Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Key developmental tasks during adolescence

In this video, we will look into how adults can support adolescents address their social and emotional development through crisis.
We’re back with Nikit because I have more questions. So Nikhit, how typical is this development across countries and contexts? Also, everything we’ve learned so far makes it sound like adolescent development is linear, but my memories of my adolescents are that I was learning and unlearning things constantly. Yeah, that’s right Carly. So development is more of a spiral than a straight line. And the environment of the context where individuals or adolescence develop affects that development alot. So let’s take a moment and talk about social and emotional learning and development for a second. So I’m going to show you some graphs.
So Carly, here’s the first graph for you. This is for self-management, and this study defines self management is the ability for adolescents to regulate and manage their emotions and behaviors in different social situations. And this line is from age 10 all the way to age 18. Anything surprising or intriguing when you look at this graph, I would expect self-management skills to strengthen during adolescence, with the line going up from left to right. Yeah, it was surprising for me as well Carly. Because if we think about the typical adolescent development table that we looked at, we would expect the line to be going in the opposite direction.
From here all the way up in this direction, but it’s going in the opposite direction, and what that suggests to me is that one, maybe adolescence actually have lower self management skills as they get. Older or the second thing is that adolescence may actually have stronger self-management skills, but they rate themselves as having lower skills overtime. What this means is that adolescents are getting more critical about themselves and about their own skills, and so that might be one reason why they’re rating themselves as having lower self management skills for us as adults, working with adolescents. What this suggests is that we have to understand the context within which adolescents are rating themselves an support.
Adolescence to understand when they might actually have these skills, and how they can use them. Alright, so I have another graph for you. I’m just going to take some time and create it.
So here’s the second graph for you, and this is of relationship quality, and this study defines relationship quality as how adolescents rate how healthy or beneficial the relationship is in their life and the line of the top here is for female identifying adolescence in the study and the line on the bottom. Here is for male identifying adolescence, anything interesting or intriguing. From this graph, Carly? Nikit, now then I’m a graphs expert I can tell you that I’m very surprised by this. The male identifying participants answered really differently from the female identifying participants and I would have expected them to answer the same. How do we make sense of this?
Yeah, and there are lots of different explanations or reasons for this. I’m not going to get into it. If you want to read more about it. The studies linked below, but what’s important for us to understand here is that when we are working with adolescents, there might be different groups of adolescents who have different skills or who rate to perceive their own skills differently.
This might be female versus male identifying adolescents adolescents who are living with disabilities versus not adolescents who grew up in situations of forced displacement versus not, or adolescents who grew up in rural communities or indigenous adolescents versus not what we have to do is as adults, working with adolescents is understand the different groups of adolescents were working with how they perceive their own skills and their own strengths and work with them to leverage those skills. There are so many nuanced elements to understanding adolescent development. Context is so important, So what are the key takeaways here? So I think one thing that’s important to remember is that that table of typical adolescent development is just a reference point.
It’s a way for us to understand general adolescent development, but should not be used as a prescription of healthy or unhealthy development. Rather, I think it’s more important for us to understand the developmental tasks that adolescents are working through. There are four main developmental tasks. The first is to stand out. Adolescents are trying to gain their own sense of identity and understand how they function in the world and how they affect the world around them. And that’s where standing outcomes in there trying to understand and build their own sense of identity. The second developmental task is that of fitting in adolescence are moving away from the comfortable social groups of their family.
Maybe they’re close friends and their school, and now are interacting in more social groups outside of those groups. For example, maybe a community group. Maybe a sports group, maybe something in the church or parish or religious organization and within all of those groups they are trying to understand how they fit in, how they belong, and how they affect and are affected by those groups. The third developmental task is of measuring up. Adolescents are trying to understand what skills and competencies they need to learn, what do they have, what are their strong suit, and what do they need to actually learn and build. And they’re trying to measure up and learn those competencies. And the 4th is that of taking hold.
Adolescents are working to find a purpose and have an ambition, and understand how and what skills they need to learn to work towards that purpose in towards those goals. And that is the developmental task of taking hold. So we’ve got a handle on adolescent development. What happens during changes in crisis? So in the next step you’ll find a short article that actually talks about how the experience of stress and crisis affects adolescent development. In these four developmental tasks. So go take a look at that article and then come back and we’ll have a discussion about it.

Now that we have discussed the need to work on becoming facilitators of adolescents’ learning experience, you will find a short survey in the next step. This survey should help you decide whether you want to read more about facilitation techniques or move to the step that discusses Learning through Play techniques.

– Loschert, K., Harper, R., Hermann, H., & Waite, W. (2019). Science of learning: What educators need to know about adolescent development. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.
– Yeager, D. S. (2017). Social-emotional learning programs for adolescents. The Future of Children, 27(1).
This article is from the free online

Coping with Changes: Social-Emotional Learning Through Play

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now