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Diane Ocaranza

Professor Franklin
Course HD 497
27 September 2015
Course HD 320-Contemporary Urban Adolescents
Contemporary Urban Adolescents class became a work in progress for my work
in understanding and being of aid to the adolescent community. The courses concepts
revolve around the adolescent stage; the same stage many adults refer to as The
Troubled Stage. In fact, we learn to comprehend the issues that arise during the
adolescent stage, such as behavioral patterns, early sexuality, unemployment or
underemployment; peer pressure, gangs, drug use, teen pregnancy; AIDS and other
sexually transmitted diseases.
Each topic is analyzed from a developmental perspective. We were asked to
describe our view of the adolescent stage, and once having learned different theoretical
and proven developmental facts, to then compare and contrast both our views with the
theoretic concepts, in which later on, we explained how these apply to our past adolescent
experience. We did so by reading different books emphasizing on adolescents, and
discussing our past adolescent experiences during class; and giving our feedback through
our class journal writings, and through our interview and research papers on adolescence.
In this class I discovered that the adolescent stage does not stop at eighteen or
nineteen-years-old, it actually stops as late as twenty-four-years-old or more in other
circumstances. Knowing this fact helped me understand why many young adults remain
behaving as if they are adolescents. Well, the evident fact is that most individuals are

developing a level of maturation at a much later stage in life than was expected by most
psychologists.
The developmental delay can be attributed to a multitude of elements. We have
children who hit the adolescent stage facing insecurities because many have been raised
in single parent homes, where either a maternal or paternal figure is not present; some are
coping with peer pressure or bullying in their neighborhoods and schools, which causes
these teenagers to become intimidated or afraid to flourish as their true-self, thus a
delayed in their personal/developmental process begins, others experience psychological
or physical traumas, which creates a sense of distrust not only in themselves, but others
and new things as well. Essentially, issues with adolescent development derive from
variations of life complications throughout individuals birth to adolescence.
Hence, we learn that these life complications, in most cases create in adolescents
a pathological pattern throughout adulthood. We learned that everything and everyone
surrounding a child impacts the childs personality development all the way into
adolescence. Furthermore, when we wonder why most adolescents engage in risky
behaviors or act without thinking first, it is because the brain has not fully developed the
pre-frontal cortex, which is where humans process decision-making. Learning these facts
allowed me to see the teenage stage with unlimited empathy and compassion. This stage
is a stage I would like to work with in the future, and offer ways to better their maturing
process, while also helping adolescents adapt to the changes and life difficulties this stage
may bring.