Adolescence ranges from the age of 14 until 18 or 20 and can be defined as a process of identification with adults. This passage from childhood to adulthood involves personal turmoil.
The adolescents are affected in their developments by several factors:
Moral factors: it means relationship with friends and adults, society and institutions and the acquisition of a value system.
Personal factors: relationship with own body image, emotional and sexual experience.
Gender factors: dimension of their own gender identity.
The adolescents have to experience all these factors but there must be a balance between failure and success to obtain a positive self-image.
When an adolescent feels angry, sad, depressed, rejected or unsatisfied with his body image or because he hasn’t life successes such as in the sport, at school, in friend peers, he can be encourage to look for deviant, even socially unacceptable because transgress experiences.
Boys direct their aggression towards the outside, towards the others and the society. They could have problems such as risky sexual activities without considering HIV and AIDS problems, alienation from school, antisocial behaviour and depression. They tend to use marijuana, steroids, illegal drugs such as ecstasy, solvent, chemical, opiates, having several effects: kidney and liver damages, heatstroke, overheating and rupturing of capillaries, genitalia. Alcohol’s abuse depresses certain brain functions. Nicotine effects are for example increase of heart rate and blood pressure, in hormone production, in blood composition, in metabolism, on mood and behaviour.
Girls are more demanding but also self-destructive. Their aggression is turned in on themselves. Many girls spend a lot of time in front of the mirror worrying about their look.
Sometimes this becomes a mania that carries to eating disorders such as:
Anorexia: they maintain normal body weight but are obsessed with calories and dieting. They do not eat and often practice too much sport exercise. This illness usually develops between the ages of 15-25 years. Smoke helps to reduce appetite and this is the reason why girls smoke more than boys.
Nervous Bulimia: They go to extreme lengths, eating too much, taking laxatives or vomiting.
Binge eating: similar to bulimia, they eat too much but they can’t vomit.
The media, and TV in particular, play a significant role in eating disorders. They give an ideal body image: tall, thin and fashionable. With spots they increase in the adolescents the idea that the beauty is essential in life. Boys must be toll and muscular, girls must be thin and sexy. For these reasons it’s important to control the messages propagated by the media.
Parents also contribute to increase the insecurity of the adolescence. They often make unkind comments to the look. The teachers also judge nicer students more competent than unattractive one. If the adults would be kinder giving compliments instead of criticism and derision, adolescents could have more self-esteem and a better honest life.
Early recognition and Talking therapies are always the best ways to help the adolescent
"Mammismo" is the Italian phenomenon that is causing despair among young women. Mammismo is defined as the belief among sons that no one can ever love them as much as their mothers. Mammismo is boosted by economic and social factors. Children stay at home longer and boys become fatally accustomed to having their cooking and laundry done for them. Wives who decline to be housekeepers to their husbands are then unfavourably judged.
Another lost art among wives is unconditional admiration for their husbands. Mothers love their sons as much for their faults as their virtues.
Of course, boys have historically enjoyed special status, but the bond with their mothers is now socially flaunted. Hollywood stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio openly state that no one can compete with their mothers. Cherie Blair is publicly reduced to tears by the mention of her son, Euan, "who is living away from home".
This is the point of mammismo. Boys will always be boys.
The natural sport for mammismo is rugby. Only mothers could be undaunted by squashed-in faces and bison necks. Only good boys belt out the national anthem with tears in their eyes.
Almost a third of Italian men remain in the parental home until they are between 30 and 35, and 60% of both sexes stay at home at least until they are 30.
What would you think of someone in their 30s who still lived with their parents? That they were immature, afraid of responsibility? Perhaps. But while English students live in a campus, Italian students attend universities in their hometowns or region, they spend more time to have a right qualification, salaries are really low and they have no money to live alone. But another reason is young Italian women. They study, they work too and these are reasons to put of getting married.