Social development in adolescence
What Is It?
There are five major social and emotional issues that teens deal with during their adolescent years. These include:
- Establishing an identity. This has been called one of the most important tasks of adolescents. The question of “who am I” is not one that teens think about at a conscious level. Instead, over the course of time, teens begin to integrate the opinions of influential others (e.g. parents, other caring adults, friends, etc.) into their own likes and dislikes. The eventual outcome is people who have a clear sense of their values and beliefs, occupational goals, and relationship expectations. People with secure identities know where they fit (or where they don’t want to fit) in their world.
- Establishing autonomy. Autonomy doesn’t mean becoming completely independent from others. It doesn’t mean teen “rebellion.” Rather than severing ties, establishing autonomy means becoming an independent and self governing person. Autonomous teens have gained the ability to make and follow through with their own decisions, live by their own set of rules about right and wrong, and be less emotionally dependent on parents. Autonomy is necessary if the teen is to become self sufficient in society.
- Establishing intimacy. Many people, including teens, equate intimacy with sex. In fact, intimacy and sex are not the same. Intimacy is usually first learned within the context of same-sex friendships, then expanded in romantic relationships. Intimacy refers to close relationships in which people are open, honest, caring and trusting. Friendships provide the first setting in which young people can practice their social skills with their equals. It is with friends that teens learn how to begin, maintain, and terminate relationships, practice social skills, and become intimate.
- Becoming comfortable with one’s sexuality. The teen years mark the first time that young people are both physically mature enough to reproduce and cognitively advanced enough to think about it. Given this, the teen years are the prime time for the development of sexuality. How teens are educated about and exposed to sexuality will largely determine whether or not they develop a healthy sexual identity. Nearly half of high school seniors report being sexually active. Many experts agree that the mixed messages teens receive about sexuality contribute to problems such as teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Achievement. Our society fosters attitudes of competition and success. Because of cognitive advances, the teen years are a time when young people can begin to see the relationship between their current abilities and plans and their future vocational goals. Teens need to figure out what they want to achieve–what they are currently good at and areas in which they are willing to strive for success.
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Just a guessby Loku
Lots of young men cannot find employment.
And it feels better if they can pass the day with others in the same situation, as oppossed to dealing with the psychic pain of seeing others who may have a little more going for them.
Finally, men at that age still like to hang out together in large groups. Kind of an extension of what they enjoyed in their late adolescence.
I am also guessing that the original poster is a female -- maybe someone who did not grow up close to brothers went through that "tribal" phase of social development.
... and so she is more likely to see this streetcorner scene as "menacing"
The Development of Romantic Relationships in Adolescence (Cambridge Studies in Social and Emotional Development)
Book (Cambridge University Press)