Evolutionary Development of the Adolescent

We constantly hear in our daily lives that there are no magic formulas or that no one has a manual under his arm to be parents, well that is a truth that humans have repeated over the years; In the upbringing and education of children, linear rules are not followed and less can it be determined that certain patterns of behaviors at home will generate behaviors in the child that can be described in a specific way or that are universal rules that lead us to predict which will be the behavior of a certain person, whether in adolescence, adulthood or in old age, certain personality traits can be had and even take into account some generalities or parental patterns, but there are also particular or individual factors that intervene in upbringing of a child and future behavior throughout their lifetime, as each human being lives in different homes, personalities, thoughts, and even different times.

We have theories and authors who over the years have investigated these issues and have managed to determine how some aspects of human formation, whether positive or negative, have influenced the upbringing of children, works that have been important for the time, have been points of reference or epistemic props, but it is also important to bear in mind that there are no theories that are absolute and unique truths and that humanity is not rigid or encapsulated, but on the contrary, humanity is flexible and increasingly changing.

Governmental organizations worldwide take these investigations into account to establish certain rules, norms or patterns that are located within a population mean. Now, we cannot ignore that we are starting a century, a decade where the term of inclusion is beginning to be coined, each individual has their own time and pace of learning, which allows us to stop labeling or categorizing the human being and this does not It should only apply to the educational area of ​​the individual but it should also begin to apply in the evolutionary development of the human being.

(Balabanian & Lemos, 2015) Bowlby refers that attachment influences the entire life cycle, through the progressive internalization of the relationship as an internal operating model. Then we can refer that it is safer to have stable children, adolescents and adults when their attachment during their childhood has been a secure attachment, and this attachment is associated with empathy, human values ​​and the predisposition to help others.

These authors indicate that, particularly in the adolescent period, cognitive development appears as an important factor in emotional regulation as an inhibitory mechanism of aggression. (Llorca Mestre el al., 2014) explains that a relationship based on affection, closeness and good communication between parents and adolescent children is as important as in the first years of life. In this way, adolescents are given the opportunity to have an adequate relationship with their parents, to have appropriate relationships in other contexts and even a better relationship with themselves. When they have affective needs covered, it is easier for the adolescent to focus on the needs of others than when they lack these, since it is impossible for them to learn to cover the needs of others when they do not have them. Gillath et al., (2005) mention that insecure attachment carries unfavorable consequences, interferes in the performance of acts of voluntary help. (Sánchez-Queija and Oliva, 2003) say that adolescence is largely a reflection of the patterns built during childhood.

Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com

In adolescence there are changes with important psychosocial contents, physical or corporal, hormonal, sexual, psychic and social changes of great importance are evident, and these are of variable durations since there are aspects that intervene in a particular way in each individual but they take approximate ages. In her life cycle, the adolescent presents (Pedreira Massa & L.M., 2002):

• Hormonal Changes: Estrogens rise in girls and androgens in boys. Secondary changes occur such as the appearance and presence of hair, the redistribution of adipose tissue (breast development, fat in the hips), increased muscle mass, growth and subsequent bone closure, voice change (hoarseness in men), possible appearance acne.

• Physical changes: Increase in weight and height, development of primary sexual characteristics and appearance of secondary sexual characteristics. It is important that the adolescent reappropriate the body, many do it through fashion, tattoos, piercing.

• Psychic changes: The way they perceive the world and experiences are influenced by:

• The ideal of the self: Imaginary constructions, conflicts on the personal and relational level.

• Updating of apparently overcome conflicts: conflicts from past eras are experienced, they are points that were not closed.

• Personal identity: It is where identification with peers or with ideas is established. The first with the external world and the second with himself, allows to believe the center of the world, where there is a certain intolerance to other opinions and confrontation as a way of relating to everything that involves law.

• Psychosexual changes: The sexual impulse is triggered leading to probative and experimentation behaviors. Auto-erotic sexuality, masturbation becomes a normal activity, falls in love and idealizations, the first sexual relationship occurs in some cases and even temporary homosexual relationships.

• Cognitive and moral changes: According to Jean Piaget, formal thinking develops, abstract thinking becomes conceptual, and is oriented towards the future. This formal thinking allows you to think about the existence of the other. According to Kohlberg, the adolescent acquires the post-conventional stage, the personal acceptance of moral principles is made on the basis of the internalization of universal ethical principles.

• Social changes: The most relevant is what happens to evolve from dependency to autonomy, both in decision-making and in social relationships. Society imposes on the adolescent a change of status (need for independence, autonomy). The adolescent takes greater distance from his parents and peers take greater importance, the activity being very important. Shared cultural elements are created, they begin to identify with the members of their group, language, beliefs and values ​​take importance, they realize their professional skills and abilities.

• Development of the sense of identity according to Erikson, the adolescent’s task is to achieve the identity of the self that will define their awareness of who they are and where they are going. The body is the first organizer of identity.

(JJ Casas Rivero, 2005) They indicate that for many adolescence is not a normal stage of the development of an individual’s life, but rather that many see it as a pothole, as a life space where a human being sinks or floats towards the path of adulthood. They also refer that the physical and psychological functions are in their fullness: strength, reflexes, speed, memory, etc. These authors make a positive reference to the stage of adolescence where they put us lacking, but on the contrary, they show the amount of benefits that are obtained during this period, they limit that the adolescent enjoys more of the body, its movements, the food tastes better, the smells are deeper, the music is prettier, and the love is real. These authors show us that when children are given a secure attachment during their childhood, adolescence passes in a calm, creative and productive way, and that when we talk about the bumps or difficulties of adolescence we should rather focus on hereditary factors, parenting models, or environmental factors, but not to the stage itself because what is achieved with this is to generalize and label. These authors indicate that adolescence is classified as follows with some important characteristics:

Early adolescence: (11-13 years)

-Fast somatic growth.

-Appearance of secondary sexual characteristics

-Contact with the opposite sex begins in an exploratory way.

-You claim your own privacy

-The ability to think is concrete

-They do not perceive future implications of their present actions and decisions.

-Orientation is existentialist, narcissistic and selfish.

Middle adolescence: (14-17 years)

-Maturation and growth are practically complete

-They acquire 95% of the adult size

-The changes are slower, it is allowed to establish the body image.

-They are able to use abstract thinking, but during certain periods it becomes concrete again, it is variable specifically when it is under stress.

-They are interested in idealistic topics and enjoy the discussion of ideas for the mere pleasure of discussion.

-They are capable of perceiving future implications of their actions and decisions, although their application is variable.

-They have a feeling of omnipotence and invulnerability with the magical thought that something will never happen to them, this facilitates risky behaviors that lead to morbidity and mortality. (Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, pregnancy, etc.).

-They are in a struggle for emancipation and to acquire control of their life.

-The group acquires great importance, it serves to affirm its self-image and define the code of conduct to achieve emancipation.

-The group dictates the way of dressing, speaking and behaving, the opinions of friends being much more important than those of parents.

-The importance of belonging to a group is very high.

-Relationships with the other sex are more plural, but mainly due to the narcissistic desire to verify one’s ability to attract the other.

-Romantic fantasies are booming.

Late Adolescence: (17 -21 years)

-The growth is over and they are already physically mature

-Abstract thinking is fully established although not necessarily everyone achieves it.

-They are future oriented

-They are able to perceive and act according to the future implications of their actions.

-Begins to face the real demands of the adult world.

-Family relationships are from adult to adult.

-The group loses importance to win individual friendship relationships.

-Relationships are stable, they are capable of reciprocity and affection and they begin to plan life together, family, marriage and future projects.

Although it is true that there are some general characteristics of adolescents, our invitation is that your son and daughter participate in meetings with health professionals, teach them the importance of having us accompany them so that they can recognize their needs and concerns, remember that each person has their own times and rhythms, and keep in mind that adolescents value activities that involve movement, they enjoy being recognized and valued, their favorite activities involve sports, music, art, interacting with their friends, as a parent they set challenges, since they want to feel competent, they enjoy dialogue environments, they do not like monologues of «mom», «dad» but where they have the opportunity to express and have their opinion taken into account, assign them responsibilities, and that they understand that also They have some duties, negotiate freedoms or autonomy (it is what they most seek in adolescence), oriental and explain that the risk oo mistrust is not towards their sons and daughters but towards the social environment, or the psychosocial risks to which they may be exposed (psychoactive substances, sexual abuse, prostitution, kidnapping), and talks with them openly about their sexuality Since many young people are in the exploratory stage and do not see the importance of using protection to avoid sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy, they are not yet ready to assume responsibility as parents.
You must be very attentive to the symptoms of anxiety, frustration, boredom, isolation, depression.


-Parental patterns: How parents educate their children, apply rules and type of authority they exercise over them.
-Epistemic: Epistemology is the branch of philosophy whose object of study is knowledge.
-Population Mean: it is used to mean what numerical value of a sample mean is numerically close to the population mean parameter, for an adequate and sufficiently large sample.
-Internalization: Process by which an individual incorporates into his personality the prevailing behavior patterns in society
-Internal operant model: They are understood as internalized schemes or maps in each individual, those that represent a reality made up of people and objects that are meaningful to the individual.


Balabanian, C., & Lemos, V. y. (Julio – Diciembre de 2015). Apego percibido y conducta prosocial en adolescentes. Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Sociales, 278-294. Obtenido de https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=5212095

J.J. Casas Rivero, M. G. (2005). Desarrollo del Adolescente. Aspectos físicos, psicológicos y sociales. Pediatr. Integral, 20:24.

Pedreira Massa, J., & L.M., A. (2002). Desarrollo Psicosocial de la adolescencia: bases para una comprensión actualizada.

Anuncio publicitario

Deja una respuesta

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Salir /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Salir /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Salir /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s