Educating Parents on Hazards of Adolescence That Can enable them to Grow Their Teens as a Healthy Adult


Vidya Bhagat1*, Nordin Bin Simbak1, Sheila Menon2

1Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia,

2Faculty of London College of Clinical Hypnosis Asia

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



Adolescence characterized the highest rate of neurodevelopment; their levels of cognitive, social and emotional capacities relatively at the peak. Transiting from childhood to adulthood intensively preparing for the responsibilities of adulthood is challenging for adolescents. It is a period of stress and storms the pressures of modern day life can affect a child’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Thus, there is a need for parental awareness regarding various biological and psychological factors involved in their adaption process. The current review study aims to explore different aspects of an adaption process and need for parental awareness. This literature review was completed using electronic databases. The current study had analyzed 70 articles from the years 1933 to 2018. Reviewed articles had explored an adolescent behavior from different a perspective and also learned the need for parental awareness to stand beside adolescents to promote their identity formation process. The study concludes in its place of stigmatizing adolescents are weird conceptualize the wonderful part of them. Further, the study suggests that governmental and non-governmental organizations conduct should conduct awareness programs for the parents and teachers, and educators to promote adolescent health and wellbeing. The current review study had analyzed that weirdness and wonderfulness in adolescents’ behavior. Further study concludes parents and teachers should be aware of these lifespan developmental facts that adolescents’ undergo. Developing awareness among parents and educators can change their perspective towards adolescence. Parents and teachers need to conceptualize wonderful qualities in adolescents like neuronal plasticity, ability to flex, quick learning and adaptability may help to mend adolescents to grow as a healthy adult.


KEYWORDS: Adolescence, adaption process, identity formation, parental awareness




Adolescence is a period that prepares a child to take the role of an adult and also intensely prepare for the responsibilities of adulthood. Children get into adulthood are marked the completion of various developmental tasks involved in the integration of physiological, psychological, intellectual, and sociocultural development. This developmental process delineates as being related to maturity. Most of the current researches


focus on how adolescents develop identities in their contemporary context. Also, the empirical work focuses on the perceived developmental status such as age and psychosocial maturation.  One of the previous studies focused on intra-individual development and psychosocial maturation aspects of identity; researchers examined the traits such as independence, confidence, and responsibility in adolescents. [1] This period of lifespan undergoes two major tasks; psychological separation-individuation and the resolution of the identity crisis. Psychological separation-individuation is the process that renegotiates the parent-child relationship. The resolution of the identity crisis synthesizes the past and present. These two tasks in adolescents reintegrate their selves; thus the young adults assume their place in society. A significant relationship was observed between specific factors of psychological separation-individuation and the identity formation process by the researchers. [2]


The adolescent behavior is weird specifically their emotional reactions; they hold wonderful qualities like flexibility, learning new things, and giving up habits. One of the examined researches revealed adolescents inability effectively regulate their behavior in real-world situations. [3] This fact signifies understanding and supporting adolescents for mending them into a healthy adult.


The adolescence is a delicate period and heightened vulnerability for risk behaviors; there is a gap between emotion, cognition, and behavior.  This fact has to be well understood since it has important implications for many aspects of normative and atypical development that take place in this period of the life-span. Previous literature had revealed normative development in adolescents provides a framework to understand age differences in judgment and decision-making, in risk-taking and sensation-seeking behaviors. [4]



To explore different aspects of an adaption process

To signify the need for parental awareness

The literature review had explored various aspects influencing the adaption process in adolescents as a part of forming an independent role in society.


Table 1: Shows different aspects influencing the adaption process in adolescents

Aspects influencing the adaption process in adolescents


Individuation process and identity formation


Cognitive and affective development in adolescence


Family system and adaption process


Psychoanalytical views on stress and storm


Psychosocial perspective on an identity crisis


Brain development and behavioral changes in adolescence


Individuation process and identity formation

The individuation process is part of developmental progression. The individuation construct shows increased self-awareness. Individuation process is closely related to self-awareness. The differences in individuation and self-awareness levels among adolescents are noticeable. In the self-awareness construct adolescents develop understanding regarding psychological processes within themselves varyingly in early, mid and late adolescence. This developing construct increases children ability to perceive themselves psychologically separate from parents. They gain clearly over higher awareness of understanding personal capabilities, intentions and complexities as autonomous from parents. On the other hand, the individuation construct develops the concept of the self within a relational context with the family and others. [5]

Individuation process in late adolescence demonstrates that individual can coordinate and incorporate the parental perspectives with their own idea.  In this age of life they perceive themselves as autonomous and are able to create holistic views integrating their own viewpoints varying parents and others. This period of life there is a lot of compromises and acceptance in coordinating and integrating of varying viewpoints.  Adolescents perceive the distinction from parents, but remain related to them in order to maintain the parent child bonding, also their own individuality and identity. At this level, individuals develop an appreciation for parental support and long-term influence as an important part of individual values. The greater equality in the relationship enables individuals to recognize parental needs such as reliance on their children. [6]


Adolescence period in life span development is considered to be the most intense peer influencing one. Adolescents are the units of parental family and occupied their social roles throughout their childhood towards whom parents exerted important socialization functions, entering in to adolescence their socialization is also influenced by their peers; the adolescent development proceeds in response to peer or to parental influences. Adolescents occupy their social roles as part of a family unit throughout the development until late childhood; during this time parents influence their socialization; entering into adolescence their socialization influenced by their peers, and the adolescent development proceeds in response to both peer and parental influences. [7] The learned fact that the existence of a generation gap with adolescents is assumed to be a reason as for why the adolescent function completely independent and go contrary to the world of adults.[8] Previous literature evidence that stresses emerges from the strong adolescent subcultures and the increased separation between parents from their adolescent children. Indeed, the emergence of these distinct subcultures attributed to structural changes in the social organization that takes place in adolescence. Perhaps, adolescents spend more time in schools with their peers of own age thus found with reduced responsibilities for participation in the family. [9] Wadding of from parents and other adults is assumed to result in the removal of the parental ability to influence their adolescent children. These changes can lead to stress in adolescents as well as parents of adolescents.


Cognitive and affective development in adolescence:

Though the adolescence reaches their peak in their cognitive and affective development getting control over these two domains takes a long time because of changing the brain in these children. These reason adolescents are impulsive think emotionally rather than intellectually. Also in this age period, they are emotionally reactive and impulsive in their behaviors thus get into risk-taking. This study as reviewed in the accompanying article by Steinberg adolescence is characterized by increased emotional reactivity and risk-taking. [10]


The need for parents understanding and supporting their adolescents is signified in the current study. More specifically charges that take place in cognitive and emotional domains. The risk behaviors in adolescence are relatively high which as its base in their age-related cognitive and emotional development. Regarding the risk behaviors of teens and the need for awareness among the parents of adolescences is signified in this study. Further parents supportive role to promote healthy behaviors and lessen the risk behaviors were emphasized. One of the previous literature had revealed the signified the need for preventive measures. This study had identified seventy-two percent of adolescent mortality had stemmed from preventable causes. [11] 


Analysis of the past literatures had signified the need for developing awareness among parents to lessen the risk behaviours in adolescences.  One supporting study with this regard had revealed their observations on parents of adolescents were with understanding and supportive; the adolescents were less likely to initiate sexual intercourse. [12] The reviewed previous literature on National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health also reported similar results indicated that parent-family connectedness was associated with fewer risk behaviors. [13] However, there is a felt need to understand how parenting approaches affect adolescents’ health-risk behaviors.[13] The studies examined by selfdetermination theory regarding adolescents' risk behaviors as a result of their extrinsic aspirations for wealth, fame, and image. On the other hand an intrinsic aspiration for growth, relationships, and community was associated with their perceptions of their parents' autonomy support. [14]


One of the literature reviews had demonstrated multiple risk behavior indexes for adolescents' using tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, and their involvement in sexual intercourse was predicted by their relative extrinsic life goals. Further study revealed that these healthcompromising behaviors and their relative extrinsic goals were also negatively predicted by their perceptions of their parents' autonomy support. One such supporting study revealed that adolescents using cigarettes had significantly strong relative extrinsic aspirations than that of who reported as non-smokers. [15] The current study assumed that perceived parental autonomy support powers adolescents’ risk behaviors. Analysis of the previous literature review had revealed perceived parental autonomy support will predict adolescents’ extrinsic vs. intrinsic goals and also exhibits fewer risky health behaviors. Autonomy-supportive parents who acknowledge their children’s perspectives and provide them with choices showed relatively stronger intrinsic life goals. [15]


The extrinsic values play an important role in mediating the relation between autonomy-supportive parenting and adolescent risk behaviors. Adolescents can hypothetically identify risk behaviors but they often fail to regulate these behaviors effectively. [16] Pervious literatures have revealed the significance of developing awareness via community or educational interventions to reduce adolescent health-risk behaviors. [17] As the individuals adolescence stage passes through they slowly gain control over emotional and cognitive domains, their emotions get tunes-up and they can judge better. Indeed, parental support smoothen this process and crop out a healthy adult. Thus valuing adolescents’ basic need satisfaction and promoting a shift from their strongly valuing extrinsic goals toward valuing more intrinsic ones was signified. Hence, in the current study connoted need for developing awareness among parents adolescence regarding their teens strengths, problems, threats and risks with different perspectives. [18]


Family system and adaption process

In current review study had observed the facts of family system and adaption process evidenced in: The family system type of approach concepts of adolescent individuation process focuses on the interpersonal changes that highlight social interactions and level of connectedness between an individual and parents throughout the individuation process. [19] Family system theory had investigated the individuation process in which how the self becomes a part of the whole system but, work as an independent sub system in the family relationship was focused. [20]


Psychoanalytical views adolescent

Adolescence is known to be a period of stress. Psychoanalytically it is conceptualized developmentally fixated energy storms up during adolescence to form an adult identity. The psychoanalytical concept of individuation process is during adolescence individuals have an emotional disengagement from internalized infantile objects and the finding of extrafamilial love objects. [21] Adolescence is a stormy period defined as the period between childhood and adulthood. Legally the adolescence comprises between ages 12 to 18. According to developmental psychology, it comprises ages 11 through 23 or even later. [22]


The psychoanalytical explanation uses the psychic drives that also connect the neurobiology. Indeed, Freud’s model was essentially neuro-psychoanalytic [23]. Review study had observed in 20th-century biological science Freud connected mind and brain functioning through the unifying “drive-concept,” bridging biological and psychic drives. [23] A rich pallet of clinical psychoanalytic theory has some limitation in sharing common ground with other scientific fields. [24]

Brain structure and function get reprogrammed during adolescence as a consequence behavioral changes also evidenced. This fact supports the neuro-psychoanalytic assumption that brain structure and function are programmed by environmental or interpersonal experiences which results in the development of the psyche. [25] Its further support to the neuro-psychoanalytic assumption that brain structure and function are programmed by environmental or interpersonal experiences which results in the development of the psyche. [25] Evidence observed psychic changes disturbed by psychic programming in the interaction between the constitution and interpersonal experiences cause psychopathology. [25]


Review analysis had observed in the literature distorted development in psychic programming can be repaired through psychotherapeutic experiences. Psychic development starts with the constitutional self, which includes inborn temperament or personality characteristics, genetic-risk factors for the development of psychopathology, and several innate developmental capacities. [26] The ability to empathize is affected in the adolescence due to their brain reprogramming which negatively impacts their relationships in a social context. Reviewed literature reveals the legitimate primary emotions and contingent detection of affect mirrors in adolescence have an impact on their interpersonal-interpretative functioning. [26]


Current study realized, in psychic development the self takes an active role in the interaction with the environment as a mental agent, and as the source and cause of action. The current study realized, in psychic development the self takes an active role in the interaction with the environment as a mental agent, and as the source and cause of action. The neuro-psychoanalytic model follows the causal psychic explanation model of the Philosophy of Mind, which states that humans are intentional beings with desires, thoughts, and feelings. [27] Literature had proved neuro-psychoanalytic outlines follow the ontogenetic principle that in the evolution of living systems, early development creates the foundation for the functioning of the organism for the rest of its life. [28] It is observed in the traditional psychoanalysis the basic development and organization of the psychic functions occur in the first five years of life, while a major reorganization follows in adolescence. [29, 30] This fact supported by recent neurobiological research that had stated during adolescence brain development undergoes a marked transformation. [31]


Adolescence subdivided into three phases. Early adolescence characterized by the onset of physical and sexual maturation. Middle adolescence marked by contact with peers and identity formation. Late adolescence characterized by detachment from parents and build up an independent life with adult responsibilities, personal norms, and values. Psychopathology that occurs during adolescence classified into two distinct developmental pathways: normal and pathological which determining psychic functioning in adulthood. [32] Reviewed literature on adolescent mood reveals that adolescents experience wider and quicker mood swings, but do not show that this variability is related to stress. Additionally they lack personal control, undergo psychological and social maladjustment within individual teenagers. Wide mood swings are the natural part of an adolescent peer-oriented lifestyle. [33]


Reviewed literature reveals adolescents not experiencing storm and stress is questionable. Adolescent look clam their outward calmness is concealed the inward reality built up excessive defenses against their drive activities. Anna Freud viewed storm and stress as universal and immutable its absence signifies psychopathology. To be normal during an adolescent period with no storm and stress is abnormal, it's important to understand the ways adolescent experiencing them. [34]


A reviewed fact reveals storm and stress in adolescence is found more difficult than other periods of life; these difficulties faced by adolescents as well as people around them. Researchers forwarded the idea adolescence is difficult; their tendency to be rebellious and to resist adult authority is a common element that causes conflicts with parents and family members. [35] Their tendencies to unstable emotions are more than children or adults that causing mood disruption; other elements that make adolescent difficult are recklessness, the tendency to break norms and antisocial behavior. [35] However, the three elements discussed here appear consistently in the writings of Hall (1904) the anthropologists, the psychoanalysts, and contemporary scholar. [36] Current review literature study reveals occasionally adolescent storm and stress has other elements such as school difficulties. [37] Another study evidenced the element of stress and storm impacting self-image. [38]


Psychosocial perspective on an identity crisis

People to progress in their growth and development passing through different psychosocial stages throughout their life, in each of this stage people face a developmental conflict, resolving of these conflicts successfully develop the primary virtue of that stage. Erikson in his psychosocial theory postulated how social interaction and relationships affect development and growth. Erik Erikson's theory the Identity versus confusion is the fifth stage of ego development which occurs during adolescence between the ages 12 and 18. Throughout this stage, adolescents explore their independence and develop a sense of self. [39]One of the previous literatures evidenced the universality of assuring human existence is a challenging issue. The study also revealed the source of all human crises exists in the ways of a person’s perception of the world. The knowledge about the external and internal world is significant for a human being for self-perception and perceiving others. [39] The individuation process provides the adolescent with emotional autonomy, which implies increased personal responsibility, the individuation process as a sub-process of identity formation, which occurs during the adolescent years. [40]


Analysis of the previous literature reveals our knowledge has an impact on our perception of the external and internal world produced by perceiving one’s own selves. On the other hand perceiving one’s own selves by the perceiving mechanism of others cause defective perceptions. [41] The self-perception and perception of other people are significant in generating problems related to human existence. Self is the source of human psychological dynamisms; indeed Self-Identity Crisis having some determinants is a classically defined Indian philosophical fact; indeed to remove problems of the world every human being could realize self-energies. Self is the source of human psychological dynamism. [41]


Erik Erickson had believed a self-identity crisis determined by the inappropriate social relationship is a fundamental and responsible factor related to the issue of human identity. [42] Basing Ericson’s facts of identity one previous literature had revealed that to survive in an own pace in the ever-changing world positive self-identity must be enhanced with the level of confidence among the adolescents. [43] Parents and teachers should encourage their adolescents for active participation in social activities and becoming the owner of positive identity is the basic need. It is evident in the literature that formation of identity is a social need or the need for belongingness which universally exists in all individuals. Thus the impact of society can develop the intended eligibility among the school going students of adolescence stage. [43] Abraham Maslow has revealed human being as part of the society is always carried own identity as a social being. [43]

Socializing in the school is the fundamental process which is critically responsible in developing an adaptable personality with own self-identity to interact in the social environment. The social attributes such as social relationship, interaction, communication style, cooperation, empathy, sympathy, togetherness, etc., are some aspects of the socialization process.  Previous literature recommends the development of human psychology is positively related, to the social influence, positive social influence can generate human identity and self-image takes place during adolescence. [44]


Learning from Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development it is actualized Identity versus confusion the stage signifies adolescents exploring their independence and developing a sense of self-identification. In which the ego expansion occurs in adolescence between the ages of 12 and 18.[45]Parents realizing the fact that people progress through a series of stages as they grow and change throughout life help them to understand their teens better. Previous literature had revealed during each stage people face a developmental conflict that must be resolved to successfully to grow out with the primary virtue of that stage. Social interaction and relationships have an impact on this development and growth. [45]


Current literature review analyzes the characteristics of adolescence that predominates with psychosocial conflict; Erikson states adolescents’ struggle forming identity against role confusion, overcoming conflict give the lead to ‘fidelity’ a developmental virtue of Erikson’s personality stage.[46] Events forming social relationships are at the position in identity forming stage of life. Psychosocial development terms ego identity for the conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction. Self-identity persistently changes as we gain new experiences and information acquired in our daily interactions with others in society. The leaned fact revealed in the current study during adolescence the individual expels their energy on forming a personal identity. Successfully forming this self-identity helps an individual to develop a strong sense of self that remains throughout life. [46] Identity formation leads to the transition from childhood to adulthood; during this period adolescents may begin to feel insecure as they struggle to find their social identity. It has evidenced in the literature adolescent seek to establish a sense of self; they experiment with different roles, activities, and behaviors in their surroundings. [46] Erikson has emphasized the impertinence of the process of forming a strong identity and developing a sense of direction in life. The study learned the datum adolescents’ behavior seems unpredictable and impulsive; it is important to realize this is a part of the process in adolescents that they seek for a sense of personal identity is a characteristic of this stage. [46] The reviews signify psychosocial impact on identity forming in adolescents. During this stage how the adolescents feel about their selves is influenced not only by parents and family members but outside forces also become important during this period of life. [46]


Review analysis reveals that friends, social groups, schoolmates, societal fashions, and culture play a significant role in shaping and forming an identity. After reviewing of evidential fact, the study has analyzed the significance of proper encouragement and reinforcement to adolescents when personal exploration emerges from this stage that leads to a strong sense of self, a feeling of independence and self-control. [40] Further study has revealed that if there is no parental and social support in this stage adolescents may endure unsure of their beliefs and desires and may remain insecure and confused about themselves and the future. [40] The evidence from the previous studies reveals adolescents commitment to their career path, their choice of social groups they associate, and their sense of personal style are part of their resolution of identity. Identity development is closely related to successfully developing the virtue of fidelity; this psychological virtue signifies an individual’s ability to relate to others and form genuine relationships. [40] This ability is important to be a healthy adult specifically

Review study had analyzed the fact on the background of psychosocial perspective that adolescents who are not able to successfully forming an identity at this point of development; they may have role confusion and not sure about their selves. These adolescents have a risk to drift from jobs and relationships may remain unsure about what they want to do with their lives. They may develop feeling disappointed and confused about their place in life.


Brain development and behavioral changes in adolescence

Adolescents hold the ability to think critically in real-life situations. Children from the age of 12 to 18 can figure out how to apply these critical thinking skills in real life situations. They understand cause and effect; related actions and able to make choices with responsibility. The observation of the past review evidenced much of the brain development during adolescence in the particular brain regions and systems that are essential to regulate the emotional behavior, and the perception of evaluating of risk-reward. Further analysis had revealed that it appears changes in arousal and motivation brought on by pubertal maturation precede the development of regulatory competence that causes adolescent’s affective experiences. [47]


Previously it was believed the brain maturations limited to early adolescent. However, in the past decade, there are radical changes with regard to this aspect due to advances in neuroscience. Indeed, currently, it is believed that the brain continues to develop right throughout adolescence and into the 20s and 30s. Examined facts of previous literature demonstrate that the maturational brain processes are continuing well through adolescence [48]


As reviewed in the other evidencing article that even relatively simple structural measures, such as the ratio of white-gray matter in the brain had demonstrated enormous changes into the late teenage years.  [49]. Advancement in neuroscience shed light over the understanding of brain development, the research advances reveal adolescence is understood as a dynamic period of brain development, stands next to infancy in the extent and significant changes occur within the neural systems.[49] Neuroplasticity is remarkable during this period of life. Plasticity is the neuronal changes which occur in the acquisition of new adaptive skills. The skills learned by adolescents initiate the process of elaboration and stabilization of synaptic circuitry which is a part of the learning process. [49]


The review study had evidenced adolescents’ abilities to reason and their poor behavior control in emotionally-evocative contexts; that emotions impairment here is a reflection of overwhelmed prefrontal systems. [50] Other supporting evidence observed in the previous study the prefrontal system is essential for executive functions such as attention, error processing, and cognitive control. [51] Since the prefrontal area is undergoing changes the cognitive control over emotional behavior is restricted. Previous literature had evidenced prefrontal networks continue to mature throughout the adolescence           period. [52]


One previous study had suggested the continued maturation on emotional, intellectual and behavioral development need further research. However, there are considered evidence in the past decade with respect to changes in brain structure and function, especially in regions and systems associated with response inhibition, calibration of risk and reward, and emotion regulation. [53] Researches on cognitive and neurobiological areas evidenced adolescents’ engagement in suboptimal choice behavior. One such supporting review study on human adolescent brain development had suggested cognitive development during adolescence is associated with progressively greater efficiency of cognitive control and affective modulation. [54] Evidence in neuroscience research had revealed that an increase in activity in the prefrontal regions as an indication of maturation. [55]  


The observation of previous researches reveals there is a diminished activity in irrelevant brain regions. These diminished activities have a neurobiological explanation for the behavioral changes associated with adolescence. Previous researches revealed a general pattern, of improved cognitive control and emotion regulation with the maturation of the prefrontal cortex evidences a linear increase in brain development and maturation from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. [56]


Evidence of previous studies emerged in the last few decades conceptualizes adolescent brain development differs from an earlier life in its form and activity in different regions. The changes go with an increase dendritic outgrowth and the synaptogenesis, continues with synaptic pruning during the second decade of adolescent period continues into young adulthood. Additionally, evidence show pubertal processes, including gonadal hormone changes, have been implicated in the maturation of subcortical structures. [57] Analysis of researches showed the neurodevelopment affected by aspects like social, nutritional, and substance use. It has also evidenced by the facts adolescent neurodevelopment has important implications for the social environments on health. [58]

The positive aspect of neurodevelopmental change takes place in adolescence is because of the greater brain plasticity of this period than that of adulthood; perhaps, this provides an opportunity for some experience-influenced in molding of the adolescent brain. One of the studies supports this fact which reveals the acquisitions of culturally adapted interpersonal and emotional skills are embraced faster in this period.[60] Indeed, this skill acquisition is essential for the more complex social, sexual, and parenting roles getting equipped soon after pubertal maturation.[59]


This fact had also evidenced in another literature study stated the capacity for better social and emotional engagement emerges around puberty which has more likelihood for adaptive advantages in the social contexts of contemporary situations.[60]


The brain plasticity helps adolescents to learn new adaptive behaviors in order to acquire their identity as an independent adult. However, plasticity also increases adolescents to be vulnerable to making improper decisions since the brain’s region-specific neurocircuitry remains under construction, thus making it difficult to think critically and rationally before making difficult decisions. Additionally, neurocircuitry may be faked, refined and impaired during plasticity. [61]


Adolescence is a period in which extensive brain changes take place. There are both progressive and regressive changes that are regionally specific. These changes are significant which serve to refine brain functional connectivity. During this period some specific areas of the brain are under maturing inhibitory control systems that can be overcome under emotional circumstances. The adolescent brain is associated with elevated activation of reward in particular brain regions, at the same time sensitivity to aversive stimuli may be weakened. There is a close association between positive motivation and the brain’s dopamine system, the circuitry involved in this association; that increases in dopamine activity cause a shift that occurs during adolescence. During this period the sensitivity to positive incentives increases before it declines to a particular level as adulthood is reached. Adolescence is a period of time when a reward system exerts a strong influence over motivational behavior and at the same time this drive is difficult for the under developing prefrontal cortex to fully control.


The learned fact from literature reveals brain changes bring various behavioral changes in adolescents. Additionally, some studies have focused on the social networks and roles of adolescents where they observed marked differences from those adolescents of historical environments. [62] The frontostriatal reward circuits involving the ventral striatum mature relatively early in adolescence; this maturation encourages adolescent to venture away from family and venture adult-like activities. [63, 64]


Adolescents’ get engaged in the novel and risk behaviors due to the changes that undergo in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex has not gained the maturity adequately to assess the risks and control risk-taking behaviors causing unhealthy outcomes. Previous studies revealed that prefrontal cortex and its connections with other brain regions are structurally inadequate to provide optimal control for adolescent behavior. Studies in this area evidenced maturational gap in the development of prefrontal cortex based control in relation to motivational circuitry are more advanced in this stage of life causing risk for adolescents. [65] Evidences shows that interventions made to reduce vulnerability to risk will inevitably have very limited effectiveness. [66]


Although the major source of risk-taking during adolescence may be a result of impaired impulse control proceeds the adolescent period. The risk-taking in this period is not a uniform phenomenon, and individual differences dominate the emergence of such behavior during adolescence. The biological foundations of adaptive learning also reinforce the acquisition of health and human capital from late childhood to young adulthood. Developmental transformations in brain areas like reward/aversive systems, critical for inhibitory control, and regions activated by emotional stimuli may promote adolescent risk-taking behavior. The findings of the literature study demonstrate potential implications for public policies and programs focused on adolescent health and well-being. Thus there is felt the need for educating parents developing awareness among parents to help their adolescence to grow as a healthy adult.


Need for developing awareness among parents and reducing risk behaviors.

Parents of adolescents stressed and worried about their teen’s behavior. Indeed, parents worrying about their teens quite obvious, since the adolescents' involvement in risk-taking impulsive and emotional behavior is more common than any other age groups. This risk behavior commonly includes dangerous driving, drug use, binge drinking, and risky sexual behavior. There is an absolute need for parents to understand their adolescents in different perspectives such as biological, cognitive, developmental and the changes take place in their brain at this part of their life. Evidence seen in the previous literature reveals more than one-third of Americans die from diseases caused by unhealthy behaviors began during adolescence. [67]


Evidence observed in the previous reports that had linked factors in adolescents’ family and social environments that can protect adolescents from acquiring health-risk behaviors. Previous literature on adolescent health indicates parent-family connectedness and it’s associated with fewer risk behaviors. [68] Further, studies emphasize how parenting approaches affect adolescents’ health-risk behaviors which are yet poorly understood there is need further researches. One common risk behavior in adolescents is sexual behaviors and related diseases. Studies have evidenced; the adolescents with understanding and supportive parents were less likely to initiate sexual intercourse. [69]


The current study basing on self-determination finds the strength in parent-adolescent relationships. The study concludes those adolescents’ life goals, their aspirations in life, are related to psychological health and well-being. Indeed, it’s important to prevent adolescents from risk behaviors. Prevent adolescents from identity crisis preparing them to get tuned up with cognitive, social and emotional capacities are necessary. Thus parental support and understanding become vital in this stage of life. [14]


The study had reviewed the likelihood of progressive empowerment in adolescents was seen in their decision making as they mature. Supporting adults can ease this process of empowerment which can help the adolescents in their decision making. One of the supporting reviews stated that supporting an adolescent’s capacity to make reflective decisions, considering risks and consequences, enhances their autonomy which the researcher termed as autonomy-enhancing paternalism. [70]

Reviewed literature on one of the studies conducted rodent models found the functional consequences of adolescent alcohol use demonstrate decreased cognitive flexibility, behavioral inefficiencies, and elevations in anxiety, disinhibition, impulsivity, and risk-taking. [71]


Reviewing the previous literature the study had analyzed various facts regarding adolescence from a different perspective.  The current study states that adolescent behavior is wired but they are also recognized with wonderful qualities. The behavioral changes are marked in this period.  Indeed, all the changes characteristically occurring in this period of life span need to understand well. Parents of adolescents need to be made aware of the facts such as individuation and separation, cognitive changes, brain changes and its effect on behavior. Understanding adolescents with analytical and psychosocial views also signified in this study.



The purposes of this review study signify the need for developing awareness regarding the developmental impact on adolescent behaviors among parents of adolescents to understand and help their adolescence to grow as a healthy adult. A literature search lead with electronic databases included Cumulative Index to Adolescent Health Literature, Medline/ PubMed, EBSCO, SCOPUS, and Science Direct. Search terms included adolescence, individuation process, self-identity, psychoanalytical views, psychosocial views, risk behaviors, brain and behavioral changes in adolescents. Research articles and books explored from dating back to1933 to 2018; further articles analyzed to find scientific information’s regarding adolescence throughout the historical development until current new advances in neuroscience and lifespan developmental issues regarding adolescents.



The current study had explored seventy-one (n=71) articles and books from the subsequent database search and reviewed them successfully. Analysis of the past literature reviews had revealed related aspects of adolescence period  such as individuation and forming identity, brain changes during adolescence and impacting adolescent behaviors, developmental changes and consequences in risk behaviors.



Current study concludes with signifying the importance of understanding adolescents with different developmental perspectives and support adolescents to grow as a healthy adult. The study also highlights parent education to know their teen better so they can support their adolescents to form their self- identity. The current study also emphasizes the need for prevention methods to reduce risk behaviors in adolescents. Further study also suggests developing awareness regarding the developmental impact on adolescent behaviors among parents of adolescents as a part of prevention program. Parents understanding and support to adolescents grow as a healthy adult essential to form healthy families as societal units.



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Received on 08.03.2019           Modified on 15.04.2019

Accepted on 20.04.2019         © RJPT All right reserved

Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 2019; 12(4): 2027-2036.

DOI: 10.5958/0974-360X.2019.00336.6