Sunday, December 23, 2012
As most Americans do not practice rites of passage, how do we know when adolescence ends and adulthood begins? What psychological features do we expect to see in adolescents? What psychological features do we expect to see in adults?
In America, at age 16 one can drive independently, at age 18 one can vote, and at age 21 one can legally drink alcohol. These ages are important as signs of possibilities or importance of independence. However, these ages do not signify the end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood. There is not necessarily a way to determine when adolescence ends and adulthood begins. Adolescence may end and adulthood may begin when one establishes a cohesive identity. The end of adolescence can also be marked by a shift in maturity levels whereas one becomes fully mature or one grows emotional in order to effectively handle pressures and stressors in daily life with success. The psychological features expected in adolescents can vary from person to person, but some features are the need for independence, the establishment of identity, concern for acceptance of others, and one tends to be self-conscious, and may lack self-esteem. The psychological features expected in adults can also vary from person to person, but some features are an established identity, awareness of personal insecurities and self-esteem, compassion, and empathy. Overall, positive psychological growth is a key feature in both adolescents and adults in order to effectively live in society and in order to manage all problems and circumstances to arise in life.