3725 Blackburn Street, Dallas, TX 75219

The Changes of Older Adolescence

Intellectual Development

  • developing the ability to engage in reflective thinking (“what do I think?” “why do I think that?”), making it possible to develop a personal identity, personal value system, and personal faith
  • thinking about and planning for the future

 Identity Development

  • beginning the process of establishing a personal identity, which includes an acceptance of one’s sexuality, decision-making regarding the future, and a commitment to a personally-held system of values and religious beliefs
  • shifting from the authority of family to self-chosen authority (oneself), often by establishing an identity that is shaped by significant others (peers and adults)
  • experiencing a period of questioning, reevaluation, and experimentation
  • developing increasing autonomy in making personal decisions, assuming responsibility for oneself, and regulating one’s own behavior

 Moral Development

  • exercising moral judgments in matters of much greater complexity as they seek to establish a more personal form of moral reasoning
  • reevaluating the moral values received from family, church, and significant others
  • searching for a moral code which preserves their personal integrity and provides the basis for developing an internalized moral value system that can guide their behavior

 Interpersonal Development

  • moving toward greater personal intimacy and adult sexuality
  • developing the capability for more mutual, trusting, deep, and enduring personal friendships with members of the same sex and opposite sex that provide acceptance, love, affirmation, and the opportunity to honestly share their deepest selves
  • expanding their social perspective to encompass the larger world

 Faith Development

  • exploring and questioning the faith handed down by family and church as they search for a style of faith and belief which is more personal to themselves
  • beginning the process of taking responsibility for one’s own faith life, commitments, lifestyle, beliefs and attitudes
  • exploring a personal relationship with God who knows, accepts and confirms them, and with Jesus Christ through his teaching, example, and presence in their lives