Adolescence is the most important period of human life. Some poets have described it as the spring of human beings and an important era in the total life span. The etymological meaning of adolescence is to grow to maturity. Adolescence is that span of years during which boys and girls move from childhood to adulthood mentally, emotionally, socially and physically.
According to a group of psychologist, it is the period when an individual is capable of begetting off spring. It means we can say that he/she becomes adolescent. As it is used today, the term adolescence has a boarder meaning. It includes mental, emotional and social maturity as well as physical maturity. It is customary to regard adolescence as the time when children begin to become sexually mature until when they reach the age of legal maturity. Chronologically, adolescence appears roughly between ages twelve to the early 20s. The onset of adolescence varies from culture to culture depending on the socio- economic conditions of the society and the country. In this period, great changes occur in the overall development of the individual.
Adolescence is the most important period because of its immediate effects on attitude and behavior. Similarly, it is also characterized by transitional period, period of change, age of problem, time of search for identify, and threshold of adulthood. So, they begin to smoke, drinking, and engaging in sex.
According to WHO, Adolescence is the age range ten to nineteen years. Adolescence is marked with physical, social and emotional changes. This is also an age of problem because many adolescents lack the capacity of actualization some of them feel the society in their opposition to reduce the gap and tension in adolescent. Proper understanding between the adolescents and their family is a must.
Whatever changes that happen during adolescence do not occur at the same time and with the same rate. Some changes emerge in the beginning of the adolescence and other changes appear in the last stage of adolescence. Some changes occur rapidly whereas other changes are seen gradually. This period is called the period of change because it is a transitional period from childhood to adulthood.
The following are the important changes in this period:
There are two types of physical changes during adolescence. They are external and internal. External changes are clearly seen and noticed from outside. For example, increase in height and weight of the body, growth of sexual organs, appearance of mustache and bread in a male child, etc. similarly internal changes are the changes that appear in the internal systems of our body such as changes and development of digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, glandular system, etc. The growth of height in girls is almost completed by the age of seventeen to eighteen years whereas the growth of height in boys remains two years later than the girls. Various researches have proved that immunized adolescents gain better height than those who were not immunized and sick during the children. Physical weight also increases along with their height. Various organs of boys proportionally and gradually increase. There is a growth and development of sex organs in both boys and girls but they are not fully matured for reproduction. Various changes such as increases in the size of penis and testis, sprouting hair around genitals, production of spermatozoa, emergence of mustache and beard, sprouting hair under armpit, change of voice, wet dream, etc. take place in boys. In girls, size of breasts increases, hair sprouts around genital and armpit, size and shape of vagina and uterus increases.
Mental changes and development during adolescence on many intellectual fronts. There is an increase in the ability to see relationship and to think the solution of more difficult problems. Children usually generalize in relation to concrete objective; where as adolescent can generalize in an abstract way. With the maturity of nervous system the memory power of adolescent increases. Besides this, they can imagine about a situation which is not physically present. In spite of these changes, the ability to communicate with other persons, moral concepts, decision making and identification with conditions also develop significantly.
Emotional changes and development
All the human beings have their emotions or feelings. It is emotion which controls our behavior. The development of emotions reaches its peak during adolescence period. Various kinds of emotions such as anger, sympathy, love, affection hatred, etc. develop in this stage. We went to do any sorts of work enthusiastically by showing our full energy. If our feelings are guided properly, we become more patriotic to the nation. Sometimes, we feel like laughing, crying, staying alone, reading love stories and watching movies, etc. Therefore, the period of adolescence is characterized by various emotional changes. If we cannot give right track to these emotions, they will surely create evils and spoil our whole life. Thus, the best alternative to this is to involve ourselves in recreational activities like dance, games, music, club work etc. Besides these, we can also develop positive emotions by concertinaing fully in our studies, taking part in scout and junior Red Cross, taking part in student leadership in school, etc. It is well known to everybody that every body's mind is the devil workshop. Keeping this statement in our mind, we should keep ourselves busy in some kinds of creative and constructive work. Developments of the feeling of loneliness, development of the ability to bear tension, rapid changes of emotion are the some emotional changes that occur during adolescent.
Human is basically a social animal. He/she is born, developed, works and progress in the society. Social development is very essential for proper adjustment in the society. In adolescent becomes self- conscious of his place in the society. With the advancing age, the child remains most of with his friends. The friends and types of peer groups join the adolescent join; shape his behavior, speech and interest than the family does. If members of the peer- group are experiment with alcohol, drugs or tobacco, adolescents are likely to do the same. There is an increasing interest to attend parties, fairs, and celebrations where members of both sexes meet. Adolescents take interest in taking up various problems. A strong desire for independence develops in adolescence. This leads to many clashes with parents and other adults in authority, etc. The most marked and important social change in adolescents is radical shift from disliking members of the opposite sex to preferring their companionship. The adolescents make friendship with that conform to their standard and do not tolerate the interference of parents and other members in selecting friends.
The physical changes that occur in adolescence are explained below :
Mental changes and development during adolescence accelerates on many intellectual fronts. The mental development or changes in adolescence are characterized by:
The major emotional changes that occur in adolescence are as follows:
The major social changes that occur in adolescence stage are as follows:
The differences between adolescent boys and girls in terms of their physical changes are:
|Adolescent boys||Adolescent girls|
|Voice of boys becomes coarse.||Voice of girls becomes sweet.|
|Moustache is seen.||Moustache is not seen|
|Public hair appears around the penis.||Public hair appears around the vagina.|
|Menstruation doesn’t occur.||Menstruation occurs.|
|Breast doesn’t increase||Breast increases.|
The main changes and development during adolescence are given below:
The hypothalamus is part of which bodily system?