The Effects Of Being A Young Carer On An Adolescent 's Development

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Are adolescents really going through a time of turmoil, or is that just a stereotype? What might be the impact of being a young carer on an adolescent 's development? There pervades in both general society and in psychological research circles an idea that adolescence must be a time of psychological upset, disturbance, and turmoil (Rutter et al., 1976), and that this is a natural, unavoidable part of the lifespan. This view is based on those of many original theorists (such as Freud, Geleerd, Eissler,.) who described the mood swings, upheavals, and difficulties of adolescent psychology as verging on mental illness. Adelson (1964, pg1-5) suggested there are two views of adolescence, one based on delinquents found in negative new reports …show more content…

(1976) investigated a group of adolescents on the Isle of Wight, age 14-15, comparing blind psychiatric diagnoses for two groups, one random and the others with high ‘deviant’ scores on a behavioural questionnaire. They found that ‘inner turmoil’ (in this case described as miserable feelings and low self-esteem) was quite common, and the diagnosis of psychiatric conditions was slightly more frequent during this period than in earlier childhood, with an increase in depression.
However, Larson et al. (1980) used self-reports from 900 adolescents, aiming to ‘evaluate the widespread theoretical assumption that adolescents experience greater mood variability as part of a syndrome of psychosocial disequilibrium’. While they confirmed that adolescents appear to have bigger and quicker mood swings, they disputed the conclusion that these swings indicate ‘turmoil’, as the variation was not linked to stress, lack of control or psychological or social maladjustment. They conclude, “Variability is not a malady of adolescents, but may well be an obstacle to their growth.” (p. 488). Further disputing the stereotype is a more recent study by van de Wetering et al. (2010) investigated happiness among Dutch adolescents. They found a high level of happiness among their subjects, with a score of 7.69 out of 10, supporting previous findings from around the world (Gilman & Huebner, 2003; UNICEF 2007). However other studies, while reporting overall high

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