Adolescence Essay Research Paper AbstractThe period of

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Adolescence Essay, Research Paper Abstract The period of Adolescence is most clearly defined by Jean Piaget and his definition, the formal-Operations stage. One of Piaget’s four stages of Cognitive Development, it involves characteristics of advanced reasoning, creativity, grasping of external concepts and thinking more extensively. Criticisms of this theory, are it’s lack of flexibility in a child’s ability to attain Formal-Operations stage, and that children can attain these characteristics earlier or later than Piaget’s pre-determined age bracket. It is the expressing of these new found abilities in adolescence that puts children in conflict with parents. Argumentative behaviour, Self-Centredness and Hypocrisy are just some of the flaws within this group of

characteristics that can lead to potential conflict. Children develop differently, and many factors are associated with this development, and as long as that is understood, adolescence may not prove so turbulent for both children and parents. Adolescence is a period within the lifespan, that is turbulent for some and inanimate for others. Considering the approach of Jean Piaget, the period of adolescence can range between the ages of ten or eleven spanning up to the later teen years of seventeen or eighteen, and potentially later. Many people can confuse the pubescent stage to be the centre of an adolescents development. But as it is seen through Piaget’s work with children, adolescents and the developmental stages they encounter, there is a great deal more to adolescence than

mere physical changes a growing person go through. The Cognitive Development is of equal importance, and could be considered to play a superior part in terms of overall continued development of a person throughout the lifespan. Piaget theorised four important stages of Cognitive Development: the Sensorimotor stage, the Pre-Operational stage, the stage of Concrete Operations and finally the Formal Operations stage. Throughout these four stages, specific critical cognitive abilities are achieved, for the child to develop into the world and understand everything that goes with it. It is during Piaget’s final stage of development, Formal-Operations, covering adolescence, that children are able to think differently and hypothesise abstract problems. This involves abilities such as,

looking for alternative solutions and eliminating those that are inappropriate, and thinking outside the realms of one’s self and the environment they are in. (Walker, et al, 1994 p 410). There are specific characteristics associated with the period of adolescence and the Formal-Operations stage, they include: Advanced Reasoning As already mentioned, the Formal-Operations stage of Cognitive Development, allows the child to reason with others logically, creatively and in abstract formats. This ability gives the child the chance to improve knowledge and understanding of problems and situations by asking more direct rather than general questions ( eg: The game “20 Questions” a funnelling of questions asked, Walker et al, 1994 p410) and solving problems at a more advanced

level, such as mathematic narratives. Advanced Concepts Another characteristic of Piaget’s Formal-Operations stage, is the grasping of advanced concepts such as the pursuit of truth, beauty as something more than just appearances and the reality of the self and others everywhere (Jaffe, 1998 p125). The understanding and meaning of world concepts and concepts that seem usually oblivious allow children at this stage to give themselves an identity in terms of other people, objects throughout society. Abstract Thinking Similarly to reasoning, children attain widening abilities to think intuitively, abstractly and hypothetically. Some of the characteristics of this are: The ability to delve into probabilities and improbabilities and imagining other worlds. This is where a great deal