The period of rapid physical and mental growth between the childhood and adulthood is called adolescence. For girls it is in the period between 8-18 years and for boys it is 7-19 years. Adoloscence extends from puberty to complete sexual maturity (puberty is the time of appearance of first external signs of sexual maturation).
Characteristics of Adolescence
1) Accelerated physical growth and development of reproductive organs.
2) Changes in the functioning of the neuroendocrine system.
3) Frequent changes in mood and emotional turbulence due to the increased production of hormones. This is due to the preoccupation with self-assertion and problems associated with self identity, self respect etc..
4) Development of moral reasoning regardless of their culture and religious background.
Common Problems of Adoloscence
Adolescence is a critical stage in the life of a human. During this stage numerous problems occurs. Some important problems are given in this article.
1) Development of acne
Acene is developed on both sexes mainly on face. It is caused due to the clogged pores of the skin. It is a side effect due to the influx of sex hormones.Presence of acne in the face increases self-consciousness.
2) Hypochondria and anxiety
Hypochondria is a psychosomatic disorder of undue concern about health.Both hypochondria and anxiety develops in late developers (late developers are those who attains adolescence late).
3) Errors in social behaviour
Adoloscence shows social awkwardness,exhibitionism and aggressive self-assertion. They show alternative periods of loneliness (withdrawal from the social surroundings ) and gregarious (tendency to be with social surroundings).
4) Eating pattern
Some develop dieting to control weight while some others have high craving for food leading to over eating.
It is characterized by the inability to concentrate on or enjoy things. It may lead to irritability,fatigue,insomnia,depression and headache.
6) Physiological aberrations
It mainly includes absence of monthly periods in females.
Adoloscence develop different kinds of phobias towards various things, situations or creatures. For example phobias towards crawlers like spider, snakes etc . Situations like crowded places, vast open places, closed small chambers etc.
8) Post traumatic stress disorders
It is due to the traumatic or emotional shock experience like robbery etc..
9) Addiction to drugs
Adolescents are facing the problems of addiction to drugs, alchohal, and tobacco smoking and chewing. Some reasons for addition are frustration, depression, and feeling of independence, false belief of enhanced physical, mental or intellectual performance by drug taking.
Social and moral implications of Adolescence
Adolescence is a preparatory phase for the adult life. It is formative period of both physical and psychological health. A healthy adolescence is very essential for a healthy adulthood. During this period the individual moves out of the family. He or she begins to identity and defines his or her position in relation to the outer world. He undergoes physiological and behavioral transformation and acquires higher levels of moral standings.