Human Development and Life Transition Issues

Published: 2019-11-06 09:30:00
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Life serves as a journey comprising of various stages of development that present new set of opportunities and challenges. The diverse stages of life link together while the adaptive processes associated with growth, maintenance, and loss regulation characterize developmental journey from early child hood to old age. People encounter transitional or change phases throughout life in diverse ways. Some of the developments are positive while other are negative (Berk, 2013). Hence, the paper discusses the human development and life transition issues in the perspective of adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years

Adolescent Development and Transition Issues

Adolescence refers to the transition between childhood to adulthood, generally occurring between the ages 11 or 12 to late teenage years or early twenties. However, the various sociological, legal, and psychological definitions affiliated with adulthood entrance differ considerably (Fingerman, 2011). Adolescence features numerous developments of cognitive, physical, and psychosocial growth. In understanding the various issues that characterize the adolescent stage, Jean Piaget, a theorist, stipulates that adolescence serves as the fourth stage in the development phase with which individuals portray considerable advancements in their intellectual capacities. Here, the individuals manage to evaluate the diverse possibilities in life while their thinking capabilities broaden. During this phase, the thinking and reasoning standpoint of the individuals grows to an extent that they have the capacity of understanding the various possibilities apparent in life clearly (Coon & Mitterer, 2011). In this perspective, therefore, it is apparent that the adolescent stage contributes greatly to the development of individuals, especially in terms of their cognitive and intellectual abilities. They gain deeper understanding concerning the various issues that take place in life, thereby allowing get in touch with reality.

By contrast, during the adolescent phase, individuals find it easy to handle typical activities, although some fail to utilize their capacity effectively. For instance, certain people usually experience challenges while trying to identify their worth in life. Some lose focus in life, hindering them from exercising self-esteem, self-concept, and self-identity effectively. In this sense, they lack the capacity to comprehend the roles they should play in the society, hence a need for introducing certain measures that would allow them take positive stands in life.

Normality Live Events (Physical and Cognition Aspects)

Adolescents experience various psychical and cognition changes, which have a significant influence on their psychological wellbeing. Puberty serves as one of the key indicators of physical changes and occurs because of changes in hormones, which might affect behaviour and moods. Puberty takes around four years, and begins earlier in girls compared to boys (Berk, 2013). It stops when people have the capacity to reproduce. During puberty, girls and boys experience spurt in adolescent growth. Their key sex traits, particularly the reproductive organ start enlarging and mature while secondary sex characteristics start appearing. The key signs affiliated with sexual maturity include sperm production in the case of males and menstruation in the event of females (Ahles, 2013). Spermarche takes place at age13 whereas menarche occurs between 12 to 13 years. The psychological influences association with the late or early maturation are dependent on the ways adolescents, as well as other individuals understand the general changes (Fingerman, 2011).

The ways through which teens think as well as language differs considerably from young children. In the perspective of the state formal development by Piaget, people are capable of engaging in a hypothetical-deductive model of reasoning. They can manage to think of possibilities, handle problems in a flexible manner, as well as test hypothesis. The maturation of the brain and stimulation by the environment may play a vital in realizing the stage (Coon, & Mitteere, 2011). However, adolescents still experience immature patterns of thought based on the inexperience the have with the formal way of thinking. In the view models, in this case, comprise of criticalness, idealism, indecisiveness, argumentativeness, prevalent hypocrisy, consciousness, and invulnerability and specialness assumption (Gonsalves & Mohan, 2012). Furthermore, moral reasoning in the case of adolescents depends on justice sense development as well as rising cognitive abilities. Moral development in adolescents develops from influences both inside and outside the home including culture and schooling. The roles of parental guidance, socialization, and emotion play a significant role in influencing the cognitive development of adolescents (Fingerman, 2011).

Teens encounter various health challenges during adolescence. In most parts of teenage years, people are healthy. Most health problems result from poverty or lifestyles that entail risk-taking. Approximately 20% will experience threats to health development from risky behaviours. For instance, risky behaviours, such as drug abuse, drinking alcohol, sexual immorality, and promiscuity prevail during the early stages of adolescence. However four out of five young individuals do not encounter any significant health challenges due to risky behaviour (Gibbs & Grey, 2011). Non-risky behaviour health concerns include lack sufficient sleep mostly because their schedule in school fails to match with the rhythm of their bodies. In addition, the concerns about body image may lead them to embark on obsessive dieting causing anorexia nervosa, obesity, and bulimia nervosa. (Gibbs & Grey, 2011 comprise). Adolescents are not highly likely to seek medical care unless they are physical injured as in the case of physical activities (Coon & Mitterer, 2011).

Non-normative life events entail the events in life that occur in an unexpected manner, such as a family member loss, natural disaster, or wars. Cases of illness or deaths in certain ages, they are in statistical terms regarded as normative, although they typically non-normative. They still serve as unanticipated and undesired occurrences affiliated with extreme influences. Non-normative incidences might comprise of either position or negative impacts, such as adjusting to their new country they are brought into for safety due to the war or when a beloved person dies respectively. Nevertheless, in the two cases, they are unanticipated and slightly associated with later age (Gonsalves, & Mohan, 2012).

The non-normative life transition of war can have a significant impact on the fourth stage of intellectual development during adolescence. Adolescents that are involved in war, violence and natural disaster experience multiple stressors that can lead to depression, mental health disorder, physical harm, loss, deprivation, loneliness and isolation due to distressing situation (Empson,J.,M.,p.41). It also affect their ability to create relationships with people because of language barrier and difficulties in making new friends at school or community because of the new changes because had move from from one country to the other due to war (Empson, J.,& Walking, Ann,2015).Atypical child development in context (2 nd ed.).

The non-normative life transition also affects the development of SELF-IDENTITY, SELF-CONCEPT OR SELF-ESTEEM. According to Erikson Self -identity is the crucial step and major part of adolescent life and considered risky for adolescent who are having difficulty to identity what type of person they and would rather be nobody, or somebody, consider themselves bad could lead to dead than to be nobody. At this stage of transition, adolescents question themselves of who they are where they going and why because they are unsure of the future and can developed a basic trust in other. Psychological conflicts among adolescents also prevail especially when they try to identity their worth versus confusion in the diverse aspects they undertake in life. He believed that successful psychological outcome of adolescents to adulthood pave the way toward a positive resolution (Berk, L.,E., Meyers, A,. B.p.,588, 2016).


Ahles, S.R. (2011). Our inner World: A Guide to psychodynamics and Psychotherapy. New York: PHU Press.

Berk, S. E. (2013). Development Through the Lifespan. New York: Pearson Education Limited.

(Fingerman, K.L. (2011). Handbook of Life -Span Development. New York: springer Publishing Company.

Gibbs, E.A., & Grey, P. A. (2011). Five foundations of Human Development: A Proposal for Our Survival in the Twenty-First Century and the New Millennium. New York: Author House.

Gonsalves, J., & Mohan, P. (2012). Strengthening Resilience in Post- Disaster Situations: Stories, Experience, and Lessons from South Asia. Ottawa: IDRC.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2016). Standards for practice. Retrieved 21 September 2016,


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