Development in Adolescence

Adolescence is by no means a simple period of life.
Jean Erskine Stewart
Adolescence is a transitional period in human life that connects childhood and adulthood. Environmental, social and genetic factors are effective in childhood as well as in adolescence. Adolescents, who spend more time with their parents, teachers and peers during their childhood, are now faced with new experiences, development and biological changes.
Adolescents who are very interested in their changing bodies form images in their minds of what their bodies are like. The psychological effects of the physical change experienced is a process that every adolescent goes through. Generally, girls are less satisfied with their bodies than boys. As this period progresses, the reason for the increase in dissatisfaction with the girls’ bodies may be the increase in body fat, while the fact that the boys are more satisfied with their own bodies may be due to the increase in their body muscle ratio.
Brain development also changes in adolescence in parallel with the changes in the body. Many studies by scientists have found that the adolescent brain develops through significant structural changes. The corpus callosum (connecting the left and right brain) thickens with puberty. This helps the adolescent to process information better. However, the frontal lobe of the brain, the part that deals with reasoning, decision making and self-control is not yet fully developed. The amygdala, the region that controls emotions such as anger, develops before the frontal lobe. The development of the frontal lobe continues until adulthood between the ages of 18-25. This shows us that adolescents may have strong emotions, but difficulties may arise due to the fact that the frontal lobe, which is necessary to control these emotions, is not fully developed. In other words, adolescents’ brains are deprived of the brakes to slow down their emotions.
Coping with newly emerging sexual feelings during adolescence and forming a healthy sexual identity is a multifaceted process. Some teens worry a lot about sex, while others worry less. Some experience stronger sexual arousal, while others are less aroused. Sexual identity formation is not just about sexual behavior. Gender identity develops in a context in which physical, social and cultural factors play a role.
It is important for adolescents to engage in protective behaviors for their health. Adolescence period is important at the point of acquiring health-related behaviors. Regulations in life, such as regular exercise and healthy eating, are beneficial for adolescents and contribute to the prevention of diseases in adulthood. Sleep patterns also affect adolescent health. During this period, he may need a little more sleep. In a study, it was found that when compared to adolescents who slept less than 9 hours or more, those who slept less felt sleepy, were moody, fell asleep at school, were depressed, and consumed caffeinated beverages.
In adolescence, self-centeredness and awareness of self-image and behavior may increase. Adolescents may believe that other people, like themselves, are interested in them, like an imaginary audience. He may also try to attract attention, be visible, and be on stage by displaying attention-grabbing behavior. For example, when he enters the classroom, he may think that all eyes are on the pimples on his face. Many teenage girls can spend most of their time in front of a mirror.
Significant socioemotional changes occur in adolescence. His increasing efforts to understand himself and his search for identity are among these changes.
Who am I? what am i? What will I do in my life? What’s my difference? How can I do it on my own? These questions reflect the search for identity. Identity is a self-description consisting of many parts and includes:
 Career and work path that the person wishes to pursue (professional/career identity)
 Whether the person is conservative, liberal, or middle-class (political identity)
 One’s religious belief (religious identity)
 Whether the person is single, married, divorced, etc. occurrence (relationship id)
 The extent to which the person is motivated and intellectual to achieve (achievement identity, intellectual identity)
 What part of the world or country the person is from and how much he identifies with his cultural heritage (cultural/ethnic identity)
 Gender identity
 Things the person likes to do; sports, music, hobbies, etc. including (interests)
 Personal characteristics of the individual; (personality) such as being introverted or extroverted, anxious or calm, friend or foe, etc.
 Body image of the individual (Physical identity)
Identity development happens piecemeal. Decisions are not made in one fell swoop; returns again and again. Identity development does not happen smoothly, but rather in a bumpy, bumpy way.
“Who are you?” asked the caterpillar. Alice, a little embarrassed: “I…I don’t really know now, sir, at least I knew who I was when I got up this morning; but I think I’ve changed a few times since then,” Alice replied.(Lewis Carroll)
Identity development begins early, but questions about identity development increase significantly in adolescence and are completed in young adulthood with significant changes after adolescence. Growing up is not easy. And adolescence should not be seen as a rebellion, crisis, or illness. It would be more accurate to define adolescence as a period of evaluation, decision making, taking responsibility and finding one’s own place in the world. Most adolescents’ problems are not caused by themselves. The long-term support of adults who take care of themselves, which adolescents need, is also very important in this period.

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