Age-stage Developmental theory (Is Adolescence defined by age? (Puberty is…
Age-stage Developmental theory
Storm and Stress
G. Stanley Hall is credited with bringing adolescence to prominence more than a century ago.
all individuals experience predictable maturation in physical, social, emotional and cognitive domains.
He used the phrase “storm and stress” as a way of capturing what was to him a tumultuous stage of development featuring challenge and disruption, especially in social and emotional domains.
Hall’s boundaries for adolescence spanned the age range of 14 to 24.
Is Adolescence defined by age?
In contemporary times, the beginning of adolescence is sometimes considered to be as young as 10 years of age. More commonly it is recognised as commencing at ages 11 or 12 years.
Puberty is also typically identified as a trigger for the commencement of adolescence.
this age varies for each person and is often several years ahead for girls compared to boys.
Puberty is also more narrowly focussed on physical development, and it is argued this may not accord with the other maturational aspects of adolescence.
the age range for the transition from adolescence to adulthood remains contested.
Some researchers point to 18-19 years or later as the end of adolescence.
Others align this transition with rituals that might serve as a moment in time to mark the change from adolescence to adulthood
Achieving voting rights
Moving out of home
A stage of development
For some theorists age is a misleading way to consider adolescence, preferring instead to consider it as a stage of development.
Hall’s ideas of adolescence portrayed historically as a time of ‘storm and stress’ has continued to be influential, with some portraying this stage as one of ‘raging hormones’ and consistently referring to this age group as ‘being in limbo’—somewhere between children and adults.
Opportunity and Growth
In this way ‘age’ and ‘stage’ have typically been used to think about adolescence.
However, in the 21st century, this narrow view of defining adolescence has been challenged and adolescence is more likely to be recognised as a time of opportunity and growth.
Everyone experiences adolescence uniquely
Interestingly, as humans, if we accept there is a stage called adolescence, then we all experience it as we journey from our childhood through to our adulthood.
What we increasingly accept is that this is a unique journey for each individual with predictable patterns that are individually experienced.