Adolescence : Meaning , Characteristics and Needs: CBSE Class 12 Board Exams Questions and Answers

1 Mark Questions

Question 1: Write the difference between growth and development.

Answer : Growth is quantitative change in the body, whereas development  is both quantitative and qualitative change in the body of an adult.

Question 2: Define adolescence from biological aspect. 

Answer :  From the biological aspect, adolescence can be defined as the physical transition starting with the onset of puberty and ending with the termination of physical growth.

Question 3: Write any one characteristic of adolescence. 

Answer : It is the period of ambitions as well of conflicts and complexities.

Question 4: What is the meaning of ‘self-definition’ in regard to  developmental needs of adolescents?

Answer : Self- definition for adolescents means that they require time to absorb new ways of thinking, new perceptions of self and new reactions from others because of rapid changes in their bodies and minds. This enables them to define how they can be participants in society.

Question 5: What activities can adolescents participate in to be able to get a feeling of competency and achievement ?

Answer : Adolescents should be provided practical opportunities for mastery, competency and contribution in real life situations. They may also be involved in community activities to test their new abilities and budding talent.

2 Marks Questions

Question 6: What intellectual transformations occur during adolescence and what do they help to do?

Answer : Intellectual transformations occuring during adolescence are:

(i) Increase in knowledge

(ii) Changes in ability to think abstractly and multi-dimensionally

(iii) Ability to reason effectively

All these changes enable the adolescent to achieve integration into the social relationships of adults.

Question 7: Into how many parts can adolescence be divided and on what basis? What are the normal age limits of these parts of adolescence?

Answer : The adolescence period can be divided into two parts:

Early Adolescence : Roughly from 12-13 years to 16-17 years

Late Adolescence : Roughly from 16-17 years to 18-19 years.

The basis of this division is the rate of changes in behaviour, attitude and values. During early adolescence these changes are more rapid than in late adolescence

Question 8 : What are the three differences between growth and development with reference to adolescents ?

Answer : The differences between growth and development with reference to adolescents are:

Growth Development
Rapid increase in size, height and weight of the body Improvement in functioning of the body process like changes in ability to think
Can be easily measured Not so easy to measure accurately
Limited to specific areas of the body like reproductive system, facial features , growth of hair Qualitative and quantitative changes in behaviour as a whole

Question 9 : Savita is a typical adolescent girl studying in class 10. What are three typical characteristics of Savita?

Answer : Savita , a typical adolescent girl has the following three characteristics :

Intellectual Transformation : She is an intellectually transformed person which has enabled her to achieve integration into the social relationships of adults.

Social and Emotional Changes : Savita has experienced many changes such as fluctuating emotions, exploration and assertion of personal identity , peer relationship and development of a self- centered attitude.

Behavioural Changes : Savita has also experienced rapid changes in behaviour, identity disturbances and strong emotions.

Question 10: Sarita, 18 years old, and Madhu, 13 years old , are sisters  While Savrita has recently joined college of her choice, Madhu is studying in class 8.

Although both are adolescents , it is observed that Sarita is highly alert and confident, whereas Madhu is still unsure of herself. What could be thy reasos for this difference?

Answer : Sarita is in the late adolescence phase of her life, by that time all the sexual changes in her body have taken place. She has acquired the mental alertness and thinking which will decide her future lifestyle.

On the other hand, Madhu is in the early adolescence phase of her life, during which the sexual changes in her body are still taking place. She is mentally, emotionalo and socially immature. That is why, Madhu is still unsure of herself

Question 11 : What does adolescence mean to you? Explain four aspects of its meaning.

Answer : The period of adolescence means the following to me :

Start and End : It is a crucial and significant period of an individual’s life. It is the period which begins with puberty and ends with the general cessation of physical growth.

Age Range : Chronologically, adolescence ranges from 12 or 13 years to 18 or 19 years in India. In the case of girls, it begins about one year earlier than boys.

Rate of Changes:  Changes during adolescence are more rapid in the early part than in the later part. Thus,the period of adolescence can be divided into two parts, early(12-13  to 16-17 years) and late adolescence ( the remaining part upto maturity )

Behavioural Changes: The maturity of behaviour found in late adolescence is better than that found in early years of adolescence. Thus,the late adolescents are called ‘young men’/’young women’, or even youth’, while early adolescents are usually referred to as ‘teenagers’

Question 12:  Mention four distinct characteristics of sixteen year old girls.What is the impact of mass media on their identity?


Mention four distinct characteristics of sixteen year old girls.Explain fully the impact of media on establishing their identity

Answer : Four distinct characteristics of sixteen year old adolescent girls  are:

Moodiness: They experience mood swings from feeling cheerful on one day to feeling depressed on another day.

Egocentrism: They focus on their own needs without thinking  how they affect others.

Feeling of being Neglected: They feel that their parents do not understand them and neglect them

Giving more Importance to Peers : They give more importance to their friends than their families.

The impact of mass media on their identities are:

(i) They are more updated and more aware.

(ii) They are technology savvy( meaning they have no phobia of technology)

(iii) They develop a body image and try to talk and dress like celebrities.

(iv) They eat junk food and may suffer from dietary problems like  anorexia or bulimia.

Question 13: Mention four distinct characteristics of sixteen year old girls. What is the impact of their cognitive changes in their identity?

Answer : Four distinct characteristics of sixteen year old adolescent girls, refer Q No. 12.

The impact of their cognitive changes in their identity are:

(i) They start imaging what others are thinking about them.

(ii) They become very self- conscious about their appearance as they feel that everyone is watching them. Thus, they feel embarrassed over trivial issues.

(iii) They feel that nothing wrong can happen to them and thus are prone to risk-taking.

(iv) They gain confidence by thinking of solutions to their problems on their own.

5 Marks Questions

Question 14 :  In what five ways can the development needs of adolescents be taken care of?

Answer :  The development needs of adolescents can be taken care in the following ways:

Meaningful Participation :  They should have meaningful participation special community projects, where they can nurture caring, respectful relationships between themselves as well as between the community members.

Skilling them : As they require skills to express their needs and concerns,and to resolve conflict with their peers as well as with the adults in their lives in a positive way, they should be skilled accordingly.

Giving them Opportunities: They should be given opportunities to creatively express their new feelings,interests, abilities and thoughts, through activities like art,music,theatrical performance  and physical education.

Making them Responsible: They need opportunities to explore their widening world and to reflect upon the meaning of new experiences, so that they can begin to consider themselves not just as observers, but also as participants in society. So they should be given more responsible task due to which they can have a feeling of self-identity.

Giving them Security: They need the security provided by clear limits in order to learn how to grow during a time of rapid change. So they should be involved, whenever appropriate,in establishment of rules, and the manner in which community members should be held accountable for observing them.

Question 15 : Why is the role of teacher important for social development of a child?

Answer : The role a teacher is an important one, as far a social development of a child is concerned. When a child is in junior classes, He/She has tremendous faith and confidence in his/her teachers. As a child reaches puberty age,he/she finds it difficult to share views with anyone including the teacher.They spin a cocoon of false adolescent barrier around them.

The teacher should be a role model for the child at this stage and try to act as friends so that the child is able to relate to her and show his anxieties and fears. The teacher should be able to provide them with confident and truthful answers. The school as well as the teacher have tremendous responsibility of guiding the child correctly so that the child is able to get through the period of adolescence with minimum disturbance.