Adolescence: Spring of Life; Its problems and counselling at a glance

BY SARTAJ AHMAD ALLAIE. Dated: 11/1/2020 12:45:07 AM

Adolescence is a dynamically evolving theoretical construct informed through physiologic, psychosocial, temporal and cultural lenses. This critical developmental period is conventionally understood as the years between the onset of puberty and the establishment of social independence (Steinberg, 2014). The most commonly used chronologic definition of adolescence includes the ages of 10-18 but may incorporate a span of 9 to 26 years depending on the source (APA, 2002). Inconsistencies in the inclusion criteria of “adolescence”, and adolescent sub-stages, can create confusion in the construction of adolescent research and adolescent program planning. Although an appreciation for developmental variability is imperative when discussing adolescence, there is an equal necessity for conceptual clarity. This article explores the developmental foundation for definitions of adolescence, identifies commonly used chronologic parameters and posits a theoretically consistent chronology of adolescence and adolescent sub-stages for use in research and program development.
Life is filled with joy and sorrow, success and failure, health and sickness, wealth and poverty. It is hard to find a person who has not experienced these. It is also rarely seen, any family which does not have any problem. There is also no scientific evidence to prove that a problem arises only after a certain age. Problems arise at any stage of life. When changes take place in our life, we find it harder to adjust and this itself leads to a problem. The changes taking place in our society have made themselves felt in every sphere of life: political, economic and social. Technological changes have made a major impact on people’s lives and work. The industrialization has resulted in social and vocational mobility. It has affected child-rearing practices too.
A.T. jersild , put it as, “Adolescence is a span of fears during which boys and girls move from childhood to adulthood mentally, emotionally, socially and physically". In India Adolescence is a phase that is more difficult to define, particularly in terms of age. The classic age-wise grouping for Adolescence is between 11 to 18 years for girls and between 12 to 18 years for boys.
Adolescence is the stage between childhood and adulthood. It is not an age, but a stage. In India, an Adolescent is a person who has not been sufficiently recognized and encouraged. Due to financial reasons, the Adolescent is dependent on his parents for many more years than in the West. The emotional dependence is also as great, producing what is termed ‘Delayed Adolescence’. Adolescence is between 12 to 20 years. A delayed Adolescence goes on until 21 years and even up to 25 years.
Early Adolescence: Early adolescence is from 10 to 12 years. The rate of growth increases, starting first in the hands and feet and later in the limbs. In early Adolescence, they start initiating independence from the family, and desire for privacy. There may be a clash between the wish for their autonomy and parental authority.
Middle Adolescence: It is from 12 to 16 years. The peak of the height velocity curve is seen auxiliary hair and sweat glands develop. In 80% of girls, the dramatic event of menarche occurs. The timing for this is influenced by genetic factors and nutritional status. Any chronic illness can delay puberty. The eruption of the second permanent molar and menarche closely correspond in timing.
Late Adolescence: It is from 16 to19 years. The body approximates the young adult and development of secondary sex characteristics is completed. In late Adolescence, career decisions are finally traced. The child gradually returns to the family, on a new footing..
Problems of Adolescents and the effectiveness of Counselling.
Physical growth and development during Adolescence have a great impact on the emotional world of youth. An Adolescent boy or a girl gets a newer body having newer ideas and attitudes. The main aspect of their thought is that they pose themselves to be the fittest in the adult world. However, they can also get a serious inferiority complex.
Adolescence may be looked upon as the last step in the long period of development, which begins at the time of conception. By the end of Adolescence, development has reached a point where the individual is legally and socially regarded as mature, and thus capable of living an independent life, free from supervision and guidance. Adolescence in Hall's views came to represent "storm and stress" period that reflects the unsettling turbulence of growth in modern societies.
Psychologically it is a period of transition, during which cognitive, physical, personality and social changes occur. WHO defines adolescence both in terms of age spanning the ages between 10 and 19 Years. In India adolescent age is defined as children in the range of 10-19 years. Many psychologists use the term synonymously with "pubescence" or reproductive maturation. Some of them define it as the transitional period of life during which the child experiences several changes - physiological, emotional and intellectual. This period runs between childhood and adulthood, sometimes-called "the period of storm and stress". Piaget has defined adolescence from a psychological viewpoint.
Adolescent’s life is full of hopes. The Adolescent is eager to interact with new experiences, to find new relationships to examine inner strengths and explore the strengths of inner ability. Adolescents try to have the freedom to think and set their own goals and discover means to achieve them. Adolescents want to have more freedom to enjoy. Although they are not fully mature to shoulder the responsibilities of life, they enjoy life in youthful dreams. Love and power become a strong motivating force in life. An Adolescent lives in a lush season and it falls between the springtime and the summer of life. Adolescence is a time when boys and girls feel the joy and pride of growing up. However, many restraints keep them under control. These controls come from home and society and impose them to behave in the right manner by establishing themselves and obey the rules at home and outside. No matter how much help Adolescents are given, they still are dependent on others. The Adolescent’s task is not simply one of interacting with the external environment or with other individuals but one of developing their potentialities. They try to explore their role in the world in which they live.
Personality Development gets stronger at this period and continues to be in the same for a long time. Proper shaping of the personality during adolescence can prepare a valuable human resource for our nation. Hence the life script of adolescence continues throughout for a long time. Also as in India, the adolescence period is spent in High school or Secondary school for the school-going adolescents, a right career choice or a plan can help them settle well in their future. Hence this period is very important to plan their future. We find many of the youngsters regretting that if they were made aware of the consequences of neglecting to live; a wrong career choice; lack of proper planning etc., many research studies on unemployment have proved that wrong career/course choice as one of the causes for unemployment. The happy moments one goes through during adolescence makes them recall their good or happy memories of adolescence period in their old age and the bitterness one has gone through makes them painful even while they recollect those moments.
Author has masters in Economics and Education and can be mailed at



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