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Post  counselor on Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:06 am


In our culture, the term refers to the period of transition between childhood and adulthood, during which the subject acquires basic skills to become an adult, through changes, contradictions and contrasts. Many other companies do not have a corresponding stage of development, as the individuals are considered as adults already at the end of puberty, at which time they are subject to special rites of passage. In technologically advanced societies, however, the boundaries between childhood and maturity are not well defined. Several authors believe that a. is a cultural invention of the last century, functional access adulthood in Western society. The profound and multiple transformations at different levels in this period of development can be identified according to different reference systems - biological, cognitive, psychoanalytic, sociological - deeply interconnected.

1) Physical Development. The most striking aspect of the change that occurs in the A. is related to the bodily changes, which cause great psychological repercussions both in the real and in the fantasy. At puberty, the initial phase of a. Fact occur within the physical changes in both the rate of growth of both sexual characteristics: the skeleton, muscles and internal organs grow more rapidly in periods evolutionary contiguous strengthens dimorphism sex, the genital system reaches maturity, secondary sexual characters are developed as well. The activity stimulates pituitary growth mechanisms that transform the teenager into an adult and these changes are increased in both sexes the activity of hormones. The somatic changes cause feelings of adolescent alienation and loss of identity to body formed in childhood. The subject finds himself in a rapidly changing body and has new features, so with an image of himself totally revolutionized with which to confront. The difficulty with this process means that, frequently, the subject not worry about any physical modification occurred and allow for the quality of diversion or even deformity. The theme of the body, therefore, is to be one of the privileged forms of manifestation of adolescent mental health problems (anorexia and bulimia).

2) Development of sex. The sexual connotations of somatic changes and the corresponding adolescent sexual differentiation inducing the need to individuate as sexual body separate from the undifferentiated infancy to capture the peculiarities of the adult. Gender identity, the experience of belonging developed before puberty with feelings and characteristics related to a particular sex, joins, through the maturation of secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive, sexual identity, understood as stable sexual organization. It is a prerequisite narcissistic loss, or deprivation of a well-defined and powerful self-image, a result of the waiver of the omnipotent fantasies of being similar to each of the two internalized parental images, to be that while both sexes. In this age group, the importance of the re-emergence of sexual feelings and entry into adult sexuality with the final choice of the sexual object causes the ritualization of the Oedipal conflict, the resulting detachment from parents and then the object loss, that of his primitive objects of love. The abandonment of the figures previously internalized emotionally in favor of new types of reference corresponding to a greater extent to the new intent, brings with it fears of abandonment, frustration, inhibitions, regressive episodes, from which originate the need for isolation and rejection of the world outside, held responsible for the loss of identity before. Fundamental for the success of this transition are the basics give the child in his early years about the problems of security, freedom of exploration of the environment, the opportunity to drive himself and, in the pre-adolescent, the ability to take progressively autonomous decisions.

3) Cognitive development. The major studies of cognitive development in children are due to Piaget, who believed that in the period of formal operations essential changes from the cognitive point of view consist of the ability to think abstractly and to use the hypothetical-deductive thinking. This allows the adolescent to systematically evaluate a range of options for checking its correctness through experimental methods and logic, as well as reflect on their own thinking and sull'altrui, thus facilitating the reporting no longer solely focused on the subject. The development of formal thought makes the mental activity of the subject much more flexible and richer than that of the child, so they can mentally manipulate, through propositional thought, thoughts and belief systems that introduce in the context of ideological and philosophical abstractions, as well as systematic evaluations about their future projects. Piaget is the transition from childhood to the teenage thinking in terms of processes of assimilation and accommodation, which are involved in producing continuous changes in the interpretation schemes of the subject, in correlation with the change of identity.

4) Development of identity. The main task of the adolescent is, according to Erikson, identity formation, that is a subjective sense of continuity and coherence in the integration of past, present and future. To achieve a personal identity, beliefs and goals of adolescence, which are still for the most part an extension of the identification with adults, must be integrated in a difficult process and conflict - they are part of the take possession of his body sexual, with the whole set of thoughts, feelings, desires, actions involved, America's self-image, self-esteem - the outcome of which may be the acquisition or loss of identity.

5) Breakdown. This term Laufer and Laufer (1984) identify those conditions in which the child is incapable of either accepting their bodily changes, and allows the definition as a female or male of this new image. The authors wish to interrupt or block the development that occurs during puberty and sees the obvious manifestation of disorders of conduct and mental capabilities, exclusive of the end of adolescence. The evolutionary breakdown is unconsciously rejecting the sexual body and the concomitant feeling of passivity to meet the needs arising from the body, resulting to ignore or repudiate their genitals, or, in severe cases, to hear different from how you would like were. It is a stop of the process of integration of body physically mature in the representation that the adolescent has of himself. This alteration, which seriously compromises the developmental function of adolescence and the structuring of sexual final of the subject, is a critical event that has a cumulative effect for the duration of adolescence, with serious implications as to the normality and psychopathology age adulthood. The failure of attempts to integrate the sexed body is revealed in the collapse of academic performance, the regressive dependence (addiction) in psychogenic eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, depression, in suicide attempts. The breakdown can occur therefore at different levels of severity, in both structures is borderline neurotic or psychotic.

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