The period of adolescence is one of the most fundamental stages of human mental and physical development. During this time, the socialization process slowly starts to have a lesser influence on the individual than in childhood. New perspectives and views could be formed while a person interacts with peers, social media, and different areas of human activity. The significant influence on adolescents shifts from parents’ to peers and can have ambiguous results.
The notorious chief change present in adolescents compared to children lies in their comprehension of ideas and thinking process. Namely, they enter the formal operational stage described by Piaget, which indicates the emergence of the ability to think abstractly, creatively, and without any additional resources. For example, people aged twelve can solve tasks without visualizing them but using just their minds. Thus, Piaget’s formal operational stage of development influences a person’s reasoning, making them operate with terms less attached to reality.
Furthermore, the dominance of parents’ influence on a child transforms into an increased impact on peers’ actions and views. The lessening of parental control is connected to the formation of independent thinking in adolescents. The complete loss of reliance on parents may lead a minor to be dominated by strangers who have harmful intentions. Consequently, an individual may concede to a toxic environment or become involved in trouble, such as addiction.
Thus, a moderate interference of parents can be beneficial for a person since they could be supportive and advisive in adverse situations. In turn, peers receive more power of influence because individuals interact with them more often and see them as true society representatives. On one side, a child might develop a misconception that all people are like their peers, which is virtually not so. That would bring issues when a person would try to communicate with people from other areas or social strata. On the other side, being separated and unimpacted by peers would make a person distant from society and induce problems in achieving wellbeing. Therefore, the change in the distribution of influence has positive effects as well as harmful.
To conclude, the period of adolescence marks the end of society’s influence on a person without them criticizing it. In contrast with a child, a teenager reflects on matters being suggested or instilled in them. The development of formal operational thinking allows adolescents to separate from the sphere of exclusively parental impact. Peers start to determine the worldview and action of an individual.