying to create an identity at this stage, and they will do this through joining a peer group where they can feel they belong. Their dressing also stands out. Identity formation pushes them to dress in a certain way for them to stand out from the crowd. It may also be a way of how they describe who they are.

Another behavior to observe is the excessive use of gadgets including phones, tablets, etc. with the advancements in technology especially social media, many adolescences have a significant amount of trust in technology and will always be preoccupied with what is happening on social media and thus are always busy on their phones. They may also be pairs of a boy and a girl who may be boyfriend and girlfriend. It is because they are working on developing romantic relationships with individuals from the opposite sex.

The peer groups also stand out from each other. They want to be unique or have something special that defines the group. They are trying to create an identity using the group and thus want it to stand out. Some of the ways through which this occurs are how they dress or the activities the groups engage. There may also be an observation of a particular language that is only understandable to the adolescences. Other people especially adults or young children may not understand what they are saying, but individuals at this period know each other.

Observation #1

The individual is individual is not in the company of any older individuals or parents. She is sitting alone at the restaurant with a cup containing a drink in it. The observation takes a naturalistic form where she is not aware of what is happening. She is dressed in all black clothing and has several piercings on the face. Her make-up is also dark, and she does not seem to have concern for other individuals around her or other activities happening. She appears to be between the age of fifteen and seventeen. She is looking at her phone throughout and that is why she is not concerned with what is going on around her.

She takes a few sips of her beverage as her face is still focusing on the phone. She is seated at a table located in the furthest corner of the restaurant she is in and keeps to herself. She sits at the table for a while concentrating on her phone the whole time. She sometimes puts on her earphones listens to music for a while then takes them after. She makes a phone call, leaves her bill on the table then exists without looking back.

Observation #2

The individuals are all females and in a group of four. They may be between sixteen and seventeen years. They are walking as they talk and laugh out loud. Their dressing stands out as they are all dressed in baby pink clothes and any clothing item they have is the same color. They seem to have one group of the member who stands out and appears to be giving commands to the rest. It is evident from her position at the front of the crowd as they walk and through her gestures which are similar to commands she is giving to the team members. Two are carrying books in their hands which shows that they may be members of the same school.

As they walk, they stop several times to take pictures as a group and of particular members of the group. They also have no concern for other individuals passing around them but are more drawn to their clothing and the accessories they have on.

Observation #3

The individual is male a bit built and tall. He walks to a bench the seats as his earphones are in his ears. I can only assume that he is listening to music. He has a backpack that looks like it has a lot of items in it due to its size. After he sits, he takes his bag off and takes out what looks like a large white piece of white paper. He goes on to take some paint cans for the bag places the white paper on the bench and starts to paint using the spray cans. It is not clear what he is painting, but his concentration is just on the work he is doing.

I can see him nodding his head, and I can only assume that he is dancing to the music he is hearing. People are passing by some standing for a few seconds to have a glimpse of what he is doing. He takes note of them but does not pay so much attention to them as they watch. He does his painting using various colored spray can. He puts one spray can down and lifts his work up looks at it then puts it down to dry as he also sits on the bench. He waits for a few minutes folds his drawing the leaves with his backpack and the painting in hand.

Observation #4

Observation four is on a male individual who is seen strolling in the park. He has a backpack and is carrying a skateboard in his hand. He walks for a small distance as he greets particular individuals he encounters. I assume that those he greets are people he knows. He has long hair that reaches his shoulders, and a couple of tattoos are visible on his right hand. He moves towards a place in the park where other individuals are skateboarding while others are playing basketball. He greets a small number of those who are skate-boarding the goes ahead to start skateboarding too.

He skateboards for a while then goes to sit with some boys who are taking a rest from the sport. They start talking as they smile and sometimes laugh out loud. There are instances where some of them stand and bump their fists as they laugh. They continue talking and laughing for a while then some of them leave as the individual under observation goes back to his sport. 

Observation #5

The final observation is of a female subject in the company of a few other individuals. She, however, stands out due to the guitar she is carrying on her back. She walks in the company of the other persons as they talk and make fun. She stops for some time as she sings and her friends cheer her own. They get to a place with a bench, and they seat as she remains standing. She takes her guitar and starts playing. She sings as the rest listen. There reaches a point where two more individuals from the group join her and sing with her.

They sing for about five minutes then they stop. The rest clap and cheer the person on. She smiles, bows the seats with them. They stay there for a while talking as they make jokes and laugh. Some of them start leaving, and she is left behind on the bench. She the packs her guitar and walks away too.

Reflections

The individuals observed are all under the adolescence stage of lifespan development due to an estimation of how old they might be. They each demonstrate various characteristics that are present in individuals at this level. I chose to use the naturalistic observation to ensure that they do not adjust their behavior as a result of their observation. I wanted to observe how the act naturally without any influence to ensure the best results. All those found were not in the company of adults or parents and were between the age of fifteen and seventeen. There was, therefore, no need of acquiring permission from any adult.

The observations offer expected results because every individual show characteristics of behavior universally present in adolescents. All information necessary for the representation is available from the five people, and they are impressive and educative. I get to learn firsthand how teenagers behave and act as they transit through this stage of development, an activity I had never engaged in before. 

Comparison with research summary

The observations yielded results of different behavioral activities. As evident, adolescence manifest different behaviors as they transit through the stage and these behaviors were present in the individuals observed. One of the characteristics of persons in the adolescence stage is the...

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