Assignment: Human development in professionals
Risky behavior has a profound impact on adolescent development. Counselors can better understand the effects of high-risk behavior by understanding the client’s perspective on the behavior (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). For example, what are the pros and cons of having sex for Gabby? Does she worry about STD’s or pregnancy? Does sex enhance her relationship with her boyfriend? If she has regrets, are they related to her parents or God’s judgment? How Gabby perceives having sex informs the impact it has on her development. A concerning impact of teenage sexual activity is the increased likelihood of other problem behaviors. Research shows that participation in one risky behavior such as teen sex can increase participation in other high-risk behaviors such as drug use and drunk driving (Sullivan, Childs, & O’Connell, 2010). When high-risk and delinquent behavior increases, so do depressive symptoms (Sullivan, Childs, & O’Connell, 2010).
Teenage behavior impacts the whole family system, not just the adolescent. The presenting problem for the Jeannette and Gabby Martinez is the conflict in their relationship as a result of Gabby’s sexual activity. Almost half of all parents of adolescents experience powerlessness, rejection, and personal regret (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). It is not uncommon for parents to feel guilt or shame over their child’s behavior. Risky behavior in teens can have a negative impact on other children in the family. Younger siblings may model inappropriate behavior. Although adolescence can be a difficult time for the whole family, research shows that disengagement is not the solution. Family, teachers, peers, and religious community can all serve as resources to adolescents.
Adolescence can be a challenging phase for kids and their families. Counselors can help adolescents who engage in risky behavior by understanding the teen’s perception of the behavior, acknowledging that high-risk behavior is normal at this stage, and helping to define reasonable limits for behavior (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Relationships play an important role during this developmental stage. Peer, family, and community are advised to engage with teenagers even if they are disapproving of the teen’s behavior. It is essential to keep in mind that risky behavior is normal during adolescence, but it can have dangerous implications if not addressed with care.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2013a). [Video file]. Retrieved from CDN Files Database. (COUN 6215/COUN 8215/HUMN 8215)