Early Adolescence


During early adolescence (ages 11-13), development usually centers around developing a new self-image due to their physiological changes. Adolescents need to make use of their newly acquired skills of logical thinking and ability to make judgments rationally.
Adolescence is a time in life when the individual is vitally concerned with how others regard him and how their assessment of him compares with his assessment of himself; therefore it is difficult for the young adolescent to have taken place in his appearances behaviour Goodman(1962). Adolescence is a time when individual is expected to prepare for adulthood by replacing childish attitudes and behaviour patterns with those of an adult type. This point of view was emphasized by the Hechingers when they said: The task now is to make it clearly understood that adolescence is a stage of human development, not an empire or even a colony. The mission of the adult world is to help teen-agers become adults by raising their standards and values to maturity rather than by lowering adulthood to their insecure maturity. The task for adult world is to make adolescence a step toward growing up, not a privilege to be exploited (Hechinger 1963).

Early Adolescence begins when the individual becomes sexually mature. For the average girl of today, early adolescence begins at thirteen years and for boys approximately a year later.  The physical changes are inevitably followed by psychological changes has been emphasized by Ausubel when he pointed out that: Adolescence in our culture can be described as a time of transition in the biological status of the individual. It is a period during which marked changes occur in duties, responsibilities, privileges and relationship with others… Under such conditions, changed attitude towards self, parents, peers, and others become inevitable Ausubel (1955).


At this age, instability is extreme. From tears to laughter, from self- confidence to self- depreciation, from selfishness to altruism, and from enthusiasm to indifference- all are common reactions of young adolescents. One minute the young adolescent is up in the clouds and the next he is in the depths of despair. The instability is very apparent in his social relationships. There are marked fluctuations in his friend-ships, especially with the members of the opposite sex, and in the qualities he likes and dislikes among others. This instability is largely the result of feeling of insecurity. The physiological and psychological changes which accompany sexual maturity come so quickly that the individual is unsure of himself, of his capacities, and of his interests. The greater demand placed on him by home and school add to his feelings of insecurity and intensify his instability Elizabeth. B. Hurlock (1968).