The Impact of the Adolescence Period on Adulthood
April 22 2013
With the Adolescence Period being a rather recent construct of society, transitioning away from children immediately taking on an adult role, such as working or earning money for the family, and instead gradually gaining knowledge and life experience in a school setting, it's importance is noticeable. Adolescence marks the foundation for young adulthood, following the ideas demonstrated in the Family Life Cycle Theory, and both Riegel and Pearlin's theories. By delaying adulthood, youth are allowed to individualize themselves, according to the Family Life Cycle, forming who they are from their family of origin, their peers from school, and other relationships. They develop at their own rate, dependent on what they are exposed to, keeping in respect to their 4 dimensions (Riegel). With a greater developmental period, adolescents become more able to cope with the varying amounts of stress that accompany an adult throughout their life time (Pearlin). The passage Adolescence illustrates the importance of building stable relationships with one's family and being able to successfully make the transition between adolescence and adulthood with the necessary tools.
Moving on to adulthood is seen as a normative event and expected to occur after completing adolescence (Family Life Cycle). However, many of the events in Adolescence are far from being considered normal. The daughter from No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girls decides to move out after arguing with her parents and try living life away from the comforts of home (Kostash). Although women tend to leave home earlier than men (StatCan 2009), it is unexpected for a teenage girl to leave home due to family stresses. The daughter is not yet able to handle the situation she has put herself in, shown through her sobbing and fixation on discussing herself as a failure, because she has transitioned too quickly into assuming an adult role.
The daughters in Morgan's Passing (Anne Tyler) show Riegel's dimensions and how changing one has an impact on the others. Morgan, the father, notices that as his daughters age (biological dimension), they appear to be less affectionate towards him, criticizing his appearance (psychological dimension) and habits such as smoking (cultural/sociological dimension). He seems less important to them, more peripheral, not as in control (environmental dimension). Even though it is natural for adolescence to drift away from their parents and pursue their own paths, it is equally important for relations between father and daughter to stay strong so to maintain intimate relationships.
Stress only intensifies with age. Learning proper stress coping methods before entering the adult world is essential, as demonstrated through the readings in Adolescence. Morgan is clearly experiencing some stress, realizing that his daughters are