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ADOLESCENCE (13 - 16 years old)

The adolescent period is not distinguished in all societies, but only with a high level of civilization. Industrial development leads to the fact that more and more time is required for public and professional education of children and, accordingly, the expansion of the framework of adolescence.

The literature describes under different names: adolescent, transitional, puberty, puberty, adolescence, adolescence, the negative phase of puberty, the age of the second transection of the umbilical cord. Different names reflect different aspects of the changes taking place in a teenager’s life.


The onset of adolescence is clearly manifested in a sharp maturity of the body, a sudden increase in growth and the development of secondary sexual characteristics. In girls, this process begins about 2 years earlier and lasts for a shorter time (3-4 years) than in boys (4-5 years). This age is considered a period of marked increase in sexual desires and sexual energy, especially in boys.

The phases of development of interests coincide with the phases of biological maturation in adolescents. On the one hand, interest in things that he was previously interested in is being lost (contempt for children's games, "tales," etc.). At the same time, neither skills nor established mechanisms of behavior are lost. On the other hand, new interests arise: new books, mainly of an erotic nature, acute sexual interest.

During a change of interests, there is a moment when it seems that a teenager does not have any interest whatsoever. This destructive, devastating phase of parting with childhood gave Leo Tolstoy the reason to call the period "the desert of adolescence."

Later, at the beginning of a new phase, the child has many new interests. Of these, by differentiation, the core of interests is selected. Moreover, at first this happens under the sign of romantic aspirations, in the end - a realistic and practical choice of one sustainable interest associated with the main life line chosen by a teenager.

Leading activity

The leading activity is intimate and personal communication with peers. This activity is a kind of reproduction between peers of the relationships that exist among adults, a form of development of these relationships. Relations with peers are more significant than with adults, a teenager is socially separated from his family genealogy.

Major neoplasms

The formation of the "We" concept

Sometimes it takes on a very tough character: "we are ours, they are strangers." Territories, spheres of living space are divided. This is not friendship, the relationship of friendship has yet to be mastered as a relationship of intimacy, to see in another person the same as himself. It is rather a worship of a common idol.

The formation of reference groups

In adolescence, groups begin to stand out among children. At first, they consist of representatives of the same sex, subsequently there is a tendency to unite such groups into larger companies or gatherings, whose members do something together. Over time, groups become mixed. Even later there is a division into pairs, so that the company consists only of interconnected pairs.

The teenager is inclined to recognize the values ​​and opinions of the reference group as his own. In his mind, they set the opposition to adult society. Many researchers talk about the subculture of children's society, the bearers of which are the reference groups. Adults do not have access to them, therefore, the channels of exposure are limited. The values ​​of children's society are poorly aligned with those of an adult.

A typical feature of the teenage group is extremely high conformity. The opinion of the group and its leader is uncritical. The diffuse "I" needs a strong "we", dissent is excluded.

Sense of adulthood

There is no objective adulthood in a teenager yet. Subjectively, it manifests itself in the development of a sense of adulthood and a tendency to adulthood:

1. Emancipation from parents. A child requires sovereignty, independence, respect for his secrets. At the age of 10-12 years, children are still trying to find mutual understanding between their parents. However, disappointment is inevitable, as their values ​​are different. But adults are indulgent towards each other's values, and the child is a maximalist and does not accept indulgence. Disagreements are mainly about the style of clothing, hairstyles, home care, free time, school and material problems. However, most importantly, children still inherit the values ​​of their parents. The "spheres of influence" of parents and peers are delimited. Usually, parents are passed on to the fundamental aspects of social life. Peers are consulted on the “momentary” issues.

2. A new attitude towards learning. A teenager seeks self-education, and often becomes indifferent to grades. Sometimes there is a discrepancy between intellectual abilities and successes at school: opportunities are high and successes are low.

3. Adulthood is manifested in a romantic relationship with peers of the other sex. Here, there is not so much a fact of sympathy as a form of relationship learned from adults (dating, entertainment).

4. Appearance and manner of dressing.

The emotional development of a teenager

Adolescence is considered a period of violent inner experiences and emotional difficulties. According to a survey among teenagers, half of 14-year-olds sometimes feel so miserable that they cry and want to leave everyone and everything. A quarter said that they sometimes think that people look at them, talk about them, laugh at them. Every 12th had the idea of ​​suicide.

Typical school phobias, which disappeared at 10–13 years old, now reappear in a slightly altered form. Social phobias prevail. Adolescents become shy and attach great importance to the shortcomings of their appearance and behavior, which leads to a reluctance to meet with some people. Sometimes anxiety paralyzes the social life of a teenager so much that he refuses most forms of group activity. Fears of open and closed spaces appear.

Imagination and creativity of a teenager

The child’s play turns into a teenager’s fantasy. Compared to the child’s imagination, she’s more creative. In a teenager, fantasy is associated with new needs - with the creation of a love ideal. Creativity is expressed in the form of diaries, poetry, and even people without any grain of poetry write poetry at this time. "Fantasy is by no means happy, but only unsatisfied." Fantasy becomes at the service of emotional life, is a subjective activity that gives personal satisfaction. Fantasy is turned into an intimate sphere that hides from people. A child does not hide his play; a teenager hides fantasies as a secret secret and is more likely to admit to an offense than to discover his fantasies.

There is also a second channel - objective creativity (scientific inventions, technical constructions). Both channels connect when a teenager first finds his life plan. In fantasy, he anticipates his future.

The basic need of age is understanding. For a child to be open to understanding, previous needs must be met.

Types of education

Several types of relationships between parents and adolescents are described:

1. Emotional rejection. Usually it is hidden, since parents unknowingly suppress hostility towards the child as an unworthy feeling. Indifference to the inner world of the child, disguised by exaggerated care and control, is unmistakably guessed by the child.

2. Emotional indulgence. The child is the center of adult life, education is like the "idol of the family." Love is anxious and suspicious, the child is defiantly guarded from the "offenders." Since the exclusivity of such a child is recognized only at home, he will have problems in relations with peers.

3. Authoritarian control. Parenting is the main thing in the life of parents. But the main educational line is manifested in the prohibitions and in the manipulation of the child. The result is paradoxical: there is no educational effect, even if the child obeys: he cannot make decisions himself. This type of education entails one of two things: either socially unacceptable forms of behavior of the child, or low self-esteem.

4. Condusive non-interference. Adults, when making a decision, are often guided by their mood, rather than pedagogical principles and goals. Their motto is: less hassle. Control is weakened, the child is left to himself in choosing a company, making decisions.

Adolescents themselves consider democratic education an optimal model of education when there is no adult superiority.

Anomalies in the personal development of adolescents

Adolescence is a manifestation of those personality development anomalies that existed in a latent state in the preschool period. Deviations in behavior are common to almost all adolescents. Characteristic features of this age are sensitivity, a frequent sharp change of mood, fear of ridicule, and a decrease in self-esteem. For most children, over time this goes by itself, while some need the help of a psychologist.

Disorders are behavioral and emotional. Emotional prevail in girls. These are depression, fears and anxiety. The reasons are usually social. Behavioral disorders are four times more likely in boys.
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