Adolescent PsychologyHighland Park, IL
Adolescent psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with issues that are specific to adolescents. Adolescence is a period when youngsters face fluctuating and continually changing interests and want, sexual maturity, physical growth, restricted emotional insight and surging energy, making them prone to many emotional issues and challenges that need the attention of a professional. Research areas of interest in this branch comprise adolescent development (including cognitive and physical changes), gender and sexual development, puberty and emotions of adolescents.
The adolescent stage
The typical adolescent years are between ages 13 and 19. This time period is usually considered the transitional phase from childhood to adulthood. The teenage years can be a period of emotional conflict, discovery and disorientation. Adolescence can cause a wide gap between parents and their children.
However, why does this happen?
Adolescence is a period of rapid physical growth and development and significant emotional changes. This can be sensational but can also create confusion and discomfort for the child and parent alike.
While undergoing the developmental changes, adolescents go through pressure from many sides. They have to handle the stress of maintaining academic excellence and keeping up with extracurricular activities, especially with the extra motivation to go for post-secondary education after high school.
They also have to face social pressure. For some, the desire to fit in with their peers can be highly destructive while facing bullying and harassment. Many teens are inclined to believe that their problems will not stop, since they have not formed adult-level orientation that might help them handle their issues in healthier ways. Some adolescents come from unstable or abusive families whose environmental situations can create further stress for them.
While many people move from childhood to adulthood without outstanding issues, an increasing number of youths are facing mental health issues that demand help and attention. Adolescent psychology is therefore essential to reduce that number and provide youths with the support and help they need.
Nowadays, teens live in a period where there is more awareness of mental health than there used to be. Due to the reduction in the stigma associated with psychological disorders, youths are now more likely to contact their friends, families, school counselor or even social media for help. When they believe that there is an atmosphere of understanding at home, they will be more likely to accept parental support when they face challenges.
This phenomenon is motivating, since mental illness managed early life is generally easier to handle than in adults who have delayed getting help. Common psychological disorders and issues faced by adolescents include:
Emotional and behavioral problems in adolescents
Everyone knows that life adversities (such as nerve-wracking family conditions or lack of warmth and care) have impacts on the progress of the child’s development. Psychological stress early in life is a sign of environmental risk and may prompt early reproductive development. From this angle, emotional and behavioral issues would probably happen before the child goes through puberty.
Puberty is a stage of heightened stress and challenges, a stage where children adapt to the altered social responsibility. This is why mental health disorders are first apparent during adolescence. Younger children and those without sufficient social and emotional tools may find this stage harder, which further escalates the risk of potential mental health problems.
Social determinant and health-related actions also have their impact. The peers, family and society that surround the child while growing up can offer the social foundation for their mental health. In the same vein, negative influences surrounding the child are potential risk factors for mental health issues in adolescence.
Under adolescent psychology, there is the “life course” hypothesis. This postulates that the differences between the onset of puberty and childhood adaptation may, in part, create difficulty early in life. This simply means that early puberty may cause a premature transition to adult development. This consequently increases the risk of emotional and behavioral issues.
Limiting the risk
Adolescent psychology provides help for mental difficulties that may occur in adolescence. It offers children the emotional and social resources they need to survive through adolescence. Many kids require help to handle relationships, family issues and school stress. An adolescent therapist can assist children with handling these issues and help them make better decisions in life.
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210 Skokie Valley Rd Suite C
Highland Park, IL
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