Reading the Problems of Adolescence (Part I)
The young ones need a lot of education that will help them understand the changes that occur in themselves as they grow. As the adolescent matures, he goes through different processes of growth. These involve physical and measurable changes in size, height and mass. It is the process of development that involves systematic and progressive changes including physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual growth and the process of learning which refers to change in individual’s behavior resulting from his experiences or interaction with the environment.
In adolescence, there is a growth spurt. The physical changes that herald sexual maturity are the most important in this period. The stage in adolescence called puberty is very important since the reproductive organs (sex organs in general) become mature. This is a crucial stage as sexual curiosity is at its peak. The youth at this time is establishing a sense of identity grouping with different aspects of lifestyle, replacing parental dominance with personal built-in controls of self respect, dependability, ambition and several others.
Research findings have indicated that teenage pregnancy are increasing at an alarming rate and are likely to continue to increase by tens of thousands. The question is what are the causes of early pregnancies? Factors like migration, rapid urbanization, the changing socio-economic conditions, modernization, foreign influence, inadequate knowledge about fertility regulations, and high level of adolescent curiosity are some of the underlying causes.
Let us look at these factors closely. Rapid urbanization has accentuated various kinds of evil and crimes. Take a look at the cities; prostitution in our cities and towns has reached an unprecedented level because many young people migrate to the cities to seek employment and enjoy city life. Majority of them who cannot secure good employment end up taking poorly paid jobs like babysitting and are unable invariably to make ends meet. These girls become victims of prostitution. The main issue is that they become pregnant and often end up aborting once or twice or having unwanted babies.
It will be very useful to submit that the current socio-economic condition in the world today, retard the progress of our youth from self -fulfillment or self -actualization. Our young people are now faced with scarcity, limited choice, poverty, hunger, unemployment, poor nutrition, atrocities committed by various brutal governments, poor standards and values. These problems tend to make life meaningless, purposeless, with attendant loss of balance of reasoning, leading to poor utilization of knowledge.