The Psychological Consequences of Puberty
Puberty is a stage that takes places between the ages of 10 and 15, during which one experiences sexual development and the physical changes that mark the passage into adulthood. It’s a time of transformation, and with this in mind, we’ve prepared an article dealing with the psychological consequences of puberty.
“Adolescence is a new birth, for the higher and more completely human traits are now born.”
– G. Stanley Hall –
What is puberty?
Puberty is one of several stages in human development. It’s a biological process featuring significant bodily and functional changes. It produces the secondary sex characteristics, as well as the capacity for reproduction.
During this time, children begin to experience a series of transformations relating to growth, development, and maturation. By the end of this stage, the child has become an independent adult with physical, social, and emotional autonomy.
“The beginning of puberty marks the passage from childhood to adulthood.”
– World Health Organization –
Psychological consequences of puberty
As you know, puberty brings with it a series of physical changes. But it also implies a number of psychological and social shifts. In terms of the latter two, we can focus on four psychological consequences of puberty.
1. The struggle between independence and dependence
During puberty, the relationship between parents and children becomes complicated, since children yearn to become more physically and emotionally independent. At this stage, there is more suspicion toward and confrontation with parents, and adolescents’ moods become variable and unstable.
2. Concern with physical appearance
In the first years of puberty, the most significant physical changes occur. This creates a great sense of concern among young people. It can result in their feeling alienated from their bodies, and even rejecting them. Insecurity about one’s appearance can become a significant issue.
In addition, due to the sexual development that occurs at this time, they’ll develop an interest in sexuality and self-exploration.
3. Friendships and group integration
When puberty arrives, friendships become much more important in young people’s lives, with parents taking a backseat.
Social relationships among friends become very intense and emotional. Close friends become both confidants and companions during the adventures that occur during this time. Groups of friends emerge, with the members usually sharing common interests and tastes.
4. Identity development
During puberty, young people experience a distorted view of the world, in which they consider themselves to be the center of everything. As a result, they seek to develop their own identities, asking for more privacy and rejecting parental interference.
In addition, kids also experience poor impulse control, while starting to doubt things more often.
“How strange the young should always think the world is against them – when in fact that is the only time it is for them.”
– Mignon McLaughlin –
How should parents deal with the psychological consequences of puberty?
Obviously, this is a challenging time for young people. But it can also be hard for parents, who have to face these changes and adapt their children’s upbringings to the shifts in their personalities.
Therefore, it’s vital that parents adopt certain attitudes in order to ensure positive coexistence. Here are some of the concepts that should be put into practice:
- Communication and dialogue
- Fair negotiation
Being a parent is no simple task, especially as children grow up and become rebellious. However, it’s important to remember that puberty is simply another stage of development.
Try to understand your children during this time of transition. Your relationship will become stronger and they’ll thank you for it. It requires a certain amount of effort, but it will be worth it!
“Parents, to be happy, need to give. To give always, this is what makes a parent.”
– Honoré de Balzac –
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Diz, J. I. (2013). Desarrollo del adolescente: aspectos físicos, psicológicos y sociales. Pediatr Integral, 17(2), 88-93.
- Güemes-Hidalgo, M., Ceñal González-Fierro, M., & Hidalgo Vicario, M. (2017). Pubertad y adolescencia. Revista de Formación Continuada de la Sociedad Española de Medicina de la Adolescencia, 5(1), 7-22. https://www.adolescenciasema.org/ficheros/REVISTA%20ADOLESCERE/vol5num1-2017/07-22%20Pubertad%20y%20adolescencia.pdf
- Radzik, M. (2008). Psychosocial development in normal adolescents. Adolescent health care: A practical guide, 27-31.