The person who was interviewed in this research is known by the name Ann. She is 14 years of age which means that she is in her adolescence. Her interview commenced with some physical aspects of development during her adolescence. Ann was asked questions concerning how her development has been influenced by the environment and school experiences. She indicated that her school environment had facilitated her social interaction with different people. She had made friends both from her sex and from the opposite sex. This is in tandem with Piaget’s cognitive theory, during adolescence, most people tend to socialize a lot as they discover their abilities. (Denise &Helen, 2005, p.262)
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Ann was noted to be a unique girl in the way she believed in certain things in life. She believed that she is smart enough and cannot get pregnant even if she was involved in relationships with boys. This shows the element of egocentrism in this particular development stage. As indicated by psychologists, this egocentrism is a result of hypothetical- deductive reasoning.
In the interview, the ability of Ann to interpret proverbs was tested alongside a few metaphors. She seemed to be aware of the proverbs and could even interpret the meaning to the interviewer. She was noted to be using figurative language in her speech. At her stage in life, research has indicated that most adolescents are informal operation stage of cognitive development and they can understand figurative language. (Denise &Helen, 2005, p.307)
From a social perspective, this girl has gone through some behaviors that tend to define her stage of development in life. She reports having experienced attraction especially to boys of similar age. She tended to prefer sharing items, especially at school with boys than with girls. Through social interactions facilitated by the school environment, she has been able to learn her role as a girl in the family and the entire society. This was revealed to her by her play mates and classmates in the course of learning and other social activities. This demonstrates that this girl has achieved some development socially and as a result some knowledge has also been acquired concerning the societies roles between the different sexes. Concerning her social interaction at school, it was observed that she responded harshly to unbecoming behaviors especially those coming from boys of her age towards her. (Denise&Helen, 2005, p.323)
This demonstrates that Anne is conscious of abuses and other bad behavior that she can be subjected to by her peers. Her response is an indication that she is aware of the physical and social development taking place. This reaction is part of the social development phenomenon in human beings and some people pass through without taking note of their significance. Socially still, Ann made a revelation concerning a friendship that had developed between her and another girl. The two as she mentioned were inseparable and shared so many things in common. In fact during the holidays, she claims to have been spending a lot of time with her girlfriend.
The girl seems to like the idea of company coming from friends especially in school activities. During this stage there is more time being spent with the peers than with parents. Ann confirmed that she has experienced conflicts with her parent over the time she spends out with her peers some of whom are known to be having bad behavior. This indeed confirms the theoretical argument that adolescents tend to conflict most of the time with their parents. (Okimoto, 2001) Outside home, her dressing code is actually influenced by that of the other friends. She remembers telling her mother during the holidays that she would like her hair done like that of Helen who is one of her peers. This is evident of the theory of development which claims that during adolescence, most teenagers would like to identify themselves with a particular peer group. This demonstrates a social pattern that manifests itself during this stage in life. In the interview, she admits that some of her friends were being involved in boyfriend relationships but she did not want to speak it out with her parents because they would cut off the friendship with such girls. She tended to like the idea of having a boyfriend. She expressed the fact that had it not been the harsh nature of her parents, she would be having a boyfrioiend. This is an indicator that during this stage the child is mostly influenced by the peer group than the parents. The social life of this girl seems to be lively because she seems to be very cheerful most of the time.
The peer group has a lot of contribution towards preventing depression to such an individual because of the supportive environment it provides. Concerning her physical appearance, Ann tends to like the idea of having breasts. She said that she had been really been looking forward to her breasts growing because they make her look more of a girl. She does not like the idea of being a boy. When a joke was made about her sexuality she seems to like her sexuality and would not have wished to be born a boy. (Viner et at, 2005) Ann enjoys leading other students in class during various group activities. When she was asked by the teacher to speak in front of the class, she did not shy off. This has a lot to do with her self esteem that seems to be developing. According to Denise&Helen (2005), during adolescence, self esteem and personality become more pronounced in the child.
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When asked about the physical changes that were taking place on her body, she seemed to shy off as if she did not like the whole thing. Eventually she admitted that she had started liking the changes since they contributed so much towards her personality and hence company especially at school. Concerning the reproductive cycle changes, the girl tended to escape from the questions. As the interviewer insisted, Ann revealed that she was indeed undergoing the reproductive cycle process. She claimed that the process appeared to be difficult but her mother and friends were helping her to cope with the natural processes in life. This clearly depicts the role the parents and peers play towards physical development in the adolescents. (Denise &Helen , 2005, p.322) On matters concerning sexuality, she was noted to be sexually though fear was still dominant in her. She stated that if her parents were not harsh she would get into love affairs just like some of her friends. Most people become sexually active during their adolescence as they undergo developmental changes in their body organs.
When asked a question that required thinking, it was observed that she is a girl who is capable of coming up with a logical thought process when presented with a problem. Abstract thinking is now prominent in her and she utilizes this tool to find solutions to problems in mathematics and other subjects in class. Outside school she can also apply logical reasoning to attempt to find solutions to problems that affect her. Her memory was sharp as compared children in the younger age group. This was indicated when she could easily remember some images that she was shown. This demonstrates faster information processing as the adolescent develops cognitively. (Denise &Helen, 2005, p.263)
In conclusion, the interview was a revelation of how Ann as an individual has undergone through human development stages up to her current adolescence stage. Her physical attributes and social behavior are all inline the theories of development from childhood to adulthood. Cognitively she has also undergone development and has reached the highest stage that is associated with abstract thinking and reasoning for the sake of problem solving abilities. Indeed it can be argued that her development has greatly been influenced with the environment she lives which is full of supportive materials and resources.
Denise Boyd and Helen Bee, (2005) Lifespan Development Fourth edition.
Bornstein, M. H. & Lamb, M. E. (2005). Developmental science: An advanced textbook. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2005.
Viner, Russell; Christie, Deborah (2005). “ABC of adolescence: Adolescent development”. British Medical Journal 330: 301–304.
Grossman, A.W., Churchill, J.D., McKinney, B.C., Kodish, I.M., Otte, S.L. & Greenbough, W.T. (2003). Experience effects on brain development: Possible contributions to psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 44(1), 33-63.
Okimoto, J. (2001). The appeal cycle in three cultures: An exploratory comparison of child development. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 49(1). 187-215.