The stages of adolescence and adulthood are both critical and transitional phases that individuals have to undergo in the human cycle of life. Individuals have to go through various changes within these life stages that they need to understand, adapt or adjust to, and overcome in order to steer clear of situations or experiences that might be stressful or burdensome establishing difficulties in coping with these changes affecting one’s physical, social, emotional, psychological, and mental faculties.
The remainder of this text will discuss the dimensions of adolescence and adulthood as different stages of development in the human life cycle, focusing on the stressors that influence the creation of high or low esteem. In addition, some suggestions or recommendations will be conferred in order to determine how to alleviate these stressors to foster healthier lifestyles among individuals. Adolescence follows childhood and comes before adulthood. Understanding adolescence under the context of psychological, social, and physical human growth and development, determines the numerous changes that adolescents have to go through.For instance, adolescents are faced with accepting the physical changes brought about by puberty and growth spurts. In addition, it is during this time that adolescents develop their ability to reproduce offspring.
The emotional changes and conflicts are influenced by unfamiliar social situations and expectations, as well as the shifts from childhood to adolescent interests and attitudes. (“Adolescence,” 141-142) The tremendous changes that adolescents go through cause them stress and pressure as they are unable handle them.New situations and experiences in the stage of adolescence lead individuals to question their identities, expected roles and responsibilities to various social groups or institutions they belong to. Establishing a sense of self or identity necessitates the need to define one’s person and identify exactly one’s interests, attitudes, beliefs, and inclinations.
Another issue or conflict that adolescents must face is their moral convictions. Morality is greatly influenced by one’s social environment, especially when an individual’s will is weak.During the adolescent period, individuals feel the need to belong to a group where they can share their personal interests. Peer pressure heavily influences one’s moral faculties despite the consideration of the rightfulness or wrongfulness of actions. The stressors involved within the aforementioned experiences of adolescents, such as identity confusion and moral influences, lie on the difficulty of establishing one’s sense of self and reconciling moral influences, particularly peer groups, with the context of morality or the goodness of thinking and behavior.
Other stressors include conflicting interests and points of view with parents, siblings, peers, and members of the opposite sex. These stressors might bring about the establishment of high or low self-esteem in adolescents depending on the circumstances. For instance, if adolescents are able to conquer identity confusion in terms of understanding what they want and how they feel as basis of forming their identities, determine the morality of actions even under peer or social pressure, and reconcile differences with other people and the external environment, then it will lead to a positive sense of self or high self-esteem.On the other hand, if adolescents stay confused and unable to differentiate themselves from other people and determine their true identities, easily swayed by peer and social pressure disregarding the standards of morality, and unable to establish harmonious relationships with other people despite differences, they will establish low self-esteem which might lead them to become depressed, suicidal or inclined to commit delinquent activities.
Alleviating these stressors requires the involvement of authority figures and good-natured peer or social groups who will be able to guide and help adolescents during their difficult time. Parents, teachers, and friends will be able to alleviate aforementioned stressors by acting as support groups willing to communicate with adolescents in order to talk about issues and problems that they might be facing and be able to guide them on how they will handle stressful situations effectively, productively, and proactively.In addition, engaging adolescents with interactive and productive activities that they are interested in, providing them with tasks and responsibilities that they will be able to accomplish, and allowing them to play significant roles within the family, school, community, and peer group, will enhance their self-esteem despite the issues or problems during this particular stage. Early adulthood comes next to the adolescent stage.Like the latter, early adulthood also presents various challenges to individuals that are highly complex as this stage requires more serious responsibilities that builds the foundation of one’s future.
For instance, early adulthood is the period where one finishes high school and moves on to college. Perhaps college is one of the most critical issues that adults need to handle as it determines how their lives would turn out.Therefore, stress comes out in the form of worrying over which school to attend to and if one will meet the university requirements, what course to take, and such. This is a stressful matter to consider since the influence of these decisions will materialize after obtaining a degree when one has to choose a field or industry to work under.
(“Physical and Cognitive Development in Early Adulthood,” 1-2) For the most part, the future becomes central to one’s worries and anxieties as early adulthood is more concerned with independence and being able to survive on one’s own.Aside from the stressors present in finishing college, while worrying about one’s family, friends, and other concerns that were already present during the adolescent period, individuals need to consider not only the issues at present, but also the long-term goals and objectives that they need to accomplish. This includes the kind of job they want, while considering their interests, knowledge, skills, and not to mention the economic situation, the needs of their future family, obtaining a stable income to provide for basic needs, such as food, housing, utility services, etc.The roles and responsibilities of individuals in the early adulthood stage seemed to be magnified as compared with the adolescent period. The stressors, like the adolescent stage, also have the tendency to either establish a high or low self esteem among individuals. High self esteem is established during this stage if individuals are able to work on their plans effectively and believe that they will able to conquer the challenges and problems of the future at present.
In addition, being granted heavy roles and responsibilities might contribute to maturity and the ability to handle things logically or rationally. On the other hand, challenges during the early adulthood stage might establish low self esteem if individuals allow the stress and anxiety to take over and think about negativities such as failure, failures or letdowns. Ensuring a healthy or desirable lifestyle during stage requires the ability of individuals to handle the situation maturely. It would help if they are prepared of the challenges or issues during the early adulthood stage.Central to this resolution is also one’s established image, personality, individuality, and sense of independence during the adolescent stage. If individuals have succeeded in overcoming challenges and problems during their adolescent stage, then they will be able to approach problems and challenges during the early adulthood stage with the same frame of mind.
From the individual’s social environment, individuals during this stage need support in terms of encouragement in order for them to believe in themselves and trust their future.