Adolescent Theory

Category: Adolescence, Theories
Last Updated: 20 Jun 2022
Pages: 2 Views: 741

The theories of child development evidently depict the rational process that occurs in adolescent. The following presented in the study justify the processes that occurs in adolescent. Before concluding in the best possible theory for adolescent, let us analyze and scrutinize three major views of adolescent development.

According to the psychosocial theory of Erik Erikson, the stage of adolescent is role fidelity versus role confusion. In this stage, an adolescent begins to establish his or her own character, personality and ideations. The build of “who you are” occurs in this phase. Peers influence, social organizations and getting into fads are some of the ways that this stage utilizes to promote appropriate expression of adolescence (McCormick & Pressley, 2006, p.144-146).

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According to the Cognitive theory of Piaget, this stage of adolescent belongs to the last stage of Formal Operation stage. During this stage, the cognitive functioning is highly organized and developed. The child in this stage has the ability to grasp abstract reasoning and theoretical concepts unlike in the former stage, concrete operations, wherein the person moves only through logical operations.

This stage is the most flexible stage wherein the reasoning starts to break away from the content and goes right into thought exploration (Pelaez & Novak, 2004, p.225).

The last theory to be tackled is the psychosexual theory of Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology. The theory states that the primary contributing factor for man’s overall nature is the libido. In this theory, Freud categorized the stage of adolescence to the Genital stage. This is most advance phase in the theory of psychosexual.

It suggests that resurgence of sexual impulses occur in the genital regions of both sexes. Psychologically, this is the phase wherein attraction between the opposite sex occurs. The gratifying centers of the body are the genitals (Sperry, 2003, p.22).

In the analysis of the theories identified, psychosocial theory proves to be the most evident theory that explains the development that occurs in adolescents. It tackles mainly the social background of this particular age group; viewing the relationship mechanism that are employed in their interaction with other individuals.

The only weakness; however, is the theories reliance to sole social aspect of adolescent development. Over-all perspective view that adolescent are more inclined in social interactions than any other fields; hence, this theory proves to be the best explanatory perspective for the development of this age group.


McCormick, B. C., & Pressley, M. (2006). Child and Adolescent Development for Educators. Guilford Press.

Pelaez, M. B., & Novack, G. (2004). Child and Adolescent Development: A Behavioral Systems Approach. Sage Publications Inc.

Sperry, L. (2004). Sex, Priestly Ministry, and the Church. Liturgical Press.

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Adolescent Theory. (2016, Jun 15). Retrieved from

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