Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu
MIDDLE ADOLESCENCE (ages 15-18)
- Most youth have entered or completed puberty.
- Less variation in levels of growth and sexual development.
- Many youth have achieved their full adult height and other adult physical development milestones.
- Major broadening of thinking abilities for many youth: can think abstractly and hypothetically; can discern the underlying principles of various phenomena and apply them to new situations; and can think about the future, considering many possibilities and logical outcomes of possible events.
- Greater perspective-taking ability can result in increased empathy and concern for others, and new interest in societal issues for many.
- Less egocentric with age. Increased emphasis on abstract values and moral principles.
- Increased ability (for some) to take another's perspective; can see the bigger societal picture and might value moral principles over laws: "principled" morality.
- Different rates of cognitive and emotional development. For example, often advocates for specific values and violates them at the same time.
- Process of identity formation is intense. Experimentation with different roles: looks, sexuality, values, friendships, ethnicity, and especially occupations.
- Some girls might experience obsessive dieting or eating disorders, especially those who have higher body fat, are chronically depressed, or who have highly conflicted family relationships.
- Minority youths might explore several patterns of identity formation:
a strong ethnic identity
assimilation into the majority culture
alienation from the majority culture
Psychological and Emotional Traits
- For some, increased ability to empathize with others; greater vulnerability to worrying, depression, and concern for others, especially among girls.
- Many show an increase in responsible behaviors.
Relationship to Parents and Other Adults
- Conflicts with parents often decreases with age.
- Improved ability to see parents as individuals and take their perspectives into account.
- Most maintain good relationship with parents.
- Greater interest in taking on "adult-type" responsibilities (own checking account, doing own laundry, buying own clothes, cooking meals, making repairs, etc.).
- Commonly makes most of own decisions, preparing for eventual family.
- Needs balance between time spent with adults and with peers.
- Continue to benefit from some parental limits and monitoring, while often objecting to them.
- Common conflicts over money, curfews, chores, appearance, and activities with peers.
- Peers help youth explore and develop own identity.
- Cross-gender friendships become more common.
- Antisocial peer groups can increase antisocial behaviors.
- Close friendships help youth with process of developing an individual identity separate from that of a child in a family.
Information from Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development, Oregon State University Extension Service.