Understanding the Adolescent: Typical and Atypical Development

Course Description:

Session amounts may vary based on the individual needs of the organization.

For individuals, please contact us for more information.

This will assist participants in understanding the physical, mental, and psychosocial transition between childhood and adulthood. In addition, the course will address how typical adolescent development can be thrown off track by physical and environmental circumstances such as gestational drug exposure and childhood trauma.

Participants will be expected to actively engage in exercises, to discuss reading assignments, and share personal experiences, insights and challenges relating to work with adolescent clients.

Course Outline:

Description

Topic Area: Typical Adolescent Development

Pre-Assessment Participant’s understanding of adolescent behavior

Goals

Participants will understand basic developmental changes typical adolescents experience in the following areas: physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and moral.

Participants will have increased empathy for the challenges of the adolescent through awareness of their own struggles during adolescents.

Participants will understand how race, class and culture are related to adolescent development

Objectives

Participants will be able to discus at least three challenges faced by typical adolescents.

Participants will be able to discuss how development in at least three separate areas influences and interacts with development in other areas.

Participants will understand the range of individual differences of all adolescents and be able to discus at least three implications of these difference on their work with this population

Participants will be able to discus at least three ways in which race, class and culture are related to adolescent development

Teaching Points 

  • Rapid physical changes occur during adolescents including the development of secondary sex characteristics.
  • Intellectual development includes
  • Developing advanced reasoning skills
  • Developing abstract thinking skills
  • Psycho-Social Development includes
  • Achieve a new level of closeness and trust with peers
  • Acquiring a new status in the family and push for greater autonomy in the family and the outside world
  • Establish a personal identity
  • Moral development includes
  • Integrating parental and societal concepts of right and wrong into a personal code of ethics.
  • Early biological trauma includes:
  • Gestational exposure to drugs, Birth trauma, Poor early nutrition
  • Negative environmental factors include:
  • Abuse, Neglect, Poverty
  • Additional factors that can effect development:
  • Adoption, Divorce
  • Exploration of how these various challenges can interfere with the typical course of adolescent development
  • Topic Area: Atypical Development

Goals    

Participants will understand how a variety of early environmental factors can interfere with the course of adolescent development

Participants will understand how to better relate to the atypical adolescent

Objectives     

  • Participants will be able to list at least four ways in which early biological trauma has an impact on the typical course of adolescent physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development
  • Participants will be able to discuss at least three ways negative environmental factors can interfere with the typical course of social, intellectual, and moral development
  • Participants will be able to label at least four indicators that a person is experiencing atypical development
  • Participants will be able to identify at least two ways they can support families in cases in which there is atypical adolescent development

Teaching Points 

  • Exploration of signs and symptoms of atypical development
  • Issues of race, class and culture in atypical development
  • Examination of mediating factors that can help development stay on track despite biological or environmental challenges
  • Exploration of how attendees interact with adolescents and suggestions for more constructive ways to reach goals.
  • Post-Assessment: Participant’s understanding of adolescent development