Psychological Development: Adolescence


Adolescence is a stage of development whereby people experience interpersonal, emotional, and cognitive changes. These young individuals encounter numerous challenges and opportunities from the external environment, peers, cultural values, media outlets, and learning institutions. They undergo various psychological and physical changes that prepare them for complex roles and responsibilities as adults. Different theorists have managed to present evidence-based models and theories to describe the nature of psychological development during adolescence. This paper gives a detailed analysis of this topic using Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual development theory.

Discussion of Theory

Sigmund Freud’s framework begins by describing childhood as a period of struggling with the id and the ego. Children rely on the power of the ego to have their id identified or expressed (Santamaría-García et al., 2018). In his theory, Freud asserts that human behavior is driven by the desire to fulfill biological expectations or demands. He uses these key stages that take place from childhood to adulthood: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital (Santamaría-García et al., 2018). According to the theorist, adolescence is a period characterized by personal struggle and anxiety. During the latency period or stage, the individual is trying to strike a balance between the id and the ego. The genital phase disrupts the existing instinctual ideas and impulses, thereby resulting in a period of great turmoil, stress, and unhappiness.

Purpose of the Theory

Freud’s theory is essential since it provides evidence-based insights for understanding some of the unique challenges adolescents have to go through in their lives. This developmental stage becomes an opportunity for parents to offer timely guidelines for encouraging them to have clear goals in life and overcome stress (Santamaría-García et al., 2018). The conflict between id and ego makes it impossible for these young individuals to identify their gender roles or engage in activities that can eventually make them successful. Freud’s theory, therefore, remains a powerful guideline for learning more about adolescence as a critical stage of human psychological development.

Topic Identification and Definition

Young people below the age of 20 grapple with a wide range of mental, social, and psychological issues that can either make or break them. These teenagers focus mainly on their body images and the influence they might receive from their peers. Their bodies begin to develop new features that were unknown to them before. The stage compels them to engage in personal reflection and experimentation. Consequently, they start to develop a sense of independence, become moody, learn to express their feelings and thoughts, and conclude that their parents might never be perfect (Choate, 2015). They start to form and enjoy new friendships with their peers. The consideration of these attributes can make it possible for psychologists, health professionals, parents, guardians, and even teachers to be involved and present personalized support to ensure that these individuals grow up to become responsible young adults.

In the United States, adolescents form a significant majority of the population and, therefore, require adequate support and empowerment. Choate et al. believe that such citizens are usually at risk of engaging in unprotected sexual activities, binge drinking, and reckless driving. Chung indicates that “underage drinkers ages 12 to 20 typically consume 2 to 3 drinks usually consumed by adults” (2018, p. 5). Additionally, Eker et al. observed that around 12.6 percent of adolescents were overweight and 2.6 percent was obese (2018). This means that the confusion affecting this age group impacts their health practices. Similarly, Choate indicates that many young individuals below the age of 20 tend to purchase and use illicit substances, such as bhang and cocaine (2018). These statistics reveal that these young citizens experience numerous challenges that require evidence-based policies and strategies to support their needs.


The above statistics reveal that the use of Freud’s theory can present superior insights to guide policymakers and psychologists to learn more about the mental functions and developments of individuals between 12 and 20 years of age. This topic is essential since it supports the introduction of superior concepts and strategies that psychologists can utilize to guide more adolescents and make it easier for them to overcome the above tensions (Eker et al, 2018). Within the selected field, researchers can apply the topic to understand how different conditions, environments, and resources encourage more adolescents to focus on their lives, make meaningful decisions, and eventually succeed in life. This knowledge can also guide psychologists to consider new strategies that can guide parents to provide additional support to their children.


The above discussion has presented Freud’s theory as a powerful model for learning more about the psychological changes and developments that take place in the mind of every adolescent. The paper has gone further to present this population as a group that encounters diverse challenges, including drug abuse, sexual activeness, and lack of personalized support. The use of this theory can make it easier for psychologists and parents to present additional ideas that can guide more adolescents to achieve their aims and become competent or responsible adults.


Choate, P. W. (2015). Adolescent alcoholism and drug addiction: The experience of parents. Behavioral Sciences, 5(4), 461-476. Web.

Chung, T., Creswell, K. G., Bachrach, R. L., & Clark, D. B. (2018). Adolescent binge drinking: Developmental context and opportunities for prevention. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 39(1), 5-15.

Eker, H. H., TaĹźdemir, M., Mercan, S., Mucaz, M., Bektemur, G., Ĺžahinoz, S., & Ă–zkaya, E. (2018). Obesity in adolescents and the risk factors. Turkish Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 64(1), 37-45. Web.

Santamaría-García, H., González-Gadea, M. L., Tella, R. D., Ibáñez, A., & Sigman, M. (2018). The interplay between sharing behavior and beliefs about others in children during dictator games. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 166, 451-464. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Psychological Development: Adolescence'. 4 January.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Psychological Development: Adolescence." January 4, 2023.

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PsychologyWriting. "Psychological Development: Adolescence." January 4, 2023.