This is a period of crucial changes, both physical and psychological. This is a period of reproduction related changes. Women become physically mature before they are capable of becoming pregnant. It is between the ages of 10 to 25 that the brain undergoes changes which have implications on behavior. Due to these changes the adolescent becomes quite excitable and ready for risk taking. Both sexes are unable to comprehend the consequences of their indulgence or risky, violent behavior.
The home environment and relationship conflicts with parents play a big role in adolescent choices. If there is a harmonious and loving relationship at home then it reflects on the adolescent’s behavior. If the relationship between the adolescent and the parents is good then there are fewer chances of adolescents indulging in risk behaviors like drinking, smoking, brawls/violent behavior, and unprotected, irresponsible sexual intercourse.
Control and criticism make adolescents run away from home. They become rebellious and want to do exactly what they are not supposed to. They experiment with their sexuality, or go on binges of drinking stealing, creating fights, etc. Girls in their reaction to the home environment search for love outside home. They date boys who they have met casually and during such episodes or dating, either get raped or obscene and nude pictures are taken of the girl. Quite often such clips are used to embarrass or threaten her. This is done by forwarding such pictures either on the net or the mobile. Surprisingly girls and their families are reluctant to register complaints against those who abused them or their daughters. Today girls speak of friendship but what is the need for friends to get too cozy for comfort in the privacy of hired or lonely places where the opportunity for sexual abuse is open on a platter to the conniving male?
A vigilant parent can save the adolescent girl from landing in such situations of abuse. Skilled counseling of both sexes at this very difficult period in an adolescent’s life will go a long way in shaping their destiny.
Peer groups play an important role at this stage of development. In fact the peer has more influence on the adolescent than their parents. If the choice of friends is wise then a peer can have a very positive effect. A peer can influence the friend into being a caregiver and to have appropriate relationships. Empathy, sharing leadership and academic excellence are the positive effects of peer influence. Respect for the opposite sex is born out of such friendships and the romantic relationship will not cross boundaries of respect for her person. But the negative effects of peer influence are drug and other addictions, violent behavior, academic failures, crimes and other vices and behavior problems.
In today’s world, parents have a challenging role to play in molding the attitude, mindset and future of their children. The key to coping with adolescent problems and instilling healthy values will go a long way in making them responsible and law abiding citizens. Above everything spirituality and moral values play a huge role in good human behavior.