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Adolescent Observation Paper

Decent Essays
I observed two different adolescents, on the same day, at different locations. The first was an adolescent female, who looked to be between fourteen and fifteen years of age, the second was a male, perhaps only a year or two older than her.
I was sitting in my car at Sonic; I ordered and subsequently waited on my food. As I did, I began to watch three teenage girls (all Caucasian) that were about fifty yards from my car. They were laughing and talking among themselves, albeit loudly. The girl I was watching in particular, was hitting her friend with the back of her hand, and rotating from her hips to continue to hit her friend as they talked. At one point she gave one of her friends a piggy-back ride up and down the sidewalk. Hanging out with
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She did not look around much either, which is something I thought everyone did, or perhaps that is just what I do. She seemed to be thinking hard about something, and keeping to herself. Her expression was static, more or less a detached look that left her un-phased by the things and people that were around her. I theorized that she was likely waiting for someone to pick her up, a family member perhaps. I left before she did. This was a display of her responsibility, or her parent’s belief in her responsibility, to be left alone as she waited. The text tells us that adolescence marks a time of increasing responsible behaviors (Brandman University, n.d.-c). An individual who has positive childhood experiences with attachment will have positive relationships as an adult (Brandman University, n.d.-a). Given that all I witnessed of this young lady was her having a good time then sitting quietly and being solitary and still, I would predict that she has secure attachments with her family. She did not appear distressed at any point during the twenty to thirty minutes that I observed her. None of her behavior seemed apart from the norm, and there were no distressing issues…show more content…
I did notice both individuals being alone, which is not the natural state for a teenager. Both were seemingly unfettered by others looking at them. My own son has explained to me social anxiety is only an issue when the teen doesn’t feel “cool”, when they feel “cool” they are not worried about evaluation. It is when they do not that things become an issue. “Cool” is subjective, after all.
I felt as though many of my expectations going into this assignment were different than what I actually witnessed. It is probably due to the short observational period, rather than an indicator of “the new-norm” in adolescent behavior, or profound luck at observing the only two well-behaved teenagers in the state. Therefore, my take-away from this assignment is that I have preconceived notions of expected teenage behavior, that I have constructed from my time with my own children. I expected too, to see more activity than I did.
Adolescence is a time of stressful transition for teenagers. They are straddling the fence between childhood and adulthood. Changes in their bodies, brains, thinking, values, friends, responsibilities and expectations cause events that are usually a time fraught with turbulence, for both the teen and their parents. This is a normal part of human development, and must be endured in order to come out the other side, hopefully well-adjusted, happy, healthy, and
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