Adolescence social development concerns a teenager's development of a self-of-sense or identity. The sense of identity is influenced by a number of factors, such as the individual's peers and family life. There are several concerns linked to adolescence social development, including low self-esteem, peer pressure, and substance abuse.
As children move into adolescence, their peer group usually begins to have a greater influence on their lives than their parents or other family members. Building and maintaining relationships with peers is an essential part of adolescence social development. Teenagers need to become independent and build a sense of themselves by building relationships with others outside of the family.
Their interactions with peers is a key part of adolescence social development as it allows young people to develop their value systems and morals. Peer groups provide a contrast to the family group and can help a teenager compare and contrast her newly-forming beliefs and thoughts to those of her family. There is a risk that a peer group can too negatively impact an adolescent, though.
Some adolescents do not begin to develop their own thoughts or beliefs but instead copy those of their peers in an attempt to fit in. This is known as peer pressure. To prevent children and adolescents from making poor decisions due to pressure from their peers, parents can teach their children to recognize this influence. Often, when an adolescent knows how to recognize negative pressure, she is better able to respond to it in a positive way.
Peer acceptance from an early age is essential to healthy adolescence social development. People who have close friends are more likely to have a greater sense of self-esteem throughout life than those who are rejected by their peers. A lack of close friends can lead to other development problems and psychological concerns in adolescence as well as in adulthood.
An adolescent's family plays a key role in her social development. It does not matter whether a teenager comes from a two-parent or single parent family. What does matter is whether or not the family is attentive to her needs and is close. Adolescents from close family structures are more likely to have greater social success as well as greater success throughout life.
Some adolescents struggle with social problems, including eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and other risky behaviors. For some teenagers, these behaviors are a result of peer pressure and not having a fully developed sense of identity or values system. Others engage in risky behavior as a response to a negative home life.