Adolescence is the period between late childhoods to early adulthood defined differently by different bodies. According to the UN agencies the people between 10 to 19 yrs are Adolescents.
Adolescents are of three categories:
Early Adolescents 10 to 13 years
Middle Adolescents 14 to 16 years
Late Adolescents 17 to 19 years
There is a phenomenal jump during early Adolescent period. The frontal lobe of the brain, which is the locus of problem solving, planning, memory, critical thinking and mood modulation develops during this stage, and this area of brain is fully matures by 18 years of age and acts as commander- in- chief of the body.
This is Responsible for, Planning, organization, Judgement, Problem solving, Emotional control etc.
Scientists believe that the TEEN YEAR may be a critical time to exercise the brain, and the adolescent who learn to marshal their thought, measure their impulses and think abstractly may lay important neural foundations which lasts through out life time.
On the other hand- Trauma, abuse, neglect, excessive use of drugs, alcohol can also change the circuit of the brain scrambling both it’s architecture and chemistry.
These influences can significantly and negatively affect the brain function and learning capacity. By that it LIMITS THE ADOLESCENTS FUTURE CHOICES & OPPORTUNITIES.
GLOBAL ADOLESCENTS PROBLEM
4 million adolescents attempt suicide; Girls are 3 times more than boys,
1/10 th of all births occur in teen age pregnancy
20 % of school children are regular smoker
In US 1 in 10 suffer from mental diseases
Youth unemployment between 36 % to 66 %
PROBLEM OF ADOLESCENTS IN INDIA
Not considered as a distinct group (Tripartite age groups)
Gap between onset of puberty and age at marriage widening: incidence or possibility of premarital sexual activity increasing
Adolescents: prone to risky behaviour in a fast changing world
Substantial share in number with STDs/RTI infection
Among HIV+ persons they constitute the largest number
Smoking, drinking, substance abuse among them
Adolescent girls and gender-based discrimination: low social worth, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and unsafe motherhood
Increasing incidence of sex abuse
No access to authentic knowledge of reproductive and sexual health
Adult world considers them problems; does not appreciate
Neither family nor schools equip them to manage their ARSH concerns
WHY ADOLESCENTS BE FOCUSED
To cope with different growth & development during this phase
Low age at marriage
Low age at pregnancy
Lack of knowledge on reproductive health
Exploitation of the girls as wage labourers
Lack of awareness of the community on the adolescent issues
Lack of proper health and hygienic status
Adolescents are different from adults
They have different needs because of their physical and psychological stages
They have different cognitive abilities and skills, requiring different counselling approaches and more time.
They tend to be less well informed and require more information.
Conflicts between cultural/parental expectations and adolescents’ emerging values present serious challenges for young people.
Adolescence is a critical age for risk-taking
Adolescents are moving toward independence, and tend to experiment and test limits, including practicing risky behaviour.
Using substances or drugs for the first time typically occurs during adolescence.
Sexual experiences (not always voluntary) usually begin during adolescence.
Consequences of risky behaviours can have serious and long-term effects.
Adolescence is an opportune time for professional interventions
Adolescents are undergoing educational and guidance experiences in school, at home, and through religious institutions; health education can be part of these efforts.
Life-long health habits are established in adolescence.
Interventions can help adolescents make good decisions and take responsibility for their actions, often preventing serious negative consequences for their future.
There are many effective channels for reaching adolescents: through schools, religious institutions, youth organizations, community and recreational activities, parental communication, peer education, the media and health service facilities.
To provide knowledge & inculcate positive attitude in respect of ARSH
To promote respect for opposite sex and responsible sexual behaviour
To develop needed skills to cope with and manage ARSH concerns
WHY EDUCATION IN ARSH SKILLS?
Even after acquiring knowledge learners lack ability to manage challenges of life
Skills translate knowledge and attitude into actual abilities
Skills develop proper perceptions of self-efficacy and self esteem
Developing ARSH Skills is needed because traditional support system is waning in the fast changing world
STAGES OF ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT
Early Adolescence (10-13)yrs:
Onset of puberty and rapid growth
Impulsive, experimental behaviour
Beginning to think abstractly
Adolescent’s sphere of influence extends beyond her/his own family
Increasing concern with image and acceptance by peers
Middle Adolescence (14-16)yrs
Continues physical growth and development
Starts to challenge rules and test limits
Develops more analytical skills; grater awareness of behavioural consequences
Strongly influenced by peers, especially on image and social behaviour
Increasing interest in sex; special relationships begin with opposite sex
Greater willingness to assess own beliefs and consider others
Late Adolescence (17-19)yrs
Reaches physical and sexual maturity
Improved problem solving abilities
Developing greater self-identification
Peer influence lessons
Reintegration into family
Intimate relationships more important than group relationships
Increased ability to make adult choices and assume adult responsibilities