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Adolescent and early adult development

What does it mean to be an adolescent? What does it mean to be an adult? Where do college students fit into these definitions? Discuss from biological, cognitive, and socioemotional perspectives.

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Adolescence is the pivotal period between childhood and adulthood. It is the time when youth need to acquire the attitudes, competencies, values, and social skills that will carry them forward to successful adulthood. It is also the time when they need to avoid choices and behaviors that will limit their future potential (1).

According to Piaget's developmental stages theory, both adolescence and adulthood are in the formal operational stage. During this last stage of development, intelligence is demonstrated through logically using symbols that relate to more abstract concepts. At the beginning of this stage, an adolescent gains the ability to classify and combine items in a complex manner and are now able to use a higher order of reasoning. They begin to figure and manipulate ideas and mathematical calculations in their head, and can imagine what course something will take based on future actions. In this stage, an adolescent can begin to formulate a hypothesis, and as they gain more knowledge, their schemas become more complex. Teenagers begin to think in more theoretical reasoning, like philosophical thought processes, moral and ethical issues, political issues, and social issues (2). Puberty usually occurs during the beginning of this stage, making a child feel that they are old enough to be ...

Solution Summary

Discusses how college students fit into the definitions of being an adolescent or being an adults from a cognitive, biological, and socioemotional perspective.