During adolescence there is a shift in dependence from family to peers. Involvement with the peer group becomes of primary importance, particularly inclusion within a group that is perceived to have values and interests of importance.
Social inclusion can involve engagement with peers, as well wider group activities and community participation. Without the security provided by these groups, adolescents can develop negative thought patterns and a negative self-concept. This will impact their attachment to others and will make it difficult to establish friendships and relationships in adulthood. Involvement with social groups allows individuals to develop a secure sense of self and learn about positive social interaction.
Adolescents can experience challenges in the academic setting, including both learning and social difficulties. Adolescent students must meet several demands due to the fast pace of their learning environment. To complete academic tasks they are required to implement planning, time management and goal setting skills. This can be extremely difficult for adolescents who become over-stimulated and distracted by multiple extra-curricular and academic commitments.
Specific language and communication difficulties include reading, speech, spelling, learning and language disorders. An adolescent with any of these conditions may find it difficult to keep up with the classroom activities. They may present with disinterest, a lack of motivation or attention difficulties, and disruptive conduct. These behaviours are indicative that the student may find the content or style of learning challenging.
Altering the learning environment to tailor to language and communication difficulties can enhance an adolescent’s willingness to engage in academic tasks. Our experienced psychologists can provide recommendations for school and home environments, in order to enhance learning abilities.