Adolescence can theoretically be described as a transition period, and changes in growth of human psychological development. The transitional changes occur during the period of puberty to adult, causing biological, physiological, and social changes in the human development. Adolescent has always been perceived as a delicate stage in the human development due to the influences that one is exposed to, such as social pressure, sexual urge, and maturity in character and knowledge. The social perception of changes in the adolescent stage is efficient because the teenagers are becoming adults, and they have to attain adult roles and responsibilities. Similarly, teenagers have to adjust the social life, and the environmental influences they will face.
To understand the period social and cognitive character among the adolescence, it is important to recognize the popular thinking ability of teenagers at different stage of adolescent development. The holding perception of friendship and interaction of adolescents with other people is profoundly influenced during the earlier and middle stages of development. The social norm will be evident in the last stages of development where the teenagers become too emotional while interacting with the parents, which continue throughout environmental perceptions. This might be a challenging phase for the teenagers, but will be beneficial to them as they get to learn about their roles, rights, and responsibilities as adults. The last stage of the changes is where the adolescent start experiencing new ways of behavior, taking risks, and emotional adjustments to cope with the social and psychological traits of the society. The level of interaction with other members of the community and family members will depend on how a particular individual is being understood in terms of demands and interest.
Social and cultural norms are the expected useful behaviors within a group of adolescents. The standards are often unspoken and offer expected social standards that are appropriate. The adolescents may choose to follow the norm or go against the social expectation, while coordinating their collaboration with other members of the society or family members. The maintenance of social and cultural norms is influenced by both internal and external pressures that will determine the effort by a person to accommodate the social and cultural norms. Adolescents are a curious group and despite being discouraged against violating the norms by being punished or disapproved, they always seek to practice the standards. The violation of social and cultural norms can be judged by being disrespectful and neglecting adult values and expectations.Nevertheless, it may be good for the teenagers to violate some of the standards since the society is dynamic, and people have to a adopt the changes so that certain objectives can be achieved by the society. The acceptance of social and cultural norms will correspond to individuals’ attitude, either positive or negative attitude toward an idea or belief that certain facts are true.
Cultural and social norms may result in violence among the youths when they fail to support or follow the rules. For example, the civilized women in the society may not accept beliefs that men should dominate over the women or discipline them physically. The adolescent women may stand up and condemn the beliefs, as they set a good path for their future and the generation that will follow. Another challenging social and cultural norm revolves around drug and related substance abuse. Adolescence comes with a lot of pressure and vigor to experiment on some of the things that they have been observing in the society, such as drug consumption among adults. Abuse of drugs is not a morally acceptable cultural and social norm in the society, since it likely results in violence and misbehaviors. Sometimes, blames may not be put on the teenagers in the adolescent stage, but on the adults they are interacting with. Take the case of a teenager that is being brought up by a parent or an adult that is abusing alcohol and related substances. The teenager, under the pressure from adolescence, will acquire the dangerous behaviors and engage in taking drugs. The social understanding of adolescence greatly depends on the information that the teenager is getting from the elder while others can result from peer pressure.
According to research findings and contribution of developments scientists, the age span defining adolescence is between ten to twenty-four years. The period is a critical for a society to make compliments in youths, as they undergo emotional growth and peer involvement towards promoting a good relationship. The type of environment in which one is brought up can significantly influence the life of a person. In the family environment, the usual expectation for teenagers is complete respect and good behavior. Parents will always have a certain degree of confidence in their adolescents and will maintain that their children are doing the right thing that is accepted by the society. It is the responsibility and obligation of parents to guide their teenagers during the adolescent stage so that the teenagers can be restrained from going against the social norms. However, parents will not always be around to guide their children. The teenagers are also expected to take charge of their responsibility and conduct themselves in a way that is morally accepted by the society. Due to some failing form of responsibility, teenagers may take their action that may result in disrespecting the social norms, especially in the junior adolescents.
Psychological studies have indicated that most adolescents are best guided by their parents, and not the society or teachers. For example, some teenagers may be too shy to approach external personalities but will be determined to approach parents and ask them some confidential questions. Alternatively, some teenagers may choose to ask fellow teenagers to find out some issues that are affecting them. Seeking peers assistance will lead to fault information and actions that may not be in accordance with the morals of the society. Self-control among adolescent is imperative for the teenagers’ progression so that they can maintain self-discipline and good behavior that will make them well-mannered adults. Parents should get involved and be informed about their children friends so that they can monitor what activities they participate in when they are alone.
Science systematically generates acceptable knowledge by bringing forth rules of evidence, scientific facts, and fabricated information from the observations to make theories about adolescents. The principles that have been established to address the impacts of socio-emotional status of adolescents affect them in terms of social anxiety, depression and adjusting to social and family demands. One scientific study indicates that teenage adolescents have the fear of social concern that seem to affect the perception that lead to engagement in risky behaviors that are not acceptable to the society. The scientific theories cannot be applied to the entire generation that is under adolescent stage. Adolescent is not a sudden change but a progressive change in teenagers’ life. Some of the teenagers may develop fear for the social demands while others will have the confidence of coinciding with the social norms. Scientific studies cannot be wholly relied in attempting to understand the changes in adolescence. Some of the studies, such as bio-behavioral health and neuroscience may only focus on changes in the brain and how the changes affect thinking of an individual or social interaction. Advance psychologists only concentrate on the teenagers’ relation to the parent and social environment.
The knowledge of acceptable behavior in the society will be made available to the teenagers while they are still on their early stages of life before attaining the adolescent phase. Comparing the social status of individuals, the relationship that parents develop with their children will determine the level of respect that the child will grow up in, and the consideration to following instructions. The scientific study of social anxiety is important in understanding the risk factors that cause impairment in adult life. Having a better knowledge on the risk and conservative factors contribute to the understanding of the development stages for the adolescents and how best to manage personal disorders.
The current society is greatly surrounded by electronic media that may have a great impact of affecting teenagers’ perceptions of the social norms. Mass media that provide entertainment influence the sexual culture by providing teachings that are not in line with the society values. Sexual content that are transmitted by media services activelyconnects to the negative behaviors that can be observed in adolescence teens. The media make the teens start living a life that is not according to the family values of the social standard because of the influence that is acquired from the media and social services. The society tends to be conservative and liberal that may make the teenagers fail to address the undesirable consequences that result from inappropriate sexual behaviors. The fear of approaching the society on disturbing matters prompt the youths to seek social, media and internet interventions to address some of the issues.
The contents and availability of the media to teenagers make them live in their culture that is being dictated by the present trends being observed in the media services. As it was mentioned earlier, adolescents are a curious group of people that are determined to take risks in trying or exploring new avenues of life. The teenagers can choose to disregard the social norms and emulate the characters that are being relayed in the media services. For example, a teenager can choose to follow and imitate a character in the movie by being convinced by the action as the right way to go. Girls may want to go against social norms of changing their physical features without knowing that some of the images in the magazines or television are manipulated. Sex is a major issue of concern in teenage adolescents; the group may be shy about approaching their parents with sex-related matters. Internet will act as a guiding platform for teenagers to learn about sex, and the challenge comes when teenagers start watching pornographic pictures and movies.
It should be the accountability of the parents to limit the amount of time their teenagers spend on media resources, and the content of what the children are watching. Guiding teenagers during the adolescence stage may be difficult,but it is also the obligation of the teenagers to have self-control and not wait for their elders to keep track of every activity they get involved in. Teenagers developing sense of irresponsibility during the adolescent stage should rethink their action and do what is socially and morally acceptable and avoid following their of thinking