By: Ella Porter
Section 1 focuses on adolescence and the general characteristics of adolescence. Those characteristics are biological growth and development (puberty and its effect), undefined status (not a child anymore but not quite an adult either), increased decision making (such as whether or not to go to college or what courses they should take in school), increased pressure (from parents, school, peers, and sometimes work), and the search for self (sorting out what matters to them and what doesn't, personal norms, life priorities).
Section 2 focuses on dating, specifically on the dating habits of adolescents. It briefly compares courtship to dating (courtship was more serious and had marriage as the definite endpoint), it described the emergence of dating (it first started becoming popular with the Industrial Revolution and rise of free public schools, it then became even more popular after WWI) and the reasons for dating (it teaches people about the opposite sex, how to behave in social situations, and appropriate role behaviors, it's fun, it fulfills needs like companionship and understanding, etc). It also compares and contrasts the traditional dating patterns with the contemporary dating patterns (traditional dating patterns were more formal and structured, with more formal expectations (though not marriage) than contemporary dating patterns).
Section 3 focuses on the troubles adolescents face. The problems discussed in the section are sexual behavior, drug use, and suicide. The rate of teenagers engaging in sexual behavior has increased over the years. Consequently, the rate of teen pregnancies and teenagers with STDs has also risen. Teenage drug use is another problem. Some teenagers are trafficking drugs, as "foot soldiers", however the majority of teens are doing drugs, despite most of them knowing the problems and risks associated. A large portion of teenagers are also drinking alcohol and/or smoking cigarettes. The last problem facing adolescents discussed in this section is teenage suicide. Suicide is one of the top leading causes of death among 10-24 year olds. The social factors that appear to affect the rates of teen suicide, developed by Brad L. Neiger and Rodney W. Hopkins, are alcohol and drug use, triggering events such as a family crisis or poor school performance, age, sex, population density, family relations, and the cluster effect (when one teenager commits suicide and sets off a string of teen suicides).