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The Needs and Problems Encountered by the Adolescent in the Process of Adjusting to Their Environment

“The Needs and Problems Encountered by the Adolescent in the Process of Adjusting to Their Environment”

Firstly, adolescent is a period of transition from childhood which implies many developmental changes. Hall called this period as period of storm and stress brought within many problems in adolescent. Hilgand, Atkinson (1975) has laid emphasis on the cultural conditions as the causes of problem in adolescence. Although adjustment to continual change is characteristic of human growth, adolescence constitutes the period of most striking and far reaching changes. It is during this time that one mistake the transition from childhood to adult life. The success with which the individual copes with the demands and problems of adolescence will determine to a large extent, the person he is as adult Blain Jones, Simpson (1975).

This adolescent, because of his ambiguous status (being neither a child nor adult) frequently finds himself involved in, unknown conflicts with younger children and adults in the family, and other members of the community. He wants to be grown up and sometimes feels that he is not

understood or not given enough responsibility for him own acts. Adolescents are particularly sensitive with respect to the opinions of their peers and generally value the judgment to their age mates more highly than those of adult. During adolescence, an extreme sensitivity is also exhibited in regard to personal defects or some characteristics that deviate greatly from the norm. Many adolescents give the impression that many are insecure, statistics have revealed that during this period, delinquently and emotional problems of many types reach their peak.

For many adolescents the transaction to adult life process smoothly, for others the problems and conflicts have a long history (and trouble in adolescence are but further manifestation of earlier troubles) These problems may relate to family unity, personal psychology to adjustment in school as well as problems associated with adolescent cognitive development and problems committed with parent’s adolescent conflicts.


A child does not develop and grow in a vacuum and neither in immutable. He grows within an environment which is composed of a network of forces. The home is one of such environment the child is exposed to and in fact, the home environment produces the first and perhaps the most insistent and suitable influence on the mental personality development of adolescent’s adjustment is the home environment.

According to Onyehalu (1986) wrote that the home environment many handicap a child in life or it may be a source of special advantage. He opined that extremely poverty gives birth to a home environment that men adversely influence the child’s performance in the society. This is because children from poor homes and environment do not get enough intellectual stimulation. It is generally found that parents in the homes are uneducated, and lack some general knowledge and here less intellectual Interest to pass on to their children there fore, it is not surprising that children from homes such as these many find it difficult to keep up with those who live in healthier their and more stimulating conditions.

Durojaiye (1976) contrtbuting to our understanding of how home environment could nurture or retard a child said that parents should see the need to educate their children provide facilities and opportunities at home for child to support what he has learnt. A child who lack this conditions depends on nature rather than nurture because of the poor environmental stimulation that should enhance but retards his potentials.

Many empirical studies have also delved into the connection between and students school adjustment. These studies indicate that family environment influence greatly student academic achievement in school, and that the family environment itself is determined by socio economic educational characterizes of the parents, parents style, vices in the home, family instability, sibling and parents – child unity. This become more convincing when he realize that parents desire an ability to provide a conducive stimulating environment is hinged on their social material conditions and awareness.

Adolescence in usually considered as a time of storm and stress when conflict in natural, inheritable and even necessary. Nevertheless, this image of the conflict – laden adolescents and generation – gap is not supported by all authorities. Even though adolescence is often projected negatively some authors conclude that conflict is natural and or caused by the adolescent or that a generation – gap actually exist. They conclude that the generation gap is actually not a gap between generations, but more actually a gap associated with socio-economic status, race and religion.

How “parents” Obviously affect unity with adolescents. As Bybee (1979) observed that one problem confronting all parents is the definition of Discipline. Do children have to be discipline? Does discipline means punishment?

Bybee pointed out that the natural of child and adolescent’s abuse exemplifies

in effective solutions to this problem. If the one of physical punishment models this behavior for children and justifies its use to solve problems, abused children will become abusers themselves.

Alexander (1973) states clearly that normal families appear to facilitate more of the independent parent like styles of communication (supportiveness) in their adolescent’s offspring while deviant families do not. Although no reasoned difference in conflict is given. Alexander implies that the problem is generational. Bad parenting leads to conflict adolescents and worse parenting when these adolescents become parents. Although there is no immediat4y apparent reason why some families handle parent adolescent conflict effective and some do not, the usual socialization processes helps families gain the normal skills necessary to resolve conflict. In addition, experience is probably a strong fact. A family that handles it effectively in future. However, as an adolescent moves towards his peers, expectations and behaviours change and become focal point for much conflict.

According to Schenk and Schenk (1978) suggest these alternatives when parents adolescents conflict occurs: (1) Throw the youth out of the home; (2) Hang on as long as possible; (3) Teach the family new skills.

Approaching the problem from another angle, Wenz (1979) studied the

sociological correlates of adolescent suicide attempt were related to alienation.

Wenz found the following eight variables to be identified with a high degree to alleviation (ranked from most to least influential)

• Lack of social contact with oars

• Conflict with parents

• Broken romance

•  Low economic status

• Communication problems with parents

• Poor school performance

• Step parent presence at home

• Broken home.


 Social problems are those problems of imbalance in the ways of association in the society on one had, and conversely an approach to solutions to social problems. These solutions may be found in balanced interconnection with the constant release of tensions associated with imbalance. The schooling adolescents have received a relatively low standard of experiences

According to Chanhan (1991) this social intelligence is the “ability” of an individual to react to social situation of daily life”. But the question is whether the form of school social environment of the schooling adolescents is identical to the present one in the society. These can not definitely be the same hence the need for a social adjustment to the new environment.

People show to what extent they have adjusted or adopted to the Social environment by their reaction of behavior. This reaction could be positive or negative. For the adolescents, various conflicts arise at this period because the parents see it as their duty to guide them and take decisions on their behalf which they feel will be in the best interest of the adolescent. Interestingly, this attitude by parents, guardians and significant others knows as paternalism is very rampant in the Nigerian society where they (parents and significant others) see it as a time where their wards abide by their opinion and which most of the time led to adolescents not being allowed to perform tasks or take decisions on their own. Incidentally, paternalism which is being examined alongside with the adjustment patterns of adolescence is taken to men any interference by means of the law or otherwise with a persons’ liberty of action, where the interference is justified solely by reference to the welfare, good, happiness, interest and needs of the person whose freedom is being interfered with (Arthur, 1990). For proper understanding of effect of home environmental factors of adjustment problems of urban and rural adolescents, Piaget in Onyejiaku (1991) asserted that adolescent’s hope can be accelerated or retarded as a function of cultural and educational conditions. This means when the above mentioned conditions are not properly met, the adolescent actualization is hindered. Therefore, they have to be properly taken care of.


Prepare middle school students for the developmental changes associated with early adolescence.   Early adolescence is a time when dramatic changes occur in a child’s physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development. During this transitional time in life, young adolescents need teachers who are knowledgeable about the changes that transpire at the onset of puberty and whoare empathetic to the needs of young people at this stage in life (Tippett, 1994).

Furthermore, teachers must be prepared to help young adolescents understand and deal with the sometimes confusing array of changes and emotional shifts they are likely to experience during this period (Strahan & Van Hoose, 1994).

Be responsive to individual differences and variation in young adolescent growth patterns.  The variation among individual students is tremendous during the transition from childhood to adolescence. Extreme differences are evident in height and weight and in rate of maturation during the middle grade years. Because children will not exhibit the same developmental changes at the same time or in the same way during these years, a number of children in middle school classes will be ‘out of step’ with their peers (Paikoff & Brooks-Gunn,

1991). Teachers need to be prepared for a considerable amount of variation in the maturational changes of their middle school students and be prepared for how young adolescents will react to and experience these changes (Lounsbury, 1994; Strahan & Van Hoose, 1994). This variation among children presents unique challenges to the middle school teacher. By designing instructional strategies that will be effective with a diverse group of young adolescents, teachers can be sensitive and responsive to individual needs, differences, and concerns of their students. Incorporate research-based knowledge about parent- adolescent conflict into the family and consumer sciences curriculum. Family relationships undergo a transformation during the transition to adolescence that is

often accompanied by an increase in conflict between adolescents and their parents. Teachers and students alike need to realize that conflict is a normal and expected component of adolescent -parent relationships that often escalates during this time as young people push for more independence, challenge parental authority, and seek rationales for parental demands (Santrock, 2000). This reality provides an educational opportunity for middle school teachers,

Especially in grades six and seven, to discuss the disagreements that young adolescents experience in their relationships with parents and help them to explore their feelings and frustrations about conflict. In addition, the prevalence of conflict in family relationships during this time provides a personally meaningful context for identifying and exploring alternative problem solving and coping strategies, as well as conflict resolution strategies. The incorporation of the research on parent- adolescent conflict into the family and consumer sciences curriculum enhances the educational and learning objectives of the middle school program while helping young people to strengthen and improve family relationships.

Recognize that gender may be an important factor in parent- adolescent conflict during the middle school years.

The research literature on parent- adolescent conflict has indicated that while conflict is normative during the early years of adolescence, it is particularly evident in interactions between female adolescents and their mothers (Laursen, 1995; Montemayor, 1982). Middle school teachers, therefore, need to be aware of, and prepared for, the possibility that male and female

students in their classrooms may not be experiencing the same frequency or intensity of conflict with parents, that the conflict more often involves mothers than fathers and that the mother-daughter relationship may be more strained during this period. Class discussions that contrast typical disagreements with mothers and fathers and compare the experiences of females and

males within the class would be instructive in emphasizing the potential importance of gender in family conflicts and aid in the development of effective resolution strategies.  Educate parents about developmental characteristics and changes that young people confront

during adolescence Because development takes place in the context of the home and the school environment, family and consumer sciences teachers should serve as a link between early adolescents and their families (Smith & Ndon, 1994)

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