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Human Development Essay

3054 words - 13 pages

This assignment is going to outline the key aspects of adolescent’s development and what problems adolescents have to deal with as they grow and what risk factors are involved. It will also look at key issues faced during the three stages of adulthood and will define stress and grief. A situation will be explained that I observed as an officer and there will be an explanation on how police can work more effectively within a community.

As children grow into adolescents they go through many changes in their development. These include physical, personal, cognitive and social changes. All of these changes go into making the ...view middle of the document...

Another key aspect in adolescent development is cognitive development. An adolescents thought’s, according to Santrock (1999), becomes more abstract, logical and idealistic, (p 339). No longer are their thoughts set firm, they are now able to examine their own thoughts, others thoughts of themselves and where they want to be in the world. Some may become religious and others may think more philosophically. Cognitive development can be viewed as an adolescent’s changing view of themselves.

Social development is said, according to Bird & Drewery (2000), was considered by David Elkind (1976) to have a negative side: he postulated a new kind of egocentrism in adolescence, (p 156). His view states that adolescents are selfish and troublesome. Everything the adolescent does they imagine as being watched by others. They look upon themselves as being in the spotlight, and find it very hard to see another’s point on view. The view that nothing can hurt them, lingers and therefore they take risk, such as; no contraception during sex and drug/alcohol experimentation. Unfortunately, social development in adolescence brings with it many problems that they have to face and deal with, making growing up more of a challenge for them.

Youth criminal offending and behaviour is of major concern in New Zealand. As the years go on there is an unwanted increase of, more violent and serious crimes committed. According to Claridge (2003), in 1992, there were 59 serious assaults by youth offenders; last year there were 125. Similar trends follow for homicides, aggravated robbery and violent sexual assaults. Total violent crimes committed by teens increased from 239 in 1992 to 359 in 2002.

Often youth offenders come from families that have many problems and are unable to cope. Some factors contributing are, substance/alcohol/drug abuse, mixing with antisocial peers, their environment, poor supervision, abuse and neglect and their own needs/wants that may lead to crime. Fortunately many of these can be changed with intervention and help but there are other factors that cannot be changed, such as, their age, gender, prior offences/convictions and when they first committed an offence. This is why early intervention and assistance is needed before the youth goes on to commit offences as an adult.

Suicide amongst adolescent in New Zealand has become a major problem for our country. New Zealand is said to have one of the highest rates amongst industralised (OECD) countries. Abuse, low income, alcohol/substance abuse, depression, peer pressure and psychiatric problems are contributing factors. Young and old people attempt suicide because they feel they have no other way out, indicating the lack of support they feel. Adolescent’s attempts are more likely to end in hospitalisation, whereas, adult attempts are most likely to succeed in death. New Zealand has implemented a Youth...

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