The Social And Emotional Development Of An Adolescent Essay

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Observations and experience play a key role in the social and emotional development of an adolescent. From a very young age adolescents are provided with a model of right and wrong. Frequently referred to as Social Learning Theory, the actions of authority figures and peers observed by adolescents can guide their future conduct in the same way as that being observed. Social Learning Theory states that children and adolescents learn from two similar sources; experience and observation (Bandura, 1971). Through observation, adolescents view the actions and reactions presented before them in a variety of situational contexts. By way of experience, adolescents can test behavioral methods themselves in a self-regulated style, or conform to a scenario they are involuntarily placed into. The accuracy of an adolescent’s grasp of right and wrong—despite being provided multiple examples such as parents, friends, and teacher (given an adolescent has adequate socialization)—may become skewed by behavior that is justified by fellow peers and/or surrounding adults. Common examples of this are stealing to support a loved one, or cheating on a test to get a good grade. These practices may produce behavior that is viewed as unacceptable by others, however to people displaying these actions they are legitimate methods to achieving a personal goal. Living in a neighborhood ridden with crime and violence can affect an adolescent in many different ways. From poverty to general mental health

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