3 The social world of adolescence
The social world of adolescents is central to their health and wellbeing. It can make young people feel vulnerable as well as provide opportunities for support. In this section, you will consider vulnerability in more detail.
In the opening activity, you will reflect on the social context of adolescence, the pressures it places on young people, and how they might respond.
Activity 5: Identifying sources of pressure
Step 1: First, jot down the first thing that comes to mind about adolescent social pressures, e.g. the pressures to meet expectations of other people in their social world of family, friends, peers, communities.
Did you base your answer on your own experience or someone you know? It can be easier to tune into your own feelings than to understand someone else’s world. Those the course team brought to mind were social media pressures, conflicts with parents and concerns about educational performance.
Step 2: Watch this video and make a note of some the factors that are mentioned by John Goss.
Transcript: Video 3: John Goss on sources of pressure
Below are some sources of the social pressures young people experience. You may also have picked up some of these from the video at the beginning of this session.
- Managing friendships
- Family relationships
- Romantic relationships
- Exam pressures
- Health concerns about self or others
- Lack of clear career motivations/ambitions
- Fitting in with social groups
- Social media
- Caring for others
- Loneliness or social isolation
Health concerns about self or others
Lack of clear career motivations/ambitions
The correct answers are a, b, c, d, e and f.
It is worth bearing in mind that even if a young person seems to be sailing through life and coping well, there’s a good chance they will still be experiencing a significant number of social pressures. A young person who is clearly having difficulties is more likely to need some support to manage them, and you will find out more about this in Session 6.
Some social situations can be difficult and challenging. You’ll consider the challenges of bullying and loneliness next.