37 Emotional Development The early adolescent is strongly identified with the peer group. Youth depend upon their peers for emotional stability and support and to help mold the youth's emerging identity. Self-esteem is greatly affected by acceptance of peers. Early adolescents are emotionally labile with exaggerated affect and frequent mood swings. They are very vulnerable to emotional stress. During middle and late adolescence, identity is more individualized, and a sense of self develops and stabilizes that is separate from either family or peer group. Self-esteem is influenced by the youth's ability to live up to internalized standards for behaviour. Self-assessment and introspection are common.