As most adolescents face many developmental issues, I was not an exception. During my adolescence, I developed my cultural values, began to think about social class differences, and differences connected with ethnicity, races, and gender. It is known that different psychologists expressed different opinions concerning the development of children during adolescence. For example, Robert Havighurst (1952), an American physicist and aging specialist, believed that there are two important areas of adolescence: work and relationships. Daniel Levinson (1978), an American psychologist who founded the field of positive adult development, focused his attention on changing relationships and exploration, while Erik Erikson (1968), a well-known American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst commented on the role of intimacy and commitment to goals. However, it is clear that “older adolescents and young adults enter transitions with the goal of becoming independently functioning adults, as they strive to meet evolving personal and career related needs”ť (Borgen & Amundson, 2009, p.22). It is true because in my adolescence, I faced discrimination at school and had a great desire to become an adult. According Erik Erickson’s theory, during adolescence, young people are focused on physical growth and sexual maturation, as well as integrating their own ideas of themselves and about what others think of them. I experienced these feelings. I formed my self-image and tried to resolve the crisis of my ego identity. Erickson states that successful resolution of the crisis of identity much depends on the individual’s progress he or she made during the previous stages of development, and he focuses on “autonomy, trust, and initiative”ť (CĂ´tĂ© & Levine, 2002, p.95). I am sure that I managed to resolve the crisis of identity because in my adolescence, I had already set certain goals which helped me to become an honest and responsible person.
DISCUSSION OF PSYCHOLOGICAL, BIOLOGICAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES AS THEY APPLY TO ADOLSCENCE AND MY PERSONALITY
It is known that adolescence is a stage of constant stress for young people because of certain psychological and biological changes. This stress can be minimized by support of adults. Â Adolescence is considered to be a period of both disorientation and discovery of a young person. The transitional period is connected with issues of self-identity and independence. In case of lack of support, many adolescents experiment with alcohol, drugs or sexuality. Psychological changes in attitudes are closely connected with changes in hormones. The most important factor in adolescence is peer group relations.
Physiological and psychological changes lead to sexual maturity. This process of certain physical changes in adolescents is known as puberty and means that “pituitary gland produces more gonadotropins, which in turn stimulate the increased production of predominantly estrogen in girls, and predominantly testosterone in boys”ť (Hine, 1999, p.12). Estrogen and testosterone are responsible for such changes as breast development, deepening of voice, and hair growth on the face and body. Of course, these physical changes create many psychological changes in adolescents.
As for me, I experienced a large number of changes during my adolescence. I had problems with my physical changes because of my height. I was too shy because I thought that nobody pays attention to my appearance. When I became a volleyball player, I had a great pleasure and interest in this game because I was not alone. There were many boys and girls who were interested in this kind of sport and were as tall as I was.
DISCUSSION OF THE POSSIBLE DIFFERENCE IN THE DEVELOMENT OF THE PRESENT DAY ADOLSCENT FROM MY PERSONALITY
Today I can say that there are certain differences in the development of the present day adolescents from the ones who lived several decades ago. During my adolescence, there was no such influence of technology as it is today. In addition, there are certain differences in economic conditions of population. Today adolescents are more open to communication, more educated due to the development of new information technologies. As a result, they are more experienced and self-confident than in the past. However, today adolescents are more exposed to drug/alcohol abuse (Today’s adolescents more exposed to harmful alcohol consumption, STDs, and other risks than in the past, 2012, para.1).
In addition, I think that today moral and ethical behavior of adolescents is getting worse. In the past, adolescents were more respectful and honest. Today many adolescents smoke and drink, have sex at the age of 12-13, and are engaged in criminal activities. Of course, these changes are closely connected with economic and political situation in the world. Violence is the key reason of the above mentioned changed between adolescents of the present and the past.
MY PERSONAL OPINION CONCERNING MY ADOLSCENCE
My personal opinion concerning my adolescence is rather optimistic because I believe that I had much more positive circumstances in my life that positively influenced my personal development. I have got biological, cognitive and social development. I had romantic relationships with a good young man. I had my first sexual experience, due to which today I have a baby. In addition, I resolved the crisis of identity. Although my peers had a strong impact on the development of my ego identity, I managed to avoid negative groups, drug and alcohol abuse and chose sports as the major field of my interests.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â CONCLUSION
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that adolescence is a serious period in the life of any individual. Because of biological and psychological changes, adolescents need support and attention of their family members. Only in this case, it is possible to resolve the crisis of identity and its negative consequences.