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Adolescent Development Essay

AdolescentDevelopment Essay

Thedevelopment process of a child is often complicated, and manytheories and arguments have emerged trying to explain the factorsthat affect the process. The genes, environment, experiences are someof the factors that are believed to have an effect on the adolescentdevelopment process. These factors usually have interplay during thegrowth process from the childhood to adulthood. This report willdiscuss nature and nurture, early and late experience, as well ascontinuous and discontinuous interplay in the development process ofadolescents.

Nature/NurtureInterplay in the Adolescent Development Process

Thenature-nurture is a controversial debate that has brought aboutdivided views on whether it is the environment that contributestowards the character of an adolescent or it is the nurture (Eagly &ampWood, 2013). Some people argue that particular aspects of behaviorare often inherited while other individuals maintain that somecharacters are taught. The nature debate contends that people behavethe way they do because of the genes that they inherit from theirbiological parents. For example, a child is likely to be rude orviolent because one or both parents are aggressive. This implies thatthe child is aggressive because he has inherited the genes ofaggression from his parents. On the other hand, a teenager is likelyto be violent because of the nurture. The environment in which aperson is brought up plays a great role towards the personality thatan individual will have (Tammen et al., 2013). For instance, achild`s aggression, in this case, may be present because the teenagerwas brought up in an abusive family. As a result, the kid will beviolent or become a bully. However, nature and nurture usually havean effect on each other. Nature can manipulate the nurture, and thenurture can influence the nature too. This implies that nature andnurture interact to produce the best results or personality (Singh,2012). Nurture and nature must interplay to allow a particularpersonality to manifest itself.

Continuous/DiscontinuousInterplay in the Adolescent Development Process

Theconstant and discontinuous development processes are controversialissues where some people argue that child development is usually anongoing process while other individuals maintain that childrendevelop stage by stage (Siegler &amp Eisenberg, n.d). Continuousdevelopment implies that the growth is often gradual and goes onthroughout the life span. The personality that is acquired in theearlier developmental stages acts as the basis for the next stage.That is, according to the endless developmental arguments, the skillsthat are learned in the first stages of development act as thenecessary skills used in the next stage. On another hand, thediscontinuous process of adolescent development suggests that thereare distinct and separate levels of development whereby each stagehas unique personalities. In this process, there is a development ofspecific abilities that are believed to start at a defined time andend at a particular point. Both arguments are valid becausedevelopment in individuals never stops and people keep on learningnew skills every day. Development involves both continuous anddiscontinuous elements (Slater et al., n.d). Both the continuous anddiscontinuous development processes interact to produce the requiredand expected personalities. The ongoing process mostly produceschanges in the quantities such as an increase in height while theintermittent process of development produces qualitative changes suchas alterations in behavior. It is expected that behavior shouldchange as the physical appearance of an individual changes.Therefore, there should be a proper coordination between thecontinuous and discontinuous growth processes so as to produce thebest outcomes in personality (Berk, 2012). For example, an adolescentis expected to have self-control as he continues to grow and increasein size.

Early/LateExperience Interplay in the Adolescent Development Process

Whetherit is the early or late experiences that influence the personality ofa person is also a heated debate (Slater et al., n.d). Someindividuals argue that early experiences are the ones that shape thepersonality of an adult. A teenager will behave in a particularmanner because of what he experienced in the early stages ofdevelopment (Bickhard &amp Christopher, n.d). For example, an adultcan have fears of the opposite sex if he or she was sexually abusedduring the childhood. On the other hand, some people maintain thatearly experiences do not shape the personality of an adult, but it isthe late experiences that influence the character of an individual.However, there is interplay between the early and late experiences indetermining the personality of an individual (Nelson, 2012). Forexample, if a child is involved in a bloody vehicle accident duringan early stage, this person might live with constant fears ofboarding a vehicle. Also, children that are brought up by parents whoare in abusive relationships end up living unmarried.


Tosum up, a personality of an individual is determined by a combinationof factors which interact to produce the best-desired characters inpeople. The factors influence each other. For example, the geneticmakeup of a person can be affected by the environment to produceparticular outcomes.


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