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Lesson 4 The Challenges of Middle and Late Adolescence

Major Challenges faced by adolescents (SHS)

1. Self-Esteem
2. Physical Appearance
3. Group Belongingness
4. Relationships
5. Sexuality and Sexual Relationships
6. Academic concerns
7. Choosing the right course and career path
8. Socio-emotional challenges


It is one’s subjective evaluation of his/her own worth. It is about believing in oneself,

having confidence in one’s own value as a person, and seeing oneself in a positive way.

Physical Appearance

It is the thing that other people notice about a person. Experts encourage to celebrate
physical beauty as one’s own and not dictated by society or the media.


It is the most attractive quality of an individual.

Group belongingness

It is a warm sense of comfort when one can identify with a group of people with similar
interests and values.


It requires a person to be emotionally mature-to be rational in thought and behavior.

Romantic relationships

These relationships are highly intense and emotional and people do not usually think
with reason and objectivity.
Sexuality and Sexual Relationships

Responsibility means learning to control and limit one’s sexual expression and being
aware of the consequences of his/her sexual behaviors before deciding to engage in any sexual

Academic Concerns


It means internal distraction and one’s worst enemy.

Fear of Failure

Too much anxiety may hinder a person to do his/her best and too little anxiety also
inhibits a person’s performance.


They help a person achieve the goals of academic excellence and further studies.

*What really matters and what people will remember are one’s character and attitude.

*The most important lesson learned in school is how one learns.

Choosing the right course and career path

It may seem like the biggest and most important decision to make at this point in one’s

Socio-Emotional Challenges


It means deep sadness caused especially by someone’s death.

Other socio-emotional struggles

 Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, trauma, eating disorders, substance abuse and
attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder


It is the sense of impending doom without a factual basis.


It is manifested by a person who loses interest in most things that excites him/her and
experiences drastic changes in appetite and sleep.

Panic attack

It is displayed by feelings of panic, fear, uneasiness, nervousness, or agitation and

maybe some accompanying physiological effects.

Self-Awareness and Meeting Life Challenges

Modern psychology presents different approaches for people to better understand themselves.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

An Austrian neurologist who provided a more in-depth view of knowing oneself and
espoused the psychoanalytic theory

Psychoanalytic theory

The mind can be viewed as an energy system which is divided into three levels of

Three levels of awareness

1. Conscious mind

It holds all the things that we are aware of and contains the thoughts that we are
currently aware of but we deal with only a tiny percentage of all the information
stored in our mind.

2. Subconscious or preconscious level

It carries the mental elements that are not conscious, but of which we can be
aware if we choose to attend to them and holds the information that are easily

3. Unconscious level

It bears all our drives and instincts that are repressed and are difficult to retrieve.

It holds the vast majority of thoughts and is responsible for much of our everyday
Slip of the tongue or Freudian slips

These are the words that sneak into sentences that sound similar but have a different
meaning from the intended word. It is an evidence that humans have an unconscious.

Iceberg model for the Three Levels of Mental Life (Ciccarelli & White, 2011)

Tip- Conscious- the smallest part but the most visible

Examples: Thoughts and perceptions

Below the surface -Preconscious- can be seen only with effort

Examples: Memories and stored knowledge

Buried down into the deep sea- Unconscious- the biggest region

Examples: Fears, Violent motives, Immoral urges, Selfish needs, Shameful

experiences, Irrational wishes, Unacceptable sexual desires

Human Behavior results from the interaction of the three provinces of the Mind. (Sigmund

Three provinces of the Mind

1. Id or the “it” or Pleasure Man

Its main goal is to satisfy one’s wants and needs immediately and to avoid pain
at all cost.

Ex. A person with a pleasure-seeking personality

2. Ego or the “I”

It serves as the Decision Maker when it comes into play and attempts to bring
balance by being more realistic.

It aims to satisfy the id in ways that would not anger the superego.

Ex. A psychologically healthy person

3. Superego or the “over-I” or Moral Man

Its concern is to regulate what should and should not be done. It is also known
as the conscience and strives for the ideal principle of perfection at all times.
It is the final province in which the feelings of guilt and inferiority are included.

Ex. A person who is ridden by guilt or inferiority

*Fear and guilt happens when id, superego and ego clash and fail to reconcile.

Defense Mechanisms

These are coping strategies that help relieve and protect oneself from unpleasant
feelings like fear and guilt that works at the unconscious level. It is also defined as a temporary
solution set and manage by the ego to survive.


One believes that a threatening experience or the unacceptable idea never took place.

Freud’s Defense Mechanisms

1. Repression

Negative feelings, thoughts or memories are forced into the unconscious

2. Reaction Formation

Person adopts a feeling or behavior which is the opposite of an unacceptable

feeling or thought

3. Displacement

Unacceptable urges are redirected to other people or objects

4. Regression

Reverting to earlier, safer, or more secure patterns of behavior

5. Projection

The person attributes their unwanted thoughts and feelings to an external object,
usually another person.

6. Sublimation
Redirecting negative urges or emotions into socially-acceptable actions
Adler’s way of Meeting Challenges

Alfred Adler

He believed that in life people are motivated either strive for success or to strive for
superiority because of one’s feelings of inferiority.

Striving for Personal Superiority

It is unhealthy as it aims to achieve a superior position over others.

Inferiority Complex

It means too much feelings of inferiority that may lead people to strive for personal

Striving for Success

It is healthy since it seeks success for all of humanity and people who are motivated
with this cause have high social interest.

Social Interest

It means community feeling or a feeling of oneness with humanity. (Adler’s term)


These happen due to lack of social interest of some individuals

Two external factors of maladjustments

1. Pampered style of life

Pampered people are spoiled by their parents and feel indulged believing that
they are entitled to be the first in everything.

2. Neglected style of life

Neglected people feel unloved or unwanted that they are unable to cooperate
with others and overestimate difficulties.

Safeguarding tendencies

It serves as protection against anxiety.

Two common types of safeguarding tendencies

1. Excuses

These hinders one’s ability to succeed by not taking charge of your actions and
not being accountable for each decision made.

2. Aggression

Objectivity is often tossed out the window.

Two forms of Aggression

1. Depreciation
One put others down to make him/herself feel better
2. Accusation

One blame another for one’s frustrations

* The socio-cultural perspective reminds us that although humans are biological beings, one
cannot ignore the strong influence of society and culture. (Adler’s view)

A Psychospiritual Dimension to the Self: Carl Jung

Carl Jung

He theorized that the personal unconscious rules one’s being.

Personal unconscious

It is made up of all the repressed experiences of an individual.

Individuation or Self-realization

It is a process of integrating all our opposite poles to become a whole and complete
person after fully accepting and embracing our personal unconscious.


These are ancient images that originate from repeated experiences of man’s early
ancestors. They are part of the collective unconscious and beyond the personal unconscious.
Collective unconscious

It is one’s inherited tendencies from past generations that affect how one reacts when
experiencing something that touches him/her. It is mostly the same for people in all cultures
and shape many attitudes, behaviors and dreams.

Jung’s Archetypes

1. Persona

The side of our personality that we show to the world

2. Shadow

Qualities we consider negative and we attempt to hide from the world

3. Anima

The feminine side of men (irrational moods and feelings)

4. Animus

The masculine side of women (irrational thinking and illogical opinions)

5. Great Mother

Represents the idealized qualities of the mother figure (fertility, nourishment,


6. Wise Old Man

The archetype of wisdom, meaning and experience

7. Hero

The unconscious image of a powerful person who conquers evil, but has a tragic

8. Self
The most comprehensive of all archetypes; it unites the other archetypes;
represents the strivings for completeness and perfection

Expressing One’s Feelings about Other’s Expectations

Learning how to express one’s feelings is easy when there is working self-awareness.

It is a dream narrative that is interpreted based on the symbols they represent.

Manifest content

What you remember when you wake up from a dream

Latent content

The underlying meaning of dreams


Lesson 5 Coping with Stress in Middle and Late Adolescence


The subjective experience of distress in response to perceived environmental problems

It is the challenging stimuli or things that happen to people and a person’s response to
what happens to him.

It is characterized by feelings of tension. frustration, sadness, worry and withdrawal.

Sources of Stress and its Effects

Specific adolescent challenges

1. Managing new roles and responsibilities

2. Identifying personal strengths and weaknesses and refining skills to
coordinate and succeed in these roles
3. Finding meaning and purpose in the roles acquired
4. Assessing and making necessary life changes and coping with these changes

What stresses SHS students?

Common sources of stressors from HOME and SCHOOL

 Break up with boyfriend/girlfriend

 Increased arguments with parents and between parents
 Pressure of expectations from self and others
 Change in parents’ financial status
 Serious illness or injury of a family member
 Pressure at school from teachers, coaches, grades and homework
 Relationships with family and friends

Health and behavioral problems

Internalizing difficulties (deep sadness and intense fear)

Externalizing behaviors (aggression and antisocial acts)

Internalizing disorders

These are mental problems that arise from coping with difficulties by turning against
oneself. (ex. anxiety and depression)

Externalizing behaviors

Frustration and disappointments acted out in aggressive behaviors against other people.
(ex. temper outbursts, anger, irritability, or different forms of abuse)

*Erikson (1968) identity crisis (need to be independent and crave for peer approval)

Family/Marital Conflict and Academic-related stress, Romantic Relationships

The Positive Side of Stress: Eustress


It is the kind of stress that is helpful in promoting one’s growth and development by
providing sufficient challenges that allow one to become more resourceful and show initiative
in problem-solving.


It is also known as bad stress and may include negative changes in behavior like
“feeling sick”.

Coping Strategies and Personal Ways of Coping with Stress

Coping or Coping Style

It is the way people try to deal with problems including the problem of handling the
typically negative emotions stress produces.

Two broad dimensions of coping

Problem-focused coping

It means dealing with the actual problems posed by a stressful situation. It is objective
and geared toward fixing what is out of order.
Emotion-focused coping

It is more subjective as it considers the difficulties challenging the feeling states of

individual. It puts immediate importance to reducing distress and re-establishing calmness or
peace rather than resolution.

Avoidance coping

It is what happens when one would rather ignore the stressors or fantasize being in a
different non-stressful circumstance.


The evaluation of what effect an event can have on one’s well being

Types of Appraisals

Appraisal of Loss

The harm has already happened

Appraisal of Threat

An anticipation of harm that could be brought about in the future

Appraisal of Challenge

Sees the opportunity for the stressful event to turn into a positive outcome resulting to
healthier way of coping (ex. Problem solving)

Feelings of fear, escape, withdrawal and support seeking applied as coping strategies for more
threatening stressor is appraised


The extent to which one can handle or control a situation or problem

High controllability (active strategies and problem solving)

Low controllability (withdrawal, use of mental or cognitive distraction, seek social support or
respond to reduce emotional distress)


Moving away from others

Self- efficacy

It refers to the individual’s beliefs about one’s capacity to exercise influence over events
that affect his/her life. (Bandura, 1977)

Social Support

It refers to social assets, social resources or social networks that people may use or turn
to when they need advice, help and protection.

Personal Ways of Coping with Stress

Stress management

It refers to a set of techniques that people can use to be able to manage their stressors.

Some suggestions

 Tackle the problem.

 Create a stress journal or include the topic in your personal journal
 Develop a stress relief toolbox

Stress Tip Sheet of the American Psychological Association:

 Understand how you stress.

 Identify your sources of stress.
 Learn your stress signals.
 Recognize how you deal with stress.
 Find healthy ways to manage stress
 Take care of yourself
 Reach out for support