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Adolescent Development in Educational ContextsOne of the most complex periods of adjustment for adolescents is the shift from high school to college When adolescents begin to grow up and advance to higher education they are also being asked to become autonomous abstract thinking problem solving planning individuals This type of transition is unique to their life experience For many adolescents this will be the time when they are empowered with decision making power and the independence to explore life in contexts in which they may have previously been limited In addition to the freedom adolescents who attend college are also being exposed and prepared for their future by the means of education as well as life experience The transition from high school to college causes many new issues to emerge in an adolescents life The student shifts from a state of dependence to independence The adolescent may be living away from their parents and family which would lead to a drastic increase in responsibility The adolescent may also be facing new types of responsibilities including financial career choice a college-work schedule family and peers and other psychological stresses Of the issues an adolescent faces there is a psychological separation-individuation adjustment that occurs when they adapt to college life Lapsley et al p286 Within this separation-individuation transformation that is occurring in the lives of these adolescents there are four dimensions of independence that an adolescent will embark upon as they begin to separate from their parents Functional independence is the ability of the adolescent to manage their personal lives without the assistance of their mother or father Attitudinal independence refers to the shaping of the individuals personal values beliefs and opinions Emotional independence describes the young adults ability to move away from the need of approval closeness and emotional support Finally conflictual independence explains the freedom from excessive guilt anxiety and resentment Lapels p286As adolescents begin to explore their new independence there is room for some
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