The complex realities of human development may be best observed through the lens of a single stage and a single dimension of that stage, in that the scope of such an analysis alone reveals the many aspects of life span development in its entirety. To that end, the adolescent stage of the student’s life will be focused upon, with attention directed toward the social component of that stage.
In this case, the factors of adolescent intraversion, peer influences, and family conflict will be seen as having strong impacts on the student’s social development at this critical stage, just as each element affects the impact of the others and relates to emotional and cognitive dimensions. The interactive nature of the dimensions is such, in fact, that analysis of one demands inclusions of the others. As will be evident, even the restricted examination indicates clearly how development at individual stages emphasizes the exponential quality of multiple dimensions interacting to determine personal and professional growth.
The student’s adolescent years were marked by a significant inclination to withdraw from social situations whenever possible. This was not obsessive, nor was any actual pathology indicated; rather, the student more simply reflected an intraverted nature and was less comfortable in group scenarios. From a certain viewpoint, then, the student’s development was frustrated, in that there was greatly lessened opportunity to benefit from social experiences. Moreover, adolescence is a critical stage in more than one way, because it is then that the individual first enlarges their sense of the external world and, through interaction with it, defines the self identity as it evolves. It then seems inevitable that a reluctance to engage with others will limit development potential, and in terms of both social skills and the individual’s establishing of a cohesive identity.
At the same time, it is reasonable to argue that, for the true adolescent intravert, the benefits of social interaction are negligible. In this case, for instance, the student did not withdraw due to insecurities or fears of interaction; the student was in fact well-liked in the school setting, and largely because they were admired as being independent. Then, there is evidence that biology plays a role in this dimension of character: “Intraverts spend more time viewing stimuli and respond more slowly to stimuli than extraverts” (Sinclair, Goodfriend, 2013, p. 39). The student suffered no emotional turmoil due to being intraverted, chiefly because they accepted this as an innate trait going to preferences. This being the case, and the volatile quality of adolescence notwithstanding, it seems that intraversion here marked, not a regression of development, but rather promoted the development of the individual’s sense of self.
The influence of peers in a social sense is inestimable, certainly regarding the adolescent stage. Innumerable studies affirm how, as noted above, peers are crucial in enabling the adolescent to create an identity and attain a sense of self, the turbulence of the processes notwithstanding. With the student, however, and reflecting the exponential nature of dimensions, these influences may be seen as marginal. As the student’s character was intraverted, and as this intraversion was not reflective of adolescent anxieties regarding popularity, they were far less influenced by the behaviors and thinking of their peers. When the student did socially engage with peers, they perceived themselves affirmed, which reflects research on adolescent brain processes: 鄭t the neural level, the influence of peers on adolescents�decisions may be manifested in the heightened activation of regions associated with reward valuation�(Chein et al, 2011, p. F5). In a variation on standard peer scenarios in adolescence, then, the student’s intraverted nature actually created a social 途eward�function, emphasizing confident development in the student.
Lastly, the student’s adolescence was marked by family conflict, which likely fostered the intraverted nature. It must be reiterated that no shame was attached to this by the student, in terms of discouraging socialization. It was more a matter of the student comprehending the need, and at an early age, to focus their energies on the issues in the home. This is in marked contrast to the typical adolescent strategy of turning more to peers and social engagement as an escape, and often going to negative behaviors. The student’s development also contrasted the traditional family dynamic: “The need for increased autonomy during late adolescence challenges parents to shift roles from behavior management to social and emotional support” (Fosco, Caruthers, & Dishion, 2012, p. 570). This then reaffirms that the student’s social development, while clearly reflecting dimensional interaction, was of a consistently and unusually steady kind.
Just as adolescence is a stage of extreme change, the dimension of the social then amplifies the impact of change as the adolescent moves through development. In the case of the student, however, what is seen is a phase in which the social’s impact is unusually minor, a fact owing to the intraverted nature of the student. Contrary to typical adolescent social engagement, the student was largely unconcerned with peer validation, just as family conflict in no way prompted increased socializing. It may then be seen that, as the social dimension is linked to the cognitive and emotional, the student’s development trajectory was nonetheless healthy, and primarily by virtue of a confident and innate intraverted character.