Theory of Human Development
The theory of human development of Erik Erikson plays a crucial role in social psychology. Here, the author aims to explain the growth of personality in the context of the social environment. Erikson argues each stage of development has inherent expectations of society, which the individual can either justify or not, and then he/she is either included in society or rejected by it (McLeod, 2017). Hence, this idea has formed the basis for distinguishing the stages of life. As such, each stage is characterized by the roles a person plays in the community. However, the solution of the problem depends both on the already achieved level of human development and on the general spiritual atmosphere of the society in which this individual lives.
The theory identifies the fifth stage of human development as adolescence, which lasts from 12 to 19 years of age. It postulates that the transition from childhood to adulthood causes both physiological and psychological changes (McLeod, 2017). Thus, the latter are manifested as an internal struggle between the aspiration for independence, on the one hand, and the desire to remain dependent on those who care about a person as well as wish to be free from the responsibility for being an adult, on the other hand. As a result, parents or other close people become enemies or idols. Hence, a teenager is constantly confronted with questions: Who is he/she and who will he/she be in the future? Is he/she a child or an adult? How does his/her ethnicity, race and religion affect attitudes of the public towards him/her? Therefore, this theory helps develop social responsibility and sexual maturity.
Human development of schoolchildren relates to the educational activity, during which the child does not only master skills and methods of acquiring knowledge, but also is enriched with new meanings, motives and needs. Moreover, adolescence is one of the most difficult periods of school ontogeny, which is called transitional, since it is characterized by a transition from childhood to adolescence, from immaturity to maturity (Bhabha, 2014). Adolescence is a period of rapid and uneven growth of the body. In this regard, inconsistency, uneven development of the heart and vessels, as well as heightened activity of endocrine glands often lead to some temporary circulatory disorders, increased blood pressure, cardiac tension in adolescents, and the rise in their excitability, which can be expressed by irritability, fatigue, dizziness and palpitation. In addition, the nervous system of the youngster is not always able to withstand strong or long-acting stimuli, and under such influence it often passes into a state of inhibition or conversely strong excitation.
Cognitive and Language Development of Adolescents
The development of the intellectual sphere of teenagers is accompanied by numerous changes that distinguish them from young children. According to the research, the cognitive development is marked by their ability to think abstractly (McLeod, 2017). Besides, during adolescence one finds new motivation in studying connected with advanced ideals, professional intentions and future achievements. Therefore, an adolescent starts to develop theoretical thinking that allows him/her to shape reasoning, which goes from general to particular. For example, a teenager is able to solve intellectual problems operating with different hypotheses due to his/her new ability (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Furthermore, a juvenile acquires the adult logic of thinking that allows him to analyze events that occur in everyday life.
In adolescence, children considerably enrich their language. Thus, they expand their dictionary and can operate with a bigger number of words. In fact, they discover that a language helps them express their thoughts and fix a certain view of the world (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). For instance, a teenager begins to use easily non-standard forms of the language. In addition, adolescents often imitate adult speech, follow instances from media, television, their peers, etc. In this period, youngsters acquire slang that brings a special meaning to their subculture. Hence, this allows them to escape from social control. However, cognitive development of the teenagers personality is quite contradictory. During this time, children are more likely to communicate with their peers, interpersonal contacts are formed, and adolescents have a greater desire to belong to a certain group.
Physical Development in Adolescence
The central factor of physical development in adolescence is puberty, which has a significant effect on the operation of internal organs. At this age, sexual inclination (often unconscious) appears associated with new experiences, drives and thoughts. The literature reveals that peculiarities of physical development in adolescence determine the most important role of the correct mode of life, in particular, the mode of work, rest, sleep and nourishment, physical education, along with sport (Bhabha, 2014). Teenagers have some external features that are conspicuous even without special observation such as incoherence, disproportionate parts of the body, and angular movements. The increase and extension of their limbs is especially noticeable. The growth in length is largely due to the increase of the limbs, the chest and pelvis retard in development making the figure somewhat elongated and at times very ungainly.
Furthermore, the discrepancy between the rapid growth of tubular bones and the relatively slow development of muscles further exacerbates the impression of awkwardness and incoherence. Hence, these features leave their imprint on the external behavior and the nature of movements of the adolescent. For example, children often manifest awkwardness, sharpness in movements, disability to measure and coordinate them (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). In addition, a juvenile has a disparity between rapid growth of the heart and weight gain. Thus, musculature of the heart and its volume increase during adolescence twice, and the body weight only by 1.5 times because the growth of the diameter of arteries lags behind the growth of the heart (Bhabha, 2014). Therefore, the lumen of blood vessels relative to the volume of the heart decreases, and in combination with the increased activity of the thyroid, this leads to higher blood pressure and stress of the heart activity.
Social, Emotional and Personality Development
The specificity of social, emotional and personality development of adolescence lies in the fact that these years are featured by an active process of acquiring the experience of communication and formation of a worldview. Remarkably, at this time, the child becomes more independent and becomes more engaged in the life of the outside world. The teenagers seek to free themselves from guardianship and control by adults, i.e. parents and teachers, considering themselves old enough to make decisions and act on ones own account. Nevertheless, their behavior is still full of infantilism. For example, the youngster does not take his duties seriously enough because he cannot act responsibly and independently. Moreover, their reflection, which extends to the surrounding world, creates numerous contradictions that often lead to obsessive states such as doubts, fears and depressing thoughts about oneself (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). The manifestation of negativism is expressed in dissatisfaction with ones appearance, meaningless confrontation with another or unmotivated conflicts. Therefore, their emotional state is not stable. Each age period corresponds to its level of physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. Therefore, from the earliest stages, human biology is influenced by social factors. In this regard, the individual age of a person is the interaction of biological growth, psychological development as well as changes in cultural and social environments.
Socializing a teenager develops a worldview, self-awareness, attitude to reality, character, personal and communicative qualities, mental processes, and accumulates social along with psychological experience. In adolescence, a person especially exacerbates the problem of communication, the intensity of which can be so high that it becomes the center of life aspirations of the youth. At this age, peers are crucial in the development of social skills of high school students. From the perspective of the socio-psychological characteristics of socialization, teenagers adopt the types of behavior that are valued by the society, and the roles that best suit their peers and friends (Bhabha, 2014). Thus, total awareness of the reflective, emotional, dynamic qualities, as well as features of appearance and physical development is subject to the dominant influence of fellows.
The Relation of Age and Techniques to the Theory
The Eriksons theory views individuals from the aspect of their age characteristics. Hence, it takes into account their level of development with regard to biological, physical, social features among others. It analyses how the age can contribute to the life of teenagers in all its dimensions leaving a trace for future stages of growth. The techniques applied in the Eriksons theory include the attributes of the ego. Furthermore, the author expands the stages of human development in the entire lifespan. Therefore, comparison and contradictions are used.
Human development undergoes different periods. Each stage corresponds to the level of physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of a person. Thus, the individual age is the interaction of biological growth, psychological development as ell as changes in cultural and social environments. The Eriksons theory of personal development explains the interplay of the latter issues. Therefore, the theory of human development elaborated by Erik Erikson in relation to adolescence postulates that this age group develops personality due to their physical, biological, cognitive, social and emotional factors that impact the future life of juveniles.