Summary

In this study session, you have learned that:

  • Young people have physical, socioeconomic and emotional vulnerabilities that put them at risk of engaging in many risk-taking behaviours.
  • The fact that adolescence is a period of rapid growth means that their nutrition needs increase. This high demand for nutrition might be difficult to meet, particularly if they have poor eating habits. Poor nutrition can lead to poor physical and reproductive health.
  • Lack of assertiveness and poor communication skills, unequal power relationships between adolescents and adults, and lack of the maturity to make good, rational decisions increase emotional vulnerability during adolescence.
  • Many adolescents are socioeconomically disadvantaged. As a result, they have little negotiation power and may be engaged in more hazardous conditions such as prostitution (commercial sex work).
  • Some of the risk-taking behaviours young people show include: impulsive decision-making, which could result in injuries; provoking, arguing and testing limits with peers and adults, which may result in emotional and physical damage or violence; experimentation with substances; and unprotected sexual activity, which might result in unwanted pregnancy and possibly being infected by STIs, including HIV.
  • Young people are more likely to have significant concerns related to social relationships, self-perception and gender roles. For instance, boys achieve more autonomy, mobility and power, whereas girls tend to get fewer of these privileges and opportunities.
  • Assertiveness and decision-making are among the most important life skills that adolescents need to develop. Assertiveness involves expressing beliefs, thoughts and feelings in a direct, clear way at an appropriate moment, while decision-making involves a group of conclusions that are followed by actions.
Last modified: Tuesday, 24 June 2014, 1:53 PM