The adolescent stage of development is essential as the time when valuable social and cognitive skills are acquired. Moreover, at this step, a person learns new about one’s body, experiences physical and hormonal changes, and displays individual sexual characteristics for the first time. Adolescents are often viewed as a difficult age group due to the complexity of psycho-emotional states that are typical at this age. Hormonal surges, peer relationships, physical changes, and other factors largely affect the development of a teenager’s personality and should be taken into account as critical aspects to consider when establishing interactions with adults. This article is aimed at analyzing identity development in adolescence, the neurological shifts that occur at this age, as well as other changes characteristic of adolescents. Sexuality and gender-related behavior are the criteria that are shaped among teenagers because of these changes and often determine the individual traits and characteristics of personality development in the future, which explains the need to review these peculiarities thoroughly to highlight specific trends.
Identity Development in Adolescence
During adolescence, identity development occurs, and this process is critically important since it affects the later life of a teenager. Peer relationships during early adolescence are essential due to their impact on social views. As a person grows older, they need closer and more immediate friendships that allow sharing of experiences and innermost thoughts. The desire to establish oneself with a diverse mass of peers, including many people of different types, is a characteristic feature of this age stage (Branje et al., 2021). As Branje et al. (2021) argue, during this period, the necessary skills of social interaction and the consciousness of group belonging are developed. In addition, identity development in adolescence is closely related to the development of the capacity for intimate, trusting relationships. A family is a micro group that provides the socialization of a teenager’s personality and reflects all the social problems inherent in a particular society. In this environment, young people learn the initial interactions with others because the family translates social and family norms and values (Branje et al., 2021). The relationship between these types of norms influences adolescent behavior and individual personality trait formation.
Neurological Changes Related to Emerging Sexual Characteristics
As they grow older, boys’ and girls’ bodies change, which is reflected not only in the external features of physical development but also neurologically. In general, puberty is characterized by hormone-induced mood swings, and any neurological symptoms may be caused by these changes. As Klein et al. (2017) note, emerging sexual characteristics can manifest themselves as physical ailments, such as headaches or vision problems. Nonetheless, such symptoms are the result of changes in the brain during puberty, which cannot be ignored but, at the same time, maybe assessed as natural concomitant manifestations. A growing body has a good ability to adapt, but increased psycho-emotional and mental stress can lead to the aforementioned complications. Moreover, against the background of hormonal surges, temporary problems, such as sleep disturbance or anxiety, may arise (Klein et al., 2017). Therefore, in the absence of obvious pathologies or delayed sexual development, neurological changes are often a natural process at this age stage.
Hormonal Changes in Adolescence
Hormonal changes in adolescents are accompanied by an increase in the concentration of androgens and estrogens in boys and girls, respectively. According to Wierenga et al. (2018), in young males, during puberty, due to an increase in testosterone concentration, the “development of pallidum, accumbens, hippocampus, and amygdala volumes” is observed (p. 105). In young females, in turn, changes are reflected in increased “caudate and hippocampal volumes” (Wierenga et al., 2018, p. 105). These hormonal shifts are natural and cannot be halted because this can disrupt the natural growth process of the adolescent body. Laube et al. (2020) emphasize the role of sexual differentiation, which is observed during this period, and note behavioral changes against the background of the need for teenagers to adapt to new principles of interaction with peers. In severe cases, some accompanying mental problems can develop, caused by rapid changes in the brain, such as anxiety and eating disorders, and even schizophrenia (Laube et al., 2020). Nevertheless, these conditions are pathological and manifest themselves in a purely individual way.
Physical Changes in Adolescence
Since adolescence is characterized by puberty, at this age, physiological differences between boys and girls are manifested in secondary sexual characteristics. More hair on the face and body, a change in voice due to the transformation of the laryngeal cartilage, more active growth of muscle mass, and some other changes are characteristic of adolescent boys (Worthman & Trang, 2018). In girls, puberty is characterized by menarche, breast development, fat growth in the buttocks, and other features (Worthman & Trang, 2018). Sex differences also manifest themselves in the nature and duration of puberty, which occurs earlier in girls and is not as acute as in boys (Worthman & Trang, 2018). A common feature in boys and girls is body growth, which is actively increasing due to changes in the nervous and endocrine systems. All organs and tissues also grow rapidly due to the influence of sex hormones and thyroid hormones (Worthman & Trang, 2018). Thus, real physical changes are observed during adolescence in both genders.
Social and Ethnic Factors Influencing the Expression of Gender Characteristics
The manifestation of gender characteristics in adolescents is largely determined by accompanying social factors. The nature of interaction with peers, trust in the family, communication with adults at school and outside the home, and other aspects shape the expression of gender characteristics in adolescents (Van der Graaff et al., 2018). As Van der Graaff et al. (2018) state, at this age stage, gender stereotypes develop, which, depending on the adolescent’s exposure to pressure, can affect psychological development and conduct. The authors also mention parenting as an important aspect to consider because “girls are socialized to show nurturance and caring, whereas boys are socialized to inhibit these kinds of prosocial behavior” (Van der Graaff et al., 2018, p. 1087). Ethnic factors also play a crucial role and influence adolescents’ identity and conduct. According to Benner et al. (2018), racial discrimination and racially motivated psychological bullying are risk factors for the normal psychological development of teenagers. If adults ignore these problems, a teenager can grow up to be self-contained and insecure. Therefore, the growing environment is an essential criterion to consider when assessing the characteristics of adolescence.
An example of changes in adolescents during puberty is the case of M., a 14-year-old male high-school student. M. is a child of Mexican immigrants and has lived in the United States since birth. His mother turned to a psychologist with a request to conduct therapy sessions with her son because recently, family members had begun to notice frequent mood swings in M. In addition, the mother found cigarettes on M., which also became a cause for her concern. During the first session, the boy behaved defiantly and was not ready to contact a psychologist, expressing dissatisfaction with the decision of his relatives to offer him treatment. However, in the second and third interviews, he behaved more relaxed and talked about how his classmates bullied him due to his Hispanic origin. He said he was acquainted with other Latino children who had been attracted to the law previously and tended to exhibit deviant behavior. According to the specialist’s decision, the boy needed regular visits to a psychologist to get rid of the anxiety caused by disagreements with his peers and establish productive communication with his loved ones.
The developmental features of adolescents are a wide research field since several critical changes occur in the teenager’s body both externally and internally at the hormonal and behavioral levels. In addition to active growth and enhanced perceptions of sexuality, adolescents shape important social bonds through interactions with peers and adults, which largely determines how well they are socialized. Against the background of different changes, various deviations can appear, which, nevertheless, are natural for most teenagers during puberty. The above case study shows a common situation when a teenager demonstrates aggression and remoteness from loved ones due to the negative influence of the social environment. The task of adults, in this case, is to provide adequate assistance and participation so as not to aggravate the situation and strengthen the boy’s or girl’s fragile psyche.
Benner, A. D., Wang, Y., Shen, Y., Boyle, A. E., Polk, R., & Cheng, Y. P. (2018). Racial/ethnic discrimination and well-being during adolescence: A meta-analytic review. American Psychologist, 73(7), 855-883. Web.
Branje, S., de Moor, E. L., Spitzer, J., & Becht, A. I. (2021). Dynamics of identity development in adolescence: A decade in review. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 31(4), 908-927. Web.
Klein, D. A., Emerick, J. E., Sylvester, J. E., & Vogt, K. S. (2017). Disorders of puberty: An approach to diagnosis and management. American Family Physician, 96(9), 590-599.
Laube, C., van den Bos, W., & Fandakova, Y. (2020). The relationship between pubertal hormones and brain plasticity: Implications for cognitive training in adolescence. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 42, 1-14. Web.
Van der Graaff, J., Carlo, G., Crocetti, E., Koot, H. M., & Branje, S. (2018). Prosocial behavior in adolescence: Gender differences in development and links with empathy. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(5), 1086-1099. Web.
Wierenga, L. M., Bos, M. G., Schreuders, E., vd Kamp, F., Peper, J. S., Tamnes, C. K., & Crone, E. A. (2018). Unraveling age, puberty and testosterone effects on subcortical brain development across adolescence. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 91, 105-114. Web.
Worthman, C. M., & Trang, K. (2018). Dynamics of body time, social time and life history at adolescence. Nature, 554(7693), 451-457. Web.
The Job Analysis Concept From Various Perspectives
Job analysis can consist of contradicting information gathered from various SMEs on the matter of tasks and KSAOs required for a job. This is due to the fact that the position and its obligations might be viewed differently depending on the SME. A customer does not always have the knowledge about all the intricacies of the job compared to a supervisor and vice versa. Therefore, the former’s perspective of the KSAOs the employee needs are limited to their experience.
A job analysis containing different or opposing information about the position cannot be considered valid. If a disagreement between supervisors and incumbents is present, a position cannot be adequately analyzed. In such cases, doing a good job analysis requires further investigation of the contradicting element in order to reach a valid conclusion. For this purpose, job analysts should collect their information from all available sources. This is because the data from only one source can prove to be incomplete or include a premise of subjection. A well-done job analysis must be a result of a thorough examination of facts collected from every possible SME.
The issue of contradicting or incomplete views of the tasks and KSAOs required for it must be solved before completing the job analysis. In order to do so, several solutions can be utilized. Firstly, to understand what is necessary for the job, the analysts must identify the necessary outcomes and the most significant contribution of the position. Secondly, the view of the company can facilitate in composing the analysis. The tasks that are needed to be done yet are not assigned to any employee who might be needed for the job. Lastly, research of similar positions in other companies can shed more light on the KSAOs and job responsibilities.
Violence As A Broad Spectrum Of Actions And Attitudes
Violence is an act, attempt, or other action that one person commits against another with the intent to cause harm. The concept of harm is always viewed from the victim’s perspective, as violence is not always apparent to the one who commits it. The term violence refers to a wide range of actions and relationships influenced by various factors. The diversity obliges all violent acts to be viewed from multiple angles, and, first and foremost, the victim’s perspective must take precedence. All factors that could potentially lead to a violence commission must be analyzed.
The Breadth of the term Violence
The term violence is applied to many actions and acts that various social individuals commit. Violence often refers to physical pressure that stems from a conflict between the assailant and the victim. It is worth saying that timely contacting the police or a human rights organization makes it possible to prevent further instances of violence (Ferrer-Perez et al., 2020). Socio-dependent attitudes (for example, Stockholm syndrome) force the victim to stay with the abuser: this often happens in families where women cannot leave due to low self-esteem. This example raises the question of what causes physical violence to occur. First, it can be explained by psychological problems, which make people believe that physical force is the only option to solve the problem. Secondly, it can be explained by social relations: a man has to be strong, and the use of violence is an opportunity to prove it. Thus, physical violence necessarily considers all the conflict’s conditions.
Some may argue with this statement and understand violence as a one-factor result. It is worth turning to violence in other areas: violence against children. Children are one of the minor protected groups because they depend on their parents or the care service. Different types of violence are applied to them: sexual (pedophilia), physical (punishment), psychological (to demonstrate power), spiritual (threats), and stalking (“Violence Against Children”, 2020). Therefore, one cannot say that only one factor influences violence against children. It is necessary to dwell on child violence because it overlaps with all possible existing causes. If it is parental violence, it can be caused by the parents’ problems and how society affects them. It is common in some communities to use physical violence in parenting. Parents use it due to social and psychological attitudes. Thus, violence is a consequence of multifactorial influences.
Using the multiple-factor model in determining the causes of violence will allow treating the problem as solvable. Being able to view violence as a system of relationships, with various channels from society, family, and the individual will allow as many people as possible to be helped. Thus, based on the examples above, it is clear that this model of violence research will be practically successful.
The Meaning of Violence to Me
I have not thought about the nature of violence: I knew that life circumstances force people to use aggression, but I never considered the reasons. I think this is due to age and a relatively benign environment. I sometimes wondered why violence arose: I assumed it was a natural part of human nature. I was sure that violence resulted from a bad upbringing and bad company for a long time. It was the only correct explanation for the number of violence people faced. I did not care about workplace violence-one seemed pretty far away, and it could not even occur to me that someone might use it. It seemed that society had already reached the point where severe punishment would follow for all actions of this nature.
Before diving into the course, I also did not think much about domestic violence, much less use it on myself. There was no such thing in my family, and I felt such an issue could not affect me. I guess I was thinking, “I am fine, and it does not happen,” and it turned out to be far from that. Although I had seen a few instances of abuse, I will talk about it later before I became immersed in the problem and knew its extent. I now realize that the solution to violence lies only in analyzing all the factors that can affect a person.
Cases of Violence in My Life
I want to share something that I had to deal with, and I only later realized that maybe it was abuse. When I was in junior school, I was with a girl who had trouble concentrating. She was absent-minded, and everyone laughed at her; she was uncomfortable and hurt. I did not participate because I thought it was just child’s play. But now I understand psychological violence made that girl feel uncomfortable in our company.
A friend of mine told me that the men gave her a lot of attention during her internship. She mentioned that they paid attention to her, and she was rather sad and downcast. She later told me that she had been touched without permission and made vulgar jokes. It was the first time I had encountered such a thing, but I tried to give her support anyway. It was inconceivable to imagine people behaving wrong. I have never had an experience like that, no one has ever hit on me. I think I am afraid to face the types of abuse I have described – psychological and sexual seem to be the worst and most severe because the consequences are complicated to deal with.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that the multifaceted nature of the problem of violence forces one to consider and look for its presence in every sphere. It may seem strange, but paying close attention to all factors can save someone’s life and help them. My perspective on violence has changed dramatically since diving into the issue, and now, when I think back on the incidents of violence, it scares me to realize that it could happen to me. However, I hope that the solution to the problem of violence lies in finding and analyzing all the reasons for causing harm.
Ferrer-Perez, V.A., Bosch-Fiol, E., Ferreiro-Basurto V., Delgado-Alvarez, C., & Sánchez-Prada, A. (2020). Comparing implicit and explicit attitudes toward intimate partner violence against women. Frontiers in Psychology, 11.
Violence Against Children. (2020). The World Health Organization.