When you assess and treat adolescents, you must take into account developmental issues and environmental factors just as you do in interventions with children—the topic you addressed in Week 8. Adolescence is a turbulent period, as teens and pre-teens experience tremendous developmental changes cognitively, emotionally, and physically. At the same time, a host of environmental or outside influences affect the adolescent, including cultural practices, neighborhood and school interactions, friend groups and other social connections, and activities such as athletic and music programs. In addition, adolescents have personal characteristics that affect their ways of thinking and behavior such as their sexual orientation or disabilities.
As a clinical social worker, you need to look broadly for the important influences in the lives of your adolescent clients. For example, you may notice that a particular aspect of a client’s development appears delayed or overdeveloped. Or, as you interview your adolescent client, you may learn about environmental factors that may harm or support his or her personal development.
For this week’s Discussion, you draw upon your clinical experience with adolescents, as well as this week’s Learning Resources to consider how environmental influences and personal characteristics may affect an adolescent’s developmental maturation.
Please note: There are numerous environmental influences, personal characteristics, and developmental issues you may address in this Discussion. You may select ones identified in the Learning Resources or others based on your knowledge of adolescent development and clinical experience.
With these thoughts in mind:
Select one of the major developmental changes (puberty, movement toward adulthood, sexual exploration, peer orientation, etc.) that occurs during adolescence and one environmental influence (culture, SES, etc.) or personal characteristic (sexual orientation, disability, etc.) that may affect that developmental change.
Post by Day 4 the developmental change and environmental influence or personal characteristic you selected. Then, explain three ways in which this influence or characteristic may affect a person’s maturation regarding the developmental change you selected.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources, citing all references in APA format.