The Period of Adolescence and the Cultural Aspects Thereof
Table of contents and page number •The period of adolescence and the cultural aspects thereof  •The educational implications of the physical development [3-4] •The factors that could possibly lead to heightened emotionality  •The guidelines that should be kept in mind if you want to offer  adolescents career guidance. •How to accompany the adolescent during this phase of human [5-6] development. •What depression is  •Kinds of depression  •Characteristics of depression [6-7] •Causes of depression  How to deal with an adult who suffers from depression from an  educational point of view. •Discussion on Postformal thought of an adult during cognitive [8-9] development with reference to educational implications and the guidelines that can be followed to improve adults’ learning performance and memories. a) The period of adolescence is a marked, in many societies by an initiation ritual which prepares the person to adulthood. In some societies, adolescents are forced to go through these rituals so as to be able to be accepted as an adult. It is practiced in many countries but it is believed to be originated from Egypt.
Both male and female circumcisions were practiced as early as in ancient Egypt. Initiation rituals are common in African societies where girls have to undergo clitoridectomy and are tattooed so as to mark their entry in adulthood. In North America, the rituals are in the form of a vision quest in which both boys and girls are sent to a jungle where they have to stay, fast and wait for a vision which will reveal their future. These initiation rituals used to be very important in ancient times but are now looked at with certain contempt especially when the abuses and ill-treatments of the adolescents are taken into consideration.
It is now considered as inhuman and is in contradiction with the Human Rights as these Initiation rituals have cost the lives of many boys and girls as the tasks imposed on them during these rituals are much too hard for their tender bodies. b) Physical development in an adolescent is both biological and physiological. Their metabolic rates increases and so do their skills. Their body changes drastically as boys and start having manly voices, with a body growing muscular, with appearance of hair on the chin, armpits, and genitals and as for girls, they start having their menstruations and a body which starts to shape itself.
Considering these changes, child-minders should pay particular attention to what the adolescent is eating so as to keep their metabolism at a correct rate and also the proportion of food taken in should also be monitored so as to avoid obesity, anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Self-confidence and self-esteem of the adolescents can be boosted by the encouragements he gets from the people around him. Encouragements are very important in cases when the adolescents feel that their body is not growing they want it to and this may cause a feeling of inferiority in them which can lead to depression and disorders like anorexia.
Child-minders should stress on the fact that it is very important to develop their personalities too along with their physique. Adolescents may also be influenced into having unsafe sex, thus child-minders aught to inform them about the dangers like AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and the risk of early pregnancy. An unbalanced and premature sex life may cause a dependence to sex and a loss of concentration in studies and academic achievements. Parents should explain and clear out any confusion about superstitions which the adolescents may have.
All adolescents must be encouraged to have a proper personal hygiene and exercises at a regular basis. c) Adolescents are highly emotional when they, for example, come across situations they never have faced before. Like the first time they have been ragged or the first heartbreak they have experienced. This can be highly stressing as the latter may feel insecure and lack of self-confidence. This may be accentuated by the pressure of getting good grades and be academically successful. This can cause a feeling of inferiority if the expectations are not met.
Adolescents are also very troubled if their family impose difficult expectations on them as this causes confusions and this may damper their self-confidence. Their friends and family have a great influence o them as they may feel left-out or inferior if they show-off a significant difference compared to their peers. Emotional stress from family members also deeply affects them as this distorts their view on family life and may cause serious psychological disorders. d) A proper career guidance officer should give suggestions instead of imposing his personal views or opinions.
He should always bear in mind what the person wants and what are his chances of obtaining it. An accurate and realistic opinion should be given to the adolescent on his skills and what are his chances of pursuing in the field he wants so that he can be encouraged to improve himself and not feel inferior. The tone that he uses should be a friendly one and the counselor should empathises with the consulting adolescent. Their confidence level should be boosted up so that they themselves can take their own decisions and decide about the criteria on which they can rely to determine the career they will choose.
The counselor must have a good knowledge of job trends and know which field is an expanding one. Job-seekers must understand that the task of looking for a job can be tiring. Tips about how to submit a proper application letter and a motivation letter can prove to be very useful for adolescents. Reaching puberty, the individual already possesses moral values, now in this stage; the adolescents themselves determine their own notions about what is right and wrong. They now have the ability to make the difference between the two, analyse ideas and beliefs and see for themselves whether they are reliable or not.
For example they can voice out their opinions about issues like homosexuality and the effects of drug abuse. Adolescents should be allowed to build up their own value system in which they will add their own ideas about what is right and wrong. We need to let them take their own initiatives and decisions but we should not impose unshakable discipline on them. They should be given the chance to voice out their feelings, aspirations and opinions without them having to feel awkward or embarrassed.
Criticism should not be too stern but should always be accompanied with encouragements. Question 2 a) Depression is defined as being a state where a person feels deeply sad and has a pessimistic approach to one’s future. It is also described as a medical condition which causes unhappiness and leading a normal life becomes difficult. (Longman, dictionary of Contemporary English). It ranges from mild sadness feeling of being left-out to more serious depression where a person loses all contact with the reality and stops responding to stimuli. ) We have two kinds of depression. First is endogenous depression and the next is exogenous depression. Endogenous depression is when the depression comes from physiological factors instead of external factors. That is there is no drastic change in a person’s life and still the person gets depressed due to some biochemical changes. Exogenous depression is said to be caused by external factors like an illness, sudden death, abuse or rape. (Depression-guide. com, types of). ) Depression can be detected when a person starts getting upset excessively, lost of interest and motivation, a lack of good spirit and when the person starts developing guilty feelings. A difference in a person’s routine life can also be noticed. For example concentration in work, studies gradually decreases and there is either a loss of or an excess of food intake. A general fatigue is felt throughout the day, headaches, dry mouths increased heart rate, abnormalities in sleeping habits can also be detected.
The most common characteristics of depression are usually connected to a person’s personality and self-image. The person suffering from depression will isolate himself and will lack in self-confidence, self-respect, self-esteem and feel inferior to the people around him. d) External factors like financial problems, disagreements in one’s professional and personal life may cause depression. Types of personal problems which can lead to depression are divorce, adultery, death, accident, physical and sexual abuse, lack of love and attention and the mpty-nest syndrome. The empty-nest syndrome is defined as the depression which is caused by the feeling of being left-out by one’s children who have moved out of the house. Internal factors of depression are inferiority complex, anger, oversensitivity, irrational fear of failure and excessive dependence on the people around them. e) A person who suffers from depression need to be handled with care because they are very sensitive. We need to take particular interest in the person’s needs, personality, and special requirements.
We should offer empathy, sympathy and a very good understanding so that the person can feel open. They should be encouraged to put their feelings into words and express themselves. This will increase the trust in us and they will feel better if they get someone to confide into. One very important factor is to be able to detect the cause of depression and be very secretive in whatever confession which might be made. We should see whether the person has any dependence to drugs, alcohol or has any suicidal tendencies or have been sexually or physically abused of in his childhood.
Question 3 Postformal thought can be defined as being the state where an adult realises that solutions to problems may vary depending on the circumstances that different people may experience and problems may be solved by means other than pure logic. Opinions do not necessarily need to be right or wrong; there can be a way in between these two. Adults with Postformal thoughts are open-minded, more flexible and are much keener on adaptation. They believe that emotions are key factors in determining the solutions to problems.
Postformal thought can be subdivided into three ‘styles’. The first being the absolutist style which is defined as being the thought that all problems have only one solution and that it can only be achieved by logical thoughts. This way of reasoning occurs mainly in early adulthood where people are very opinionated and single-minded. In middle adulthood, a second style is developed which is the relativist style that believes there are many solutions to the same problem and that the solutions are dependent on the circumstances. Some people think in the relativist style.
They say that there is no correct way of dealing with a problem and thus they do not have a definite opinion on a certain subject because they are not able to make up their mind on any particular topic and may easily give in to cynicism and scepticism. People that think in the dialectical way identify the different solutions of the problems and deal with it by taking all of them into consideration. Adults should be reminded of accurate informations that are connected to their past so as to boost up their memory. Emphasis must be put on their visual and auditive memory by using videos and audio cassettes as educational tools.
It is recommended to use tables and charts to represent data as it is better to assimilate when it is related to our visual memory. The adult should be allowed to learn at their own pace as it is more difficult to learn in adulthood compared to childhood and adolescence. Too much of stress is not good for adults as this can lead to several health problems and particular attention should be taken for any personal disabilities or drawbacks that the adult may experience as this has a direct influence on their cognitive and emotional development.
Postformal thought is subdivided into three major ‘styles’: absolutist, relativist and dialectical thinking. These usually occur at different stages of adulthood, namely early, middle and late adulthood. Many factors should be taken into consideration in order to optimise an adult’s learning skills. Focus should be made on their visual memory to facilitate their assimilation of data. Stress should be minimised for adults as this can affect their emotional and cognitive development and any disabilities in the adult should be detected as soon as possible.