What Are the Developmental Tasks Facing Adolescents? (page 2)

By — University of Florida IFAS Extension
Updated on Jul 26, 2007


The many developmental tasks facing adolescents are challenging, but they are not insurmountable. Adolescents are testing independence; yet they are not, and do not want to be, totally independent. Parents and adults need to provide a supportive environment for adolescents to search and explore their identity.

Parents and adults walk a tightrope. Adolescents need them to play an active role in their lives. However, adults need to provide adolescents some room to be responsible for their own decisions and be accountable for the consequences of those decisions.

When adolescents make the wrong decision, they need the support and guidance of parents and adults to help them learn from these experiences. By knowing the developmental tasks of adolescents, parents and adults can help turn mistakes made by adolescents into opportunities that enhance adolescents' mastery of life skills.

At times the interaction between parents/adults and adolescents will be challenging and uncertain, but it is essential that parents and adults remain steadfast in their commitment to the adolescent. Parents and adults have an important role to play and can have a positive impact on the lives of adolescents.

This series of three bulletins has shown the complexity of the changes that confront individuals beginning their second decade of life. Indeed, adolescence is marked by a multitude of changes -- biological, physical, intellectual and emotional.

The information from this series operates as a "road map" of what to anticipate from adolescents. Using this road map, parents and other adults can support adolescents on their journey toward reaching their destinations -- becoming competent and productive adults.


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