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Whats like Being Adolescent

“Stages of The Life Cycle”


Adolescent is
Bridging the gap between Childhood and Adult, during this period Child is
growing to become an adult. Time period is full of fantasies and fun along with
bit challenges and time sensitive tasks. E.g

  • Goals
    of Adolescent development
  • Personality
    development, Physical and mental development.
  • Tasks (Identity / Role diffusion)
  • Role models  (In search of someone who is worth
  • Growth spurt
  • Physical growth and mental development
  • Socially acquiring skills to be successful
  • Cognitive development to be an adult member of
  • Emotional regulation in times of stress


  • Peer pressure
  • Expectation of the parents
  • Expectation regarding school work
  • Using spare time
  • Ideals and realistic goals
  • Dealing with difficult situations,and stressful life situations
  • This is not end of the world
  • Options of future
  • Identity
  • Who I am
  • What I want to achieve and what I can
  • Competition in the society
  • Acceptation of self-limitation


  • Growing in body size, height, and weight
  • Acquiring locomotive skills, i.e., crawling,
    walking, talking,playing, riding a bicycle, etc.


and Cognitive Development

  • Acquiring skills to learn how to think, process or
    organizethe information
  • Problem solving and memory functioning.

& Emotional Development

  • How to interact with outside world
  • Identify feeling & emotions of self and others
  • Learning to deal with intense emotions
  • Modulate feelings to function as independent

Development and Gender Identity

  • Developmental domains
  • Children learn about their own body
  • Learning about sexual feelings, and how to handlethose feelings, and what is permissible in society
  • Communications
  • By speaking / writing
  • Gestures (Facial gestures, body gestures)
  • Self injurious/suicide gestures(overt and covert threat, or actual doing to hurt self with intent)
  • Substance abuse gestures
  • Risky sexual behavior gesture
  • Passive aggressive behavior
  • Psychosomatic complaints(when not explained by a medical work up)
  • Warning
    Signs of impounding danger
  • Withdrawal
  • Decreased interest in school or social activities
  • Decline in academic functioning
  • Persistent worries, angry and aggressive out burst
  • Changes in eating / sleeping patterns
  • Avoiding conversation on particular subject
  • Unusual activities
    • being away from home for long periods of time,or at odd hours
    • being on the phone or Internet for long periods of
    • disappearing from school

Stages of human Life  (Erik Erikson’s)

Stage 1

            Basic Trust versus Mistrust:    (Birth to about 1 year of age)

            Task: Trust or not to trust

 Successful Achievement of Goals:

Affection and loving care

from caregiver (mother/father/caretaker)

(e.g., child’s needs: bathing,

basic daily care and hygiene)

Child learns to trust the immediate world;

begins to perceive an optimum view

of family life; can handle being

out of sight of caregiver

Unsuccessful Goal achievement due to:

Inattentive, poorly responsive caregiver

(illness, work, family crisis, etc.)

Child learns the immediate world

is not trustworthy; basic needs

are not met, and results in

mistrust and confusion

in later life

Stage 2

            Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt (About 1 to 3 years of age)


Successful Achievement of Goal:

Parents permit autonomy;

are supportive without being

overly protective

Child gains self-confidence;

learning mastery of themselves

Self-esteem is enhanced

Unsuccessful Goal:

Parents are over-controlling,

punishment for being autonomous

Child feels angry and ashamed;

pervading sense of doubt, loss of self-confidence; may develop loss of
self-control and incompetence re: age-appropriate tasks,

e.g., toilet training, muscular skills


Stage 3

Initiative versus Guilt (3 to 5 years of age)


Successful Achievement of Goal:

Children develop physically and intellectually; curiosity and freedom

are encouraged

Child is supported and engaged;

encouraged to use their full potential

and take initiatives

‘Aggressive’ fantasies are managed

properly (neither punished

or encouraged)

Child develops initiative and ambition

Development of conscience

(moral values: right from wrong)


Unsuccessful Goal:

Parents are over-controlling,

punishment for being autonomous

Excessive punishment can restrict

initiative and ambition

can lead to rigid strong ego-centric

persona; in adulthood can manifest

itself in stubborn and a danger

towards self and others


 Stage 4

Industry versus Inferiority   (6 to 11 years of age)

Successful Achievement of Goal:

Parents and teachers encourage creativity

and curiosity.  Diligence, productivity

and perseverance are demonstrated in

difficult tasks, and helps protect

against a sense of inferiority

Productive children take pride

in doing something, and completion

of work or task is a pleasure.

Unsuccessful Goal:             

In excessive emphasis on rules and

regulations / ‘should’s and shouldnt’s,’

a child can develop a sense of duty,

but at the expense of a natural

desire to work

Discrimination in school / non-supportive

parents may lead to development of inferiority complex

Over-protection at home,

or excessive dependence on family

for emotional support, can lead

to emotional disregulation


Stage 5

            Identity versus Role Diffusion (12 to 18 years of age)

Successful Achievement of Goal:

Developing a healthy sense of identity,

built on success in passing through

earlier stages

Success in attaining trust, autonomy,

initiative and industry

Sense of inner solidarity with

ideals of a social group whose

moral value may change, but

eventually an ethical system is

consolidated into a coherent

organizational framework

Unsuccessful Goal:

Identity crises can occur:

identity diffusion or role confusion,

characterized by not having a sense

of self, and by confusion about

the adolescent’s place in the world

Can manifest in behavioral abnormalities (e.g., running away, criminality,
overt psychosis problem in gender identity)

Adolescents may defend themselves

by joining cults, or identifying

with folk heroes

Positive attributes

  • Good Genes
    and Excellent environment
  • Supportive family
  • Supportive school environment
  • Acknowledging (accepting)
    and empathic parent / teacher approach at time of crisis
  • Good physical health
  • Positive role model
  • Athletic activities
  • Supportive extended family andcircle of friends
  • Positive spare time activities
  • Early intervention if need arises;seek professional help

Negatives or stumbling blocks/ Pathological Issues

  • Learning disability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Mental retardation

Stage 6


 versus Self Absorption Isolation (21 to 40 years of age)


Stage 7


 versus Stagnation (40 to 65 years)


Stage 8

versus Despair and Isolation (65 years of age, or older)

Should you need additional information or would like to make an appointment with Dr. Tahir,  email us at stahirmd@yahoo.com.