You are on page 1of 11

dolescence Adolescence is a time during which societal and family values, attitudes, and behaviors are learned.

This period in a persons life is marked by challenges and difficulties in selfexploration and identification. Sexual relationships are especially challenging and difficult for adolescent women and men. Teenage fertility is a reality for most countries that needs to be dealt with effectively. t is necessary that young people are educated about ST!s, health risks, and contraception and that societies on the whole are made more aware of teenage sexuality. n different countries, there are different social attitudes about sex and premarital relationships. This influences an adolescents decision making process concerning sex and pregnancy. n the "nited States from the #$%&s, social mores enforced gender roles' women were domestic housewives and men were breadwinners. (omens sexuality was monogamous, and she was expected to remain committed to her one and only husband. !uring the #$)&s and #$*&s, women broke from this rigid stereotype and began to define their own se. A!+,-S.-/.(hat is adolescence0 A!1+2,-S1.-/.- n. is the period between childhood and adulthood. 3eople of every background and of every color go through this. Adolescence is something that, when we go through it, well make us the person that we are to become. All adolescence goes through points in those few years that will decide if they will go to school when they graduate. Adolescence has a hard time because of the things that are going through. Adolescence is difficult. Adolescence facing drugs and alcohol issues has changed in the past thirty years. Thirty years ago, drugs were something that older people never talked about and nor did they ever see. Alcohol was small thing that the good people such as churchgoers never touched, but they preached about it. -very town has a town drunk. n todays society adolescence see alcohol and drugs at least once a day or more. Thirty years ago drugs were a little harder to find. Adolescence did not have access at the time. Adolescence today face more peer pressure to where now it is illegal and thirty years ago it was legal and not a problem. +ther issues that have affected adolescence today are work and school issues. Adolescence facing work and school issues have changed in the past thirty years. Adolescence did not have to finish school. Today if adolescence drops out of school he or she, one, will lose their drivers license and, two4 will not be able to get a 5ob. Adolescence now days face harder restrictions when going to school. 6or example, students must do and pass the sub5ect in order to more on be able to keep their license or keep a 5ob. Adolescence has to learn 7uicker now than thirty years ago, because now we learn using a computer and most of what we do learn is computer based. Adolescents face growing up for the adult world. Thirty years ago adolescence did not have to have an education so all the really wanted was to go to work. Thirty years ago adolescence thought that they only needed a small amount of education. Today adolescence has to have and education in order to have a good 5ob. f you see an adolescence, please, dont be hard on them because think of what they have to go through every day. Think about it if you were in there shoes. Think about some of the issues that were facing you when you were an adolescence such as work, school, drugs, alcohol, and other things like that. This part of life is not the easiest.

A 8Adolescents are excessively egoistic...8 This statement is true. 9ouths can sometimes think they are or better than anyone else. 6or instance, one of my co-workers tries to boss me around. She thinks that she has power over me because she has worked at the restaurant longer than have. She is in no place of authority, yet she seems to think she is. :egardless of how many times she has been spoken to by a supervisor she continue to pick on me. This sentence struck me as being correct. 8;9ouths< form the most passionate love-relations, only to break them off as abruptly as they began them.8 =y friend had a boyfriend last year, and she was totally in love with him. They seemed so close, so it didn>t seem weird when they announced they were going to move in with one another. Several months later they had a huge fight over something trivial and ended up leaving each other. 8Their moods veer between light-hearted optimism and blackest pessimism8 is true of most teenagers. (hen started high school was so excited. had been looking forward to it all summer, yet after the first week despised the school. n fact, still hate :unnymede to this day.

Another part of the excerpt says that adolescents 8...oscillate between blind submission to some self-chosen leader and defiant rebellion against some authority.8 9ouths are beginning to assert their independence, so it is normal for them to sway from authority. They may find themselves at war with their parents, whom they see as a dominant power. A friend of mine sees her parents as exactly that. She fights with them every chance she gets. 6or the most part, the arguments are about insignificant things such as where to order take-out, or what radio station to play in the car.

believe that Anna 6reud depicts adolescents well. She raised many good points about adolescents. (hat strikes me is that even though she wrote the book many years ago, her facts still hold true of youths today.

Adolescents are faced with many difficult life decisions which, when coupled with their lack of self-knowledge, cause identity crises. /ot secure in themselves, teenagers must make decisions concerning how they will act, with whom they will associate, and what life decisions they will choose. "ltimately, the process by which they determine their identity must, of necessity, be one of trial and error. Adolescents are sometimes confused about how they feel, and thus, they tend to act out in either passive or outrageous ways such as dyeing their hair in different colors or even strange ways of wearing pants. Adolescence are in a stage full of uncertainties4 therefore, teenagers feel the need to find something that they can cling to which would make them feel like they belong somewhere or to something in the society. As a result, adolescents often find ways to conform by forming a small cli7ue or crowd. ?esides forming a cli7ue or a crowd, they may look to other alternatives which would influence the paths of life that they want to take. -xample of such alternatives could be celebrities, teachers, relatives or maybe other role models in society. "nlike when they were children, adolescents begin to move away from the family circle. Th

@owever, having idols or role models might not be enough to fulfill the adolescents> behavioral needs. Aohlberg>s postconventional level helped people to explain how the moral development of an adolescent can have an impact on his or her maturity. As a result, some adolescents may create a negative identity. @owever, how these psychologists approach the cause of identity crises in adolescence differs. According to @all, adolescents> emotional sensitivity and primitive impulses caused them to experience 8storm and stress8 in life. @e regarded adolescence as a period of special significance. "nfortunately, there are still 7uestions. 6or example, new role models can be seen when a student has a crush on a teacher or becomes obsessed with celebrities> styles, trends, and so on in order to fulfill the teenager>s needs and wants. !o these actions lead to their maturity0 n order to mature, adolescents must experience identity crises. The adolescent stage is one of the critical stages of life. 8 =ost importantly, adolescents had a sense of individuality, and they were capable of having higher feelings. =ore in depth, Bean 3iaget developed a theory of cognitive development - the stage of formal operations, which explain the ability of reasoning of adolescents. , celebrities, teachers, friends, etcC. f the process of trial and error does not help adolescents to find their identity and move on into maturation, they may end up in the process of identity diffusion.

.hild denity through Adolescents As a child grows into their adolescent years the role his or her peers play in their life expands greatly. !uring the adolescent years children form an identity that is greatly influenced by their peers4 as they identify less with their parents. The ways in which an adolescent identify better with his or her peers as opposed to their parents are evident in the distinct areas of their communication and dependency for emotional support. These areas greatly influence the answer to the 7uestion, D(ho am 0E that is answered during adolescence. Teenagers report feeling closer to friends than with their parents during the years of adolescence. +ne reason is because it is much easier for teens to converse freely with their friends than with their parents. !espite the experience of their parents teenagers are more likely to believe what their friends believe. Adolescents are more readily ask for and accept advice from peers, who, in their opinion, are in the same position themselves F,ingren #C. =any factors in a persons family play a part in the individual seeking emotional support from their peers. DStress caused by work. marital dissatisfaction, divorce, entering a step-family arrangement, lower family income all produce increased individual and family stressE F,ingren GC. This produces a need for emotional support from someone outside of the family. 6riends talk to each other about various problems that they encounter providing emotional support for each other. DThey;adolescents< reduce time spent on homework and withdraw from family interactions but they Hprotect time spent with friendsE F,ingren GC. This is evidence that adolescents value the time spent with friends more than time spent with their parents. Throughout adolescence a persons life is greatly influenced by the people that they choose to be around. An adolescents identity is affected the most by their friends. As the child becomes an adult he or she becomes more distant form their parents as they form an identity of their own, shedding the one supplied by their parents. Adolescent 3eer 3ressure ?etween the ages of twelve and nineteen is a period in a teenager>s life that determines what kind of adult he or she will become. This period of adolescence, also known as the 8formative years8, is the sub5ect of much study and research to determine why adolescents are vulnerable to the phenomenon called peer pressure. The disturbing number of incidents of teenage drug use, teenage pregnancy and teenage suicide is most assuredly the reason that fuels the need for such research. 3erhaps it is because as children they are taught the importance of having and maintaining friends. +r perhaps they don>t feel that they can talk to their parents or teachers when problems arise. +r maybe they simply want to rebel against the pressures placed on them as youths. ?ecause adolescents spend their time either at home or in school, it is within these confines that the answers to adolescents> behavior lay. n other words, family and school can sometimes cause adolescents to give in to peer pressure because of an overemphasis on the importance of social ad5ustment, a lack of interest or communication on the part of the parents and teachers, and the unrealistic expectations that these entities create. Although the purpose of attending school is to receive an education, it also provides children with a medium through which they can develop relationships with other children that eventually turn into friendships. The ability to form friendships can be traced back to even the pre-school years and its importance henceforth emphasiIed by eager parents who want their

children to fit in at school. 8 nteractions with friends or other peers are crucial for the development of a mature morality.8 FBuvonen, p.##C =ost would agree that social interaction is important but sometimes parents are guilty of over-emphasiIing this importance. ,et>s recall the numerous birthday parties where every child in the neighborhood was invited to come regardless of whether or not they were actual friends. This desire to socialiIe children also occurs in the classroom at school. 8The classroom setting represents not only an educational arena but a powerful social context in which the psychological ad5ustment of children and adolescents can be affected.8FBuvonen, p.GJKC Teachers tend to promote social interaction by assigning exercises that re7uire working in pairs or groups. 6urthermore, when a teacher spots a child playing alone, they will encourage him or her to 5oin the other children while overlooking the possibility that the child might have preferred to be alone. Thus, from an early age, children are taught to value the importance of social interaction and this value stays with them as they move into the adolescent years. The result is that adolescents come to value their friendships deeply and in some cases more so than their relationships with family members. This accounts for the adolescent not being able to refuse their friends for fear of losing the bonds that they have formed and is thus a cause of their greater susceptibility to peer pressure. A second cause that contributes to the vulnerability of adolescents in the face of peer pressure is the lack of interest or communication on the part of the parents and teachers. 8"nder ordinary circumstances, parents and children rarely do things together, except at meal times. -ver since work and school have pulled adults and children away from the home, conflicting schedules keep family members circling around each other in eccentric orbits.8F.siksIentmihalyi, p.#J%C f the parents are not around or simply do not show interest in their children>s affairs, then it should not be surprising that adolescents will be more influenced by their peers with whom they spend the ma5ority of their time. 8 n terms of sheer amount of time, peers are by far the greatest presence in the adolescent>s life.8F.IiksIentmihalyi, p.*#C Since the adolescent also spends a good deal of time at school, it would seem that the teacher would serve as a sort of parent model in the classroom to whom students could come for guidance. @owever, not so much a lack of interest but rather a lack of communication exists in this setting as well, due to the ratio of students to teacher in the classroom. This inhibits the possibility of the teacher having a true personal relationship with each student. +f course, this is a situation not easily remedied but nonetheless it is still a factor in an adolescent>s tendency to turn to their friends as role models. f there are no adults available to provide negative feedback, then once again it is not surprising that they give in to the pressures placed on them by their peers. 8Adolescence is a period of biological growth and maturation, self discovery and social adaptation.8FLega, p.JC ?y this definition it can be seen that the adolescent world is significantly different from the adult world. This point of view renders the expectations placed on adolescents by family and school unrealistic and therefore causes of rebellion and conformity to peer pressure. n the home environment, relations between parents and adolescents tend to be strained because each has different goals that come into conflict. 8!avis also argues that there is inevitable conflict between adult realism and youthful idealism within the family.8F.siksIentmihalyi, p.#M#C 3arents expect their children to see things the same way they do, overlooking the fact that they have more experience in life that thus accounts for the difference in perspective. School as an institution is also responsible for placing unrealistic goals upon these adolescents, who are only concerned with immediate gratification. ?ecause they can not yet visualiIe the long-term benefits of a good education, their goals conflict with those of educators. These conflicting interests eventually lead adolescents to rebel against these unrealistic expectations and thus give in to peer pressure as a demonstration of their rebellion.

+f course, there are those who say that it is not the parents and teachers who are responsible, but the teenagers themselves. 6urthermore, it has been argued that despite the methods used to understand the behavior of adolescents and to relate to them on their level, adolescents seem to have a mind of their own. They are completely conscious and aware of their actions when giving in to peer pressure. Although this may be the case, it does not follow that society should not make any more efforts to help teenagers as they go through the difficult transition from adolescent to adulthood. ?ecause it is the parents and teachers that instilled in them the value and meaning of friendships, it should be the parents and teachers who help them to see that friendships also have limits. f adolescents realiIe that social interaction is important but only to a certain point, then they will have the strength to say no to their friends. ,ikewise, if parents and teachers somehow found a way to better communicate with their children and students respectively, these adolescents would most likely come to share their feelings with them and not rely so much on their peers for feedback. And lastly, if parents and teachers became aware of the unrealistic expectations they place on teenagers, the result would be a decrease in conflict as well as a decrease in the number of adolescents who feel the need to rebel through conformity to peer pressure. n other words, examining the ways in which family and school cause adolescents to give in to peer pressure leads to a resolution of the causes. (hat is the overall result0 Adolescents have a healthier sense of the meaning of friendships, they have an alternative other than peers to whom they can turn to and they are freed from any unrealistic expectations that they themselves can>t understand. ?ut most importantly, they become less susceptible to the traps of peer pressure.

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1980) defines adolescence as the state or process of growing up e!en "ore specifically# adolescence is also defined as the period of life fro" puberty to "aturity ter"inating legally at the age of "a$ority% &oo'ing bac' on their adolescence# adults often con$ure up grand "e"ories# and laugh at their "ista'es% (dolescence is a period in life that e!eryone "ust 'sur!i!e' in order to beco"e an adult# although so"e go through it "ore turbulently than others% )alling appro*i"ately between the ages of 1+ and +0# adolescence is characteri,ed by physical changes leading to se*ual "aturity (-ncyclopedia%co")% (long with these ob!ious physical changes# "ore co"ple* and hidden changes occur in an adolescent's attitude# outloo'# and self.identity% /lti"ately# the 'goal' of adolescence is to gain personal independence# and a sense of one's self% (lthough these physiological changes happen slowly# the en!iron"ent has a great i"pact on how one's adolescent period will affect the person when they reach adulthood% (ffecti!e discipline at ho"e# strong support groups# and a lo!ing en!iron"ent are all part of the 'ey to sur!i!ing this difficult period and beco"ing a stronger person in the end% 0any teenagers without the right co"bination of support factors in their li!es can 'slip through the crac's' and disco!er a world "ore hostile than e!er i"agined% 1ur $ob as parents in today's society re2uires an understanding of this proble"atic ti"e in a child's life# as well as regression into our own adolescence# to better prepare oursel!es to raise the generations of to"orrow% 3u!enile Delin2uency is defined by Webster's as a status in a $u!enile characteri,ed by antisocial beha!ior that is beyond parental control and therefore sub$ect to legal action as well as a !iolation of the law co""itted by a $u!enile and not punishable by death or life i"prison"ent% 4n short# $u!enile delin2uency in!ol!es any cri"inal beha!ior co""itted by a "inor% 5here is no 2uestion that there has been an increase in delin2uent beha!ior since the days of our parents' adolescence% (cti!ities such as 'rolling' neighbors' houses# egging "ailbo*es6windows# or graffiti on par' benches has been replaced by "ore serious acti!ities such as spray painting

buildings# brea'ing and entering# or e!en early drug use% 5oday's $u!eniles do not see" to fear# or e!en respect authority as pre!ious generations ha!e% &ac' of discipline in the ho"e and a "uch "ore tolerant society is not help to a steadily increasing $u!enile delin2uency rate% (n unstable ho"e en!iron"ent can draw teenagers to $oin gangs or engage in pre"arital se*# to na"e $ust a couple of 'acting out' beha!iors% Children need to be taught at an early age not only the difference between right and wrong# but also the positi!e results attained fro" practicing respect and "oral !alues% 4f parental guidance fails# or if an adolescent !eers too far off the path# then usually outside forces will step in to the situation% 7arens 7atriae is literally defined as the state is the father (3u!enile Delin2uency 5heory# 7ractice and &aw# 1998)# and !iews $u!eniles' delin2uent beha!ior as a need for action ta'en beyond parental control% 5his doctrine is intended to act in the best interest of a child in 2uestion# and enacts rehabilitati!e "easures# rather than using harsh conse2uences% 5here are "any differences surrounding each youth's "isdirection# and this third party action is dee"ed necessary only when a guardian's discipline and6or conse2uences ha!e failed to control the adolescent% 4t is stated that the 7arens 7atriae doctrine will gi!e treat"ent rather than treating a child si"ilar to an adult offender% (lthough treat"ent is considered the "ost effecti!e "ethod of rehabilitation in "ost cases# there are those $u!enile offenders who are beyond control and whose cases are transferred to an adult court% 5he state will also ta'e charge when a child has co""itted a status offense# or has been neglected and6or abused# e!en by their parents% 5he idea of 'the state being the father' enco"passes all children# whether delin2uent# handicapped# or "istreated% 5his doctrine protects a child's right to be guided and guarded%

Psychologists have come to recognize that adolescence is a unique period of human development. There has been a vast amount of material written about adolescence, yet the behavior of adolescents has too often been ignored as a subject of scientific inquiry (Twiford & arson, !"#$, p.%&. 'ome adults are frustrated in their attempt to understand much of the behavior of adolescents. The criminal justice system has had its hands full with the increase in juvenile crimes. (oung adolescents who are going through some very unique changes in their development are committing these crimes. The factors involved are critical in the influence and the shape of adolescent life. ) popular view of adolescence portrays it as a period of *storm and stress+ (Twiford & arson, !"#$, p.,-.,/&. 01perts have described adolescents as inconsistent, unpredictable, erratic, emotional, and self.centered. 2roadway3s *4est 'ide 'tory+ presented various stereotyped views of adolescent behavior within urban ghettos, where gang warfare and delinquency are superimposed against a bac5ground of adolescent love and emotion. 6. 'tanley 7all applied the phrase *storm and stress+ as he saw turmoil during adolescence as a universal and inevitable co

nsequence of normal human development. 8or most adolescents, the transition period of adolescence is a happy and trouble free period of life. 8or a few, the teen years are troublesome, sometimes mar5ed by antisocial or illegal behavior ('anders, !""!, p.,&.

) number of other psychological traits have also been lin5ed to the onset of delinquency. The two most prominent are personality and intelligence ('iegel & 'enna, !""!, p.!$/&. 'heldon and 0leanor 6luec5 (!"9%, p. ,& identified a number of personality characteristics that characterize delinquents: )nother area of great interest in trying to understand youth and delinquency has been the cognitive school. Psychologists with a cognitive perspective focus on mental processes and the way people perceive and mentally represent the world around them, how they solve problems, and how they perceive their environment. The development of intelligence and its subsequent relationship to behavior is another topic that concerns psychologists. ;f particular importance to the study of delinquency is the allegation that there is an inverse relationship between <= and youthful law violence (7ealy & 2onner, !",/, p.!#!&. ;n the contrary, 0dwin 'utherland (!"9>, chap.!-& evaluated <= studies of criminals and delinquents and noted significant variations in their findings. The discrepancies were believed to reflect refinements in testing methods and scoring rather than differences in the mental ability of criminals. )fter many years of neglect regarding intelligence and delinquency, Travis 7irschi and ?ichael 7indelang (!"99, p.-#/& revived interest in the association between <= and delinquency. )fter conducting a statistical analysis of a number of data sets, 7irschi and 7indelang concluded both that <= tests are a valid predictor of intelligence and that *the weight of evidence is that <= is more important than race and social class+ for predicting delinquent involvement. @uvenile crime is increasing rapidly and getting much more violent. Aot a single theory, whether it be a sociological, psychological, environmental , or criminological can solely e1plain the phenomenon of delinquent behaviors. < believe that besides psychologically, education, family support and strong values is the 5ey to depreciate the number of criminal activities being committed by our country3s youth today.


Adolescence' ?etween .hildhood and Adulthood Adolescence is the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood4 it generally refers to a period ranging from age #G or #M through age #$ or G#. Although its beginning is often balanced with the beginning of puberty, adolescence is characteriIed by psychological and social stages as well as by biological changes. Adolescence can be prolonged, brief, or virtually nonexistent, depending on the type of culture in which it occurs. n societies that are simple, for example, the transition from childhood to adulthood tends to occur rather rapidly, and is marked by traditionally prescribed

passage rites. to contrast this, American and -uropean societies the transition period for young people has been steadily lengthening over the past #&& years, giving rise to an adolescent subculture. As a result of this prolonged transitional stage a variety of problems and concerns specifically associated with this age group have developed. 3sychologists single out four areas that especially touch upon adolescent behavior and development' physiological change and growth4 cognitive, or mental development4 identity, or personality formation4 and parent-adolescent relations. 3hysiological .hange' ?etween the ages of $ and #%, almost all young people undergo a rapid series of physiological changes, known as the adolescent growth spurt. These hormonal changes include an acceleration in the body>s growth rate4 the development of pubic hair4 the appearance of axillary, or armpit, hair about two years later. There are changes in the structure and functioning of the reproductive organs4 the mammary glands in girls4 and development of the sweat glands, which often leads to an outbreak of acne. n both sexes, these physiological changes occur at different times. This period of change can prove to be very stressful for a pre-teen. 6or during this stage of life appearance is very important. An adolescent child who develops very early or extremely late can take a lot of ridicule from his or her peers. @owever, the time at which a girl goes through this stage and a male goes through it are different. Nirls typically begin their growth spurt shortly after age #&. They tend to reach their peak around the age #G, and tend to finish by age #J. This spurt occurs almost two years later in boys. Therefore boys go through a troubling period where girls are taller and heavier than them. This awkward period occurs from ages ten and one-half to thirteen. Time is not the only difference in the pubescent period for boys and girls. n girls, the enlargement of the breasts is usually the first physical sign of puberty. Actual puberty is marked by the beginning of menstruation, or menarche. n the "nited States, K& percent of all girls reach menarche between the ages of eleven and one-half and fourteen and one-half, %& percent between #G and #J, and MM percent at or before age ##. The average age at which menstruation begins for American girls has been dropping about six months every decade, and today contrasts greatly with the average age of a century ago, which is between #% and #*. ?oys typically begin their rapid increase in growth when they reach about twelve and one-half years of age. They reach their peak slightly after #J, and slow down by age #). This period is marked by the enlargement of the testes, scrotum, and penis4 the development of the prostate gland4 darkening of the scrotal skin. The growth of pubic hair and pigmented hair on the legs, arms, and chest takes place during this period. The enlargement of the larynx, containing the vocal cords, which leads to a deepening of the voice causes much stress for a pubescent boy. n this transitional period in his voice tends to 8crack.8 .ognitive !evelopment' .urrent views on the mental changes that take place during adolescence have been affected heavily by the work of the Swiss psychologist Bean 3iaget, who sees the intellectual capability of adolescents as both 87ualitatively and 7uantitatively superior to that of younger children.8 According to 3iaget and the developmentalist school of psychology, the thinking capacity of young people automatically increases in complexity as a function of age. !evelopmentalists find distinct differences between younger and older adolescents in ability to generaliIe, to handle abstract ideas, to infer appropriate connections between cause and effect, and to reason

logically and consistently. (hether these changes in cognitive ability are a result of the developmental stage, as 3iaget suggests, or should be considered the result of accumulating knowledge that allows for new mental and moral perspectives, an enlarged capacity for making distinctions, and a greater awareness of and sensitivity to others, is a 7uestion that psychologists continually debate. ?ehaviorists such as @arvard>s ?. 6. Skinner did not believe intellectual development could be divided into distinct stages. @e preferred to emphasiIe the influence of conditioning experiences on behavior as a result of continuous punishments and rewards. Trying to prove that intellectual ability in adolescence differs from that of earlier years, as a result of learning, or ac7uiring more appropriate responses through conditioning. +ther investigators have found a strong tie between certain socioeconomic characteristics and adolescent intellectual achievement. Statistics suggest that well-educated, economically secure, small-siIed families provide the kind of environment which intellectual development among adolescents is most apt to flourish. This environment should also include parental encouragement, individual attention, and an extended vocabulary use. Test scores, however, seem to be more related to the verbal ability than to the performance aspects of adolescents> intelligence. dentity 6ormation' 3sychologists also disagree about the causes and significance of the emotional and personality changes that occur during adolescence. =any 6reudian psychologists believe that the straightforward sexual awakening of adolescents is an inevitable cause of emotional strain. This strain sometimes leads to neurosis. 3sychologists who have different beliefs place less emphasis on the specific sexual aspects of adolescence. These physiologists consider sex as only one of many ad5ustments young people must make in their search for an identity. The effects of physical change, the development of sexual impulses, increased intellectual capacity, and social pressure to achieve independence are all contributor to the molding of a new self. The components of identity formation are connected to the adolescent>s self-image. This means adolescents are greatly affected by the opinions of people who are important in their lives and interact with them. Nradually, the emotional dependency of childhood transforms into an emotional commitment to meet the expectations of others. An adolescent seeks to please parents, peers, teachers, employers and so on. f adolescents fail to meet the goals set for them by the important people in their lives, they usually feel like they have to reevaluate their motives, attitudes, or activities. The approval that seems necessary at this stage can help determine both their later commitment to responsible behavior and their sense of social competence throughout life. The peer group of an adolescent also provide a standard in which they can measure themselves during the process of identity formation. (ithin the peer group, a young person can try out a variety of roles. (hether taking the role of a leader or follower, deviant or conformist, the values and norms of the group allow them to ac7uire a perspective of their own. A peer group can also help with the transition from reliance on the family to relative independence. There is a common language amongst adolescents, whether it is clothing, music, or gossip, these forms of expression allow them to display their identity. This new form of association helps to ease the anxiety of leaving their past source of reference to their identity. 3arent-Adolescent :elations' The family has traditionally provided a set of values for young people to observe. Through

this observation they can begin to learn adult ways of behavior. n modern industrial societies the nuclear family has come to be relatively unstable, for divorce is growing increasingly common and many children reach adolescence with only one parent. n addition, rapid social changes have weakened the smoothens of life experience. Adolescents a greater difference between the parental-child generations then their parent did. They tend to view their parents as having little capacity to guide them in their transition from their world to the larger world. The conflict that sometimes results from differing parent-adolescent perceptions is called the 8generation gap.8 Such conflicts are not inevitable, for it is less likely to happen in families in which both adolescents and parents have been exposed to the same new ideas and values. +ther parental characteristics that commonly influence adolescents include social class, the pattern of e7uality or dominance between mother and father, and the consistency with which parental control is exercised. 9oung people with parents whose guidance is firm, consistent, and rational tend to possess greater self-confidence than those whose parents are either overly tolerant or strict. Adolescence n =odern Society' Adolescence is often looked upon as a period of stormy and stressful transition. Anthropologists have noted that in less developed cultures the adolescent years do not always have to exhibit such characteristics, when children can participate fully in the activities of their community. As life in industrialiIed societies grows more complex, however, adolescents are increasingly cut off from the activities of their elders, leaving most young people with education as their sole occupation. nevitably, this has isolated many of them from the adult world and has prolonged their adolescence. n advanced industrial societies such as the "nited States, the adolescent years have become marked by violence to an alarming degree. The phenomenon of teenage suicide has become particularly disturbing, but risk-taking behaviors of many sorts can be observed, including alcohol and drug abuse.