Adolescence marks the transition period from childhood to adulthood. This stage is characterized by social, cognitive, and social developments. Brain development during the adolescence period is worth examining since it is responsible for the cognitive and social skills required and exhibited by adolescents.
Cognitive development is the progression or development of the thinking of adolescents from the way a child does to how an adult does. Brain development affects cognitive development as it enables adolescents to develop more advanced reasoning skills (Dumontheil, 118). Therefore, adolescents can explore a wide range of solutions and possibilities related to a given situation and think hypothetically. Additionally, brain development enables adolescents to think abstractly, which implies that adolescents develop the capacity to love, date, and solve more advanced school work. Moreover, brain development enables adolescents to perceive more risks in certain areas than adults. However, with such knowledge about a wide range of risks, the people of the mentioned age group still engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, use of drugs, reckless driving, and drinking alcohol, and are usually not prepared to avoid the risks. Moreover, brain development enhances adolescents’ formal operational thinking. Thus, adolescents often can think about their emotions and feelings, and how others perceive them.
Social development is characterized by the establishment of identity and autonomy among adolescents. Brain development aids in the establishment of identity as it enables an adolescent to have self-sense (Dumontheil119). As such, adolescents can perceive their talents, goals, life experiences, as well as evaluate their self-worth. Besides, brain development aids in the establishment of autonomy amongst adolescents. As a result, adolescents can fit in with their peers by use of clothing, hairstyles, and other accessories.
The main goal of adolescence is to gain independence and establish an identity amongst peers. Adolescents tend to acquire more life experiences and skills such as the ability to solve more advanced mathematics and the use of drugs during this period. Thus, one of the most fundamental aspects during adolescence is parental monitoring aimed at ensuring that adolescents are not only safe but also gradually develop independence.
Dumontheil, Iroise. “Development of the social brain during adolescence.” PsicologíaEducativa 21.2 (2015): 117-124, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1135755X15000172