Characteristics of Adolescence

Adolescence comes after childhood. This stage starts at age of 12 years and continues till the age of 19 years. Psychologists call it the period of storm and problems. Especially sexual changes take place due to it life of adolescence fills with tension, worry and storm. So a proper guidance is required to the adolescence at this stage. In western countries it is also called “Teen Age”. This is considered as the most complicated stage of development.

Characteristics of Adolescence

Main characteristics of Adolescence are as:

Physical Development: Two kinds of changes take place at adolescence: internal and external. Personality of adolescence develops according to these changes. At this stage flexibility of bones comes to an end and rigidity enters into them and bones take cylindrical shape. In girls fat starts gathering at their hips and starts gaining weight and symptoms of maturity can be experience on the faces of girls and their face say that now they are going to be mature. Pimples arise on face. Hair grows on certain body parts of boys such as chest, beard, secrete parts etc. moustache and beard also grow in some girls also, if their glands do not perform appropriately. Sweat of the boys produces a certain kind of smell. The most important giving of this stage is, complete growth of the reproductive parts, by which reproduction capacity arises within them. This change can be experienced in girls more quickly. Their breast becomes heavy. Sometimes breast develops before time, when the glands do not work properly. Chest of boys starts getting broad. Spermatorrhea in boys and menses within girls are the identity of being adolescence. Along with this internal parts of body also grow completely. Such as mind, heart, breathing, digestive system, nerve system etc. Immunity also develops within body. 

Mental Development: At this stage unsteadiness ends and the concentration power develops and recollection-power increases. Girls have comparatively more cramming power than that of boys. Adolescent run in the world or imagination and also became the victim of day dreams. Growth of imagination is much higher in boys than that of girls. Their reasoning power increases and interests for various things also arise. Boys are interested in football, kabaddi and girls are more interested in dance and singing. This stage also gives birth to the boldness. Boy’s emphasis on making their body strong whereas girls concentrate on beauty. The interest for comedy, story, poem, satire, patriotism, adventure, love-stories and sex arises within adolescent. Social awaking also arises and their discussion area also gets limited. Boys are interested in discussing about girls and girls are more interested in discussing about boys. At this stage adolescence also made planning for future.

Social Development: From the point of view of social development, now the interest of adolescence moves towards outer world instead of family. He can behave rudely towards his family but cannot abandon his friends. He only sees his criticism for him in the guidance of parents. He does not surrender easily; instead of it he became obstinate. He does not compromise with their thinking and challenge them, along with it the feeling of social awaking and religious feelings also arises within him. He composes a group and finds himself much comfortable within it. Therefore he spends much of time outside home. But some teenagers are more aware about their future and spend much of their time in studies. Adolescent choose an ideal at this stage, who can be a teacher, player, scholar or actor. If a proper guidance is not given to this feeling his existence may be on danger. 

Problems of Adolescence

Main problems of adolescence are following:

  1. Problems of Self-respect, and Security: Both these three things make adolescence more worried. From the view of self-respect he wants respect at home or group wherever he lives. Therefore he is eager to be class-monitor, captain or post-holder of student union. He wants that the work done by him should be appreciated; he should get the care and love of parents, teachers and friends. The poor adolescents are more worried about security. As a result they become the victim of inferiority. If these requirements are fulfilled they better adjust otherwise their personality becomes faulty in the absence of these requirements.
  2. Problem of Independence: At this stage adolescent want to be self dependent and he wants to fulfill the future dreams. He wants a complete freedom to accomplish these dreams, such as they think the advice of others is an interference in his way, but the adolescent is not mature enough so that he can be left alone for taking decisions, it is not appropriate. He will definitely require the guidance of parents and teachers. Adolescent does not understand this fact and creates complications for himself on the way to accomplish his objectives. Therefore he needs to understand his limits and capabilities and get his objective with the help of others. The help taken from others should not be treated as the with ego. 
  3. Need for Adventure: This stage is also called happy or pleasant stage. Adolescent thinks about excess of happiness. He likes to watch movies, go to hotels, read or write novels listening songs, acting. Doing friendship with opposite sex is the strongest determination of an adolescent. Boys are always eager to talk with girls and vice versa. They like to have knowledge regarding sex and for the fulfillment of this they read the sex related literature, watch animal intercourse, nude scenes of movies and discus this with friends and express their feeling by writing and drawing abuse things on the walls of toilets. They have interest in homosexuality, opposite sex, vulgar talks, writing love-letters etc.
  4. Need for Self-support: An adolescent feels that now he is mature enough and he should not depend on parents. He also need money to fulfill his needs, therefore he wants to be self dependent and wants to choose an occupation. Initially these thoughts seem to be an imagination, then as rubbish things and finally he gets serious about achieving his objectives. It is usually seen that the adolescent of poor families do not like their parents occupation, whereas the adolescents of higher class are interested in accepting their parents occupation. This feeling can be seen in the behavior of the adolescents who have strong feeling of it. Adolescents of the big cities are more eager about their goals.
  5. Threat of Being Isolated or Need of Belongingness: Both the feelings are always influenced on adolescents. They are more dependent on their friends for their emotional satisfaction. The wants to get love from others and also wants to give the same to others also. They can’t bear the sulking of their friends. They cannot concentrate on anything. They feel themselves secure in group and on the contrary if they do not find place in the group or get insulted in the group they became sad sometimes which can be dangerous. 
  6. Adherence to Codes and Morals: Adolescent believes that the moral values and social values are adherence. He has to adjust himself with various values at the same point of time. Together he has to be loyal to the strict discipline of parents, school environment, feelings of friends etc. In this situation at any specific time the feeling that gets strong adolescent moves towards it, but in the context of other values it is considered as contrary. Therefore he finds himself in complication in the endeavor to satisfy all. Therefore it is the responsibility of the parents, teachers and society to take him apart from this strain, for which they are required to understand the personality of the child and respect it.
  7. Too much Fantasy: Imagination has the priority in adolescence. He moves in the world of dreams. Dreams inspire child and also helpful in partial satisfaction of wills. Adolescent is motivated to write poem, story, article etc. on the basis of dreams. He gets some satisfaction from the difficult jobs that he has performed in dreams. But the excess of dreams is also destructive for adolescents. Adolescent lost in dreams is keeps unsuccessful in realistic life. Developing imagining power is only good when it can be transformed in the form of literature. 
  8. Hero-Worship: Feeling of hero-worship arises within adolescents. They start obeying the model-person. They try to make themselves like their ideal. Ideals for them may be related to various fields. Actor of cinema, historical hero or religious leader, political leader or scholar may be their ideals.At collage ideal of adolescent is a teacher, who affects them most. Adolescents always speak about their ideal. Sometimes this Hero-Warship can be seen in the form of love. 
  9. Feeling of Revolt: Feeling of self-respect arises within adolescent. Now he do not like the control of parents or teachers. V.N. Jha wrote that, “with the introduction of the life the strong feeling of self-respect get birth within him. He likes to make himself free of bounding.” Kaulsnik statement Kisore, Adolescent treats elders as a barrier in his way because they want to make control over his freedom. Adolescents start revolt against elders. They start opposing the orders of parents or teachers. 
  10. Special Hobbies: With the increase in age, changes in interest also take place. According to Straing interests of adolescent changes till the age of 15 years but after that certain kind of stability can be seen there. Boys and girls have some same interests and some different interests. Same interests are generally reading story, play, novels, looking good , wearing latest cloths of fashion, love with opposite sex, listening radio, watching cinema etc. Difference in their interest is as: Boys are more interested in playing and exercises and choosing right occupation but girls have special interest in music, art, acting, fashion.
  11. Sex Development: Sexual development is the important symptom of adolescence. At this period reproductive power enters within reproduction parts of the adolescents. Psychologist believes that the reentry of sexual feeling of childhood enters at the stage of adolescence. Sexual feeling of childhood exists in sleeping form and it wake up at the stage of adolescence. Therefore adolescence is called as the awaking stage of sex-feeling. A blast of sex feeling took place at this period of time. A fever of sex holds adolescent. There are three important stages of sexual development in adolescent, which is as:
    • Auto-Erotism: The first stage of sexual-development in adolescence stage is auto-erotism. Auto-erotism is of two types: according to the first type, adolescent believes that he is most beautiful. He uses makeup to improve this beauty. He finds pleasure in watching him self in front of mirror again and again. He mend himself, sometimes he continuously changes his dress to see which one is most suitable to him. Noyd called this situation as stage of Narcissism. According to the second type, adolescent touches its sexual-parts and feels happiness. Now he feels tickling in touching secret parts. It develops the bad habit like masturbation in adolescent. This habit of masturbation does not affect boys only, girls also became victim of it. Currently psychologist think that masturbation is obvious, still it these kind of un-natural things should not be appreciated.
    • Homo-Sexuality: The second stage of sexual-development is homosexuality. At this stage person of similar sex falls into love with each other. Girls like to live, walk, eat, talk with girls and boys with boys. They can be seen as kissing each other also. Sometimes both two can be seen as engaged in such activities where they are arising their sex feelings together with. There are some factors responsible for homo-sexuality. One of the reasons of homo sexuality is putting girls apart from boys. When there is lack of opportunities to introduce with opposite sex then, at the stage of adolescence child satisfy his sexual needs through homo-sexuality. Same kind of situation can be seen in Indian society. Here boys and girls kept apart. Hence they think that homo-sexuality is the means to satisfy sexual needs. Homosexuality can also be seen in those institutions where there is lack of co-education. Due to the lack of co-education there are minimum opportunities to attract towards opposite sex and getting love. On the basis of the study Remje, Jhingran and Kinsey concluded that the high degree of homosexuality can be seen at the initial stage of adolescence. Kinsey believes that one fourth of the adolescents are affected by homosexuality. The feeling of homo-sexuality is comparatively high in the children who grow quickly, rather than of those who grow slowly. Sometimes the tendency of homo-sexuality enters in elder age after adolescence. This kind of situation is considerable. This kind of unnatural process creates barrier in the process of nature. 
    • Hetero-Sexuality: The matured stage of sex-tendency is hetero-sexuality which develops in later adolescence. It is the obvious and natural stage of sexual relationship. At this stage boys attracts towards girls and girls towards boys, they talk to each other and associate with each other. After getting more friends they used to watch cinema, do kiss and hug each other, some of them engaged in sexual interconnection before marriage. This stage is terrible and they are treating as deficient in society. Due to the fear of physical relationship parents try to control the interconnection of boys and girls which spreads miss-discipline within boys and girls. If boys and girls are appreciated for group working then a positive point of view towards sexual relationship can be develop within them. 

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