Thursday, August 07, 2008

Is adolescence really a Period of Storm and Stress?

Is adolescence really a Period of Storm and Stress? Are adolescents really more likely to experience psychological problems than either children or adults? The conclusion is that adolescents have a far worse reputation than they deserve. 

It is simply not true that most adolescents are emotionally disturbed or that most develop significant problems such as drug abuse and chronic delinquency. Instead, significant psychopathology characterizes only in a minority of adolescents, and many of them were maladjusted before they reached puberty and continue to be maladjusted during adulthood. 

In a comprehensive survey of mental health researchers discovered that about 10% of a sample of 14 year olds appeared to have serious psychological disorders and another 10% could be described as very miserable and negative about themselves. Rates of diagnosed psychological disorder were slightly higher in this population of 14 year olds than among a group of 10 year olds or among the parent of the youngsters studied. 

Yet adolescence is a period of heightened vulnerability to some forms of psychological disorder. After all, adolescents must cope with physical maturation, the emergence of new cognitive abilities, dating, changes in family dynamics, moves to new and more complex school setting societal demands to become more responsible and to assume adult roles, and more . 

Most adolescents seem to cope with these challenges remarkable well and undergo impressive psychological growth, although it is not unusual for them to feel depressed, anxious, and irritable now and then. For a minority, the stresses of adolescent can precipitate serious psychological disorders. 
Is adolescence really a Period of Storm and Stress?

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