Middle Childhood and Adolescence

Changes in Peer Relationships in Middle Childhood and Adolescence Statistics say that in the stages in middle adolescence 30% of the child’s social life and interactions there are a great stage of peer pressure. These results were compared to the 10% that is experienced during the early childhood. They show that they are competent by demonstrating their behaviors in these peer groups. During the elementary years in school, children have to prove to others that they understand and that they are capable of handling the different situations they find themselves in.

They must keep a certain criteria in order to have friends. The main concern during these peer groups is to be accepted and most of these concerns are experienced during middle childhood. Researchers have been focusing in the friendship among the children. Friendship is one of the most important parts of the social group between early stages of childhood. Friends fill that special need we have inside and for a child’s development that is one of the most important parts. They fulfill the special needs and they help with communication, interaction, acceptance, companionship and social skills.

Peer is more related to the social and popularity status and its acceptance and friendship represents more that relationship that is built on appreciation, respect and most importantly being liked. When the child has reached its adolescence stage, they will experience support from their friends and this will help in their social skills. When they are younger, they don’t experience this as much. So, the more friends they have, the more acceptances they will feel from the larger peers. Adolescent Egocentrism Jean Piaget theory of cognitive development derived from concept of egocentrism.

Adolescents Egocentric explains how a teenager feels about him or herself. During the development of adolescence the human body experiences several mental and physical changes. According to Elkind (1967), adolescent’s mental abilities heighten his or her self-consciousness. Adolescent egocentrism actually reflects a weakness in their thinking that is distinctive of early formal operations. Egocentric thoughts develops in two aspects which includes the awareness that an individual sees things in a different perspective and doesn’t seem to understand that others may hold thoughts, emotions, and views different form his or hers.

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Egocentric is a complex concept that encompasses a wide range of questions of early cognitive development. Studies have shown that female’s egocentrism is more prevalent during their early adolescent period and gradually slows down during their later period of adolescence. The main aspect of egocentrism is both social and cognitive because it reflects o more of how individuals want others to perceive them (Sanrock 2007). For example, many teen spend more time grooming themselves than any other factor in his or her lives. According to Elkind (1967) transitions of the formal operations stages involve its own differences about egocentrism.

Personal fables also encourage the adolescent egocentrism that reflect on how an individual relates to others. Adolescence experiencing egocentrism is often seen as a non-positive aspect part of their thoughts because adolescents become taken in with who they are and are unable to function properly in society due to their bias translation of reality. Formal operational thinkers view things in greater complexity and to perceive many different aspects of a situation. Studies today have explained that egocentrism is not always present in the late stages of adolescence.

However it depends a great deal on the environment whereas he or she was raised. Peer Pressure Adolescents are faced with a plethora of pressures during this crucial stage in their lives. They are exposed to the difficulties of peer pressure including drugs, alcohol and sex. Peer pressure comes from several different directions. It can come from the media, parents, other family members and friends. An adolescent’s self-esteem plays a critical role in peer pressure and often will set the stage for whether a teenager will succumb to their nagging peers or abstains.

At this age, one of the greatest influences comes from older peers and their “experiences” with life. Older siblings and friends tend to pressure younger adolescents into indulging in activities that may be detrimental to their well-being, often using status to gain their trust. Status quo and acceptance are important to a young mind. If an adolescent does not have the much needed support from their parents and a positive self- image going into this stage of life, they may be more susceptible to peer pressure. Pressure to use drugs and alcohol are two of the most common forms of peer pressure hat an adolescent will experience.

At this stage, when a child is coming into their own, they are very impressionable beings. When another peer offers up what sounds like an amazing experience many adolescents will follow suit and give in. Even with the knowledge that drugs and alcohol have a profound effect on the human body, some adolescents will still relinquish their better judgment to “look cool” in front of their peers. Again, status quo comes into play with substance abuse. Most youth aren’t really interested in the taste of cigarettes or alcohol, but because their friends are doing it, they ill at least try it.

Just trying any substance can lead to addiction as the chemicals in the brain become heightened and the impressionable being indulging in them begins to feel a sense of “euphoria” or finds the substance allows them to “let loose”. It is very important that parents are aware of the dangers that face adolescence today. As with anything, communication is key. Parents must warn their children of the risks associated with substance abuse while also being compassionate and understanding to this stage of development.

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