Adolescence is a time between being a child and being an adult. Over this time, there are many physical and psychological changes (eg. in relation to sexuality, physiology, emotions, moral perception, self-esteem, etc). Adolescence can be difficult both for the adolescent, and for people interacting with them (family, friends, professionals etc). morally during the adolescent period. Adolescence and the idea of teenagers is a relatively new concept. Prior to education for all, people were adults or children. However, since the 1950s, the idea of a teenager has developed.
This course offers opportunity to understand these changes, and consider options for dealing with the adolescent, whether as a professional, or even simply as a friend or parent.
The course consists of ten lessons including:
- Introduction: Theories of Human Development
- Life Crises
- Physical Development
- Intellectual Development
- Emotional Development
- Social Development
- Moral Development
- Delinquency and Crime
- Adolescents and the Transition to Adulthood
- Develop an understanding of the theories of child development in relation to adolescents.
- Develop an understanding of life crises in relation to adolescents.
- Develop an understanding of the physical changes that occur in puberty.
- Develop an understanding of the intellectual changes that occur in adolescence.
- Develop an understanding of the emotional development that occurs during adolescence.
- Develop an understanding of sexuality during adolescence
- Develop an understanding of the social development that occurs in adolescence.
- Develop an understanding of the theories of moral development in relation to teenagers.
- Consider the links between adolescence and delinquent activity such as crime.
- Develop an understanding of the changes that occur moving from adolescence to adulthood.
Some Sample Course Notes
Puberty is a period where a sequence of physical changes associated with maturation occur rapidly. The process has not been studied and understood fully. We will cover the physical changes that occur in puberty in more detail in the next lesson.
These changes occur to:
- The Endocrine system
- Body Fat
- Leptin ?a hormone that may signal the start and ongoing development of puberty
- During puberty there is more rapid growth, sexual developments (eg. Growth of pubic hair, breasts in girls etc), change in voice.
- Many psychological changes accompany puberty:
- Parents and friends begin treating you differently
- Growing consciousness about body image
- Changes in hormone concentrations contribute to and increase in variable and negative emotions
- Girls are commonly upset (even if only slightly) by their first period
- Individuals who confront puberty earlier or later than their peers may perceive themselves differently.
Adolescence is a time of rapid change and development. Some of the issues considered in the course relate to school problems and eating problems. These can be a cause of concern for parents, teachers and the teenager themselves.
School problems can also be due to emotional and intellectual problems, but as it can also be related to rebellion against authority, we will discuss it further here.
Refusal to go to school can be due to a number of problems ?
Some children may be perfectionists. They may become depressed and unsettled if they do not do as well as they expect to.
They may have a disturbed family life due to various factors, such as loss of a parent through death or divorce, parental relationship difficulties and so on.
They may experience difficulties being separated from their parents.
Their school problems may be an established pattern. Some children may have established a pattern of missing school early in life. They may often have physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches.
Some teenagers may go to school, then play truant. This is usually because they are unhappy at home and frustrated at school. They may want to spend their days with others who feel the same way.
Emotional problems can affect school work. It can make it hard to concentrate. They may have worries about themselves, about home, pressure to do well, pass exams and so on. They may want to do well and push themselves. But excessive nagging and pushing can be counter-productive. Whilst exams are important, they should not be allowed to dominate the teenager?s life or cause them unhappiness.
Another problem is bullying. Around 1 in 10 secondary school children is bullied at some point, 1 in 20 every week.
Eating Problems Weight can be a problem. If an adolescent is overweight and made fun of, they are more likely to dislike themselves and become depressed. This can lead to inactivity and comfort eating, which makes the weight problem worse. It is important to ensure that adolescents are happy with themselves, whatever their appearance.
Many adolescents diet. Only a few will develop serious eating disorders ? around 1% of teenagers develop anorexia, 2% bulimia. But, these are more likely to occur in children who have taken up serious dieting, think little of themselves, are under stress and have been overweight as a child.” (taken from the Adolescent Psychology course)
If you think you would like to look in more detail at child psychology, why not have a look at our Child Psychology course?