What are the Characteristics of Adolescence Period?

adolescence period; It is a transitional period from childhood to adulthood that encompasses rapid physical, emotional and social changes. Studies have shown that adolescence occurs between the ages of 10 and 19. However, when we consider the sociological differences between countries, we can observe that this age can go up to 24. We can classify the adolescence period as early, middle and late.

Early Adolescence Period; It occurs between the ages of 10 and 14. Children this age often experience intense physical and behavioral changes. While they spend more time with their fellows in childhood, they begin to be interested in the opposite sex during this period. They expect to be appreciated, approved, loved and admired by their friends.

They want to defy authority and set their own rules. Due to their egocentric mentality, they react harshly to criticism and conflict with their close circles. The change in their biological structures, the rapid functioning of their hormones, and the increase in their impulses cause their emotional worlds to fluctuate. From time to time, they encounter situations such as introversion, inability to control their anger, and anxiety and worry. While these features are intense in some adolescents, they appear mildly in others.

Mid Adolescence Period; It occurs between the ages of 14 and 19. During this period, adolescents begin to question their sexual identities, as their greatest interests are their appearance. The intensity of their sexual urges causes them to experience conflicts about their own sexual orientation. However, this spiritual turmoil does not mean that they will be interested in their fellows in the future. This contradiction is normal, as adolescence is a period of seeking sexual identity. It is very important for parents to stay calm in such a situation. Their oppressive and manipulative attitude may lead their children to develop in the opposite direction. Therefore, in this process, it will be healthier for their children to accept that they are trying to find a new identity and to allow them to complete their search for identity.

Another benefit of this period is that adolescents get acquainted with the concept of abstract thinking. Thus, adolescents try to evaluate events from different perspectives, to make plans for the future, and to learn their social roles in society. They focus on concepts such as philosophy, religion, politics, death. They look for answers to questions such as “Who am I?”, “Which university will I study at”, “What profession will I do in the future?” They strive to gain self and personality traits, to become independent from their parents, and to make them accept that they are a different individual.

Late Adolescence Period; It begins after the age of 19 and ends with the integration of the sense of identity. In this period, individuals have completed their search for identity and choose a profession that suits their personality and establishes close relationships with their environment.

Erik H. Erikson, one of the theorists who make basic explanations about identity, states that personality development continues throughout life, that individuals face a conflict that they must overcome in every developmental period, and that these conflicts are an important turning point in their identity acquisition. For this reason, we can say that it is normal for adolescents to be in an identity crisis, to have conflicts with their environment, and to want to be independent from their parents. However, if this depression is experienced intensely in some adolescents, if family conflicts become unmanageable, if they tend to self-harm or commit suicide, this situation turns into “identity confusion”.

Identity confusion; It causes individuals to encounter more serious mental problems such as depression, personality disorders, and eating disorders. In such a situation, it will help parents to get expert support, to approach their children empathetically, reassuringly and supportively, and to try to understand them without judging them.

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