Adolescents Aggression and Peace
The notion of adolescence has changed over the years, as a result of the impact of environmental and biological changes, such as earlier onset of puberty on one hand and longer life expectancy on the other hand. As a result, a “new” age range has appeared in the research literature, under the name of “young adults”. The increased susceptibility of adolescents and young adults to “brain washing” is an example of the interplay between the increased brain plasticity (that has been shown related to adolescence years), the psychological search for identity (the Fourth Organizer period), and the importance of belonging to a peer group. This complex interplay of processes may explain why it is so easy to enroll adolescents in political/ideological movements. Hence, in societies in war, adolescents and young adults should be viewed as a vulnerable group in the sense they may be highly influenceable, with a potentially detrimental and irreversible impact on their later personality structures (“radioactivity of violence”). How do these adolescents and young adults then face the “day after” the war? How do they adjust to the new societal priorities? These will be the last point of this presentation.
Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry
Tel Aviv University School of Medicine