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Chapter 12: Adolescent Social & Personality Development. Development Across the Lifespan. Identity: Asking "Who Am I?". During adolescence, self consciousness takes center stage! Teens focus on wondering “Who am I?” and “Where do I belong in the world?” WHY??

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Chapter 12: Adolescent Social & Personality Development


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    1. Chapter 12: Adolescent Social & Personality Development Development Across the Lifespan

    2. Identity: Asking "Who Am I?" • During adolescence, self consciousness • takes center stage! • Teens focus on wondering “Who am I?” and “Where do I belong in the world?” • WHY?? • Teens begin to become more like adults intellectually • Realize the importance of establishing self in society, and shaping their individuality • Teens become more like adults physically • Dramatic changes during puberty make teens acutely aware of their own bodies

    3. Self Concept: Refining Self Perceptions • Self concept broadens during adolescence to include both one's own assessment of who you are and also includes others' views. • The view of self becomes more organized and coherent. • Adolescents can look at themselves in terms of traits and can see multiple aspects of themselves (which can be confusing at first).

    4. Self-esteem: Evaluating Oneself • During adolescence, teens become increasingly accurate in understanding who they are (they develop their self concept) • The increase in self-concept does not mean that they like themselves any better (self esteem may still be low)

    5. Self-esteem is influenced by several factors: • Gender - especially in early adolescence, girls have lower self-esteem • SES - higher SES leads to more self-esteem (especially in late adolescence when one can buy things of value)

    6. (Influences on Self-esteem, continued) • Race - although this finding is now being questioned: • Traditional research says that prejudice is incorporated into minority adolescents' self-concepts • Recent research indicates that African-American adolescents now have same levels of self-esteem as Caucasians (in fact, strong racial identity is related to higher self-esteem levels).

    7. (Influences on Self-esteem, continued) • Some developmental psychologists have considered the joint influence of race and gender (“ethgender”) • Using the combination of race and gender together ("ethgender") findings indicate that: • African-American and Hispanic males had highest self-esteem. • Asian and Native American females had lowest levels.

    8. Forming an identity during the teen years: crisis or change? Erik Erikson asserted that adolescents may encounter substantial psychological difficulties in their search for identity (“the adolescent identity crisis”) • Erikson's stage is IDENTITY-VERSUS-IDENTITY-CONFUSION STAGE, where adolescents seek to determine what is unique and distinctive about themselves.

    9. (Erikson's IDENTITY-VERSUS-IDENTITY-CONFUSION STAGE, continued) • Those who do not find a suitable identity, tend to follow a dysfunctional path because their sense of self is "diffuse". • There are a lot of social pressures to achieve a secure identity (or at least have clear career or major goals). • Which job track to follow? • Attend college? Which one? • Now, adolescents rely more on friends and peers than adults.

    10. (Erikson's IDENTITY-VERSUS-IDENTITY-CONFUSION STAGE, continued) • Erikson suggests that adolescents pursue a psychological moratorium to let go of responsibilities for awhile and explore new roles and possibilities. • For many, this experimentation period is an economic impossibility. • Probably no lasting, negative psychological affects • Some benefits (satisfaction from working, independence, etc.)

    11. James Marcia's approach to identity development is an update to Erikson.  He suggests four categories within which either crisis (a period of identity development in which an adolescent consciously chooses between various alternatives and makes decisions) or commitment (a psychological investment in a course of action or an ideology), takes place.

    12. Marcia’s 4 categories of adolescent identity are: ~1) IDENTITY ACHIEVEMENT - where adolescents consider and explore various alternatives without commitment ~2) IDENTITY FORECLOSURE - adolescents here did not do adequate personal exploration but made a commitment (usually following others' directives)

    13. Marcia’s 4 categories of adolescent identity, continued ~3) IDENTITY DIFFUSION - adolescents explore various options but never commit to one. ~4) MORATORIUM - adolescents explore and do not commit to an option and that creates anxiety and conflict. An identity is usually defined later, after a struggle.

    14. “Exploration”

    15. Marcia’s 4 categories of adolescent identity, continued • Although adolescents are not stuck in one category, research indicates that identity gels by the age of 18. • For some, identity formation takes place beyond the adolescent period .

    16. Identity, Race & Ethnicity • Forming an identity presents a particular challenge for members of ethnic and racial backgrounds because of contradictory societal values • “Society should be color blind, race and ethnic background should not affect opportunity or achievement” • Cultural assimilation model holds that individual cultural identities should be assimilated into a unified culture (“melting pot model”).

    17. (Contrasting views of Identity, Race & Ethnicity, continued) • “Racial and ethnic factors should be a central part of teenagers’ identities” • Pluralistic society model suggests that the U.S. society is made up of diverse, coequal cultural groups that should preserve their individual cultural features (“tossed salad model”). • Developed in part because research suggests that the cultural assimilation model denigrates the cultural heritage of minorities and lowers self esteem

    18. Increase in Bicultural Identity On the 2000 census, almost 7 million people described themselves as multiracial.

    19. (Contrasting views of Identity, Race & Ethnicity, continued) • Bicultural identity suggests that adolescents can draw from their own culture and integrate themselves into the dominant culture (“the middle ground model”). • Suggests that the teen live as a member of two cultures, and have two cultural identities without having to choose

    20. Depression and suicide are two critical psychological difficulties for adolescents. • Some research suggests that about 20-35% of boys, and 25-40% of girls report experiencing depressed moods in the previous 6 months • Although many adolescents experience depressed moods, only a small number experience a major depression, a full-blown psychological disorder in which depression is severe and lingers for long periods. • Roughly 3% of teens

    21. Teen Depression, continued… • Depression has several causes, including biological, environmental, and social factors. • Genetic predisposition • Death of loved one • Depressed parent • Unpopular • Few close friends • Experiencing rejection

    22. Girls have higher incidences of depression than boys but the cause is not clear. • Are there more stresses on the female gender role? • Is this the results of girls' tendencies to react to stress by turning inward, thus experiencing helplessness and hopelessness? • Hormonal differences are not a factor • Some research suggests that African-Americans and Native Americans also have higher depression rates (same suspected reasons as for girls)

    23. Another result of psychological difficulties in adolescence: suicide • Adolescent suicide rates have tripled in the last 30 years - it is the 3rd most common cause of death for teenagers • The current rate is one teenage suicide every 90 minutes. • More girls attempt suicide than boys but more boys succeed. • Males tend to use more violent methods. • There are estimates of as many as 200 attempts for every successful suicide.

    24. (adolescent suicide, continued)  One reason for this increase is the increase in teenage stress - but that is not the whole picture. Other factors include: • Depression • Family conflicts • History of abuse and/or neglect • Drug and alcohol abuse ~

    25. Adolescent Difficulties Most frequently cited reasons for calls to a suicide prevention hotline (1991 study).

    26. Some suicides appear to be caused by exposure to the suicide of others… • CLUSTER SUICIDE in which one suicide leads to attempts by others to kill themselves

    27. There are some clear warning signs for suicide possibility… • Direct or indirect talk • I wish I were dead” • “Don’t worry, I’ll be out of your hair soon” • School difficulties • missed classes, drop in grades • Writing a will • Changes in eating habits • General depression • Sleep habits, lack of energy, uncommunicative • Dramatic behavior changes • Preoccupation with death • Art, music, conversation

    28. Some Main Points About Deterring Adolescent Suicide(Review box in text for more information) • Talk to the person, listen without judging, be supportive! • Talking to the person about specifics will not give the person ideas or encourage the act. This is a myth! • Evaluate the situation—do not leave the person alone if serious danger exists. • Find help! Local & national hotlines are one good source • (800) 621-4000.

    29. Relationships During the Teen Years: Family and Friends • Family relationships change during when adolescents begin to question, and sometimes rebel, against their parents' views. • One reason: shift in roles (especially the quest for adulthood and autonomy by people that were considered children until recently!)

    30. (Autonomy and relationships during the teen years, continued) • Adolescents are seeking AUTONOMY - independence and a sense of control over their lives. • The increase in autonomy usually occurs gradually throughout adolescence and changes the parent-child relationship from an asymmetrical to a more balanced one (for power and influence).

    31. Changing Views of Parents As teens become older, they feel more like separate individuals, & view their parents in less idealized terms.

    32. The Quest for Autonomy & the Effects of Culture • The degree of autonomy achieved varies with families and with cultural expectations • Western societies tend to value individualism • Asian cultures value collectivism • desire for autonomy less pronounced. • Also more feelings of obligation & duty toward family…

    33. Family Obligations

    34. Differences between teen and parental views of the world: A motivation for autonomy? • The GENERATION GAP, a divide between parents and adolescents in attitudes, values, aspirations, and worldviews, is mostly a myth: adolescents and their parents tend to share the same major values. • On social, political, and religious issues, parents and teens are mostly in synch • The difference in values and attitudes between teens is greater than the difference between parent and teen!

    35. What’s the Problem? Teens view of society’s ills are likely to agree with those of their parents.

    36. On the other hand, parent & teen relationships do experience conflict… • In matters of personal taste differences are often great. • Adolescents' argumentativeness and new assertiveness can initially cause conflict in the family but are usually resolved by the end of this stage • Parents even come to see their teens arguments as reasonable and realize teens can be trusted with more freedom

    37. Time Spent by Teens with Parents The amount of time spent with each parent remains remarkably stable across adolescence. Despite their request for autonomy & independence, most teens have deep love, affection & respect for their parents..

    38. Relationships with peers: The importance of belonging  Peer relationships are more critical to adolescents than any other time of life. • Peers provide an opportunity for social comparison and information. • REFERENCE GROUP, a group of people with whom one compares oneself. • Reference groups present a set of norms or standards, against which adolescents judge their social success.

    39. Adolescents are usually part of some identifiable group. • CLIQUES are 2 to 12 people who have frequent interaction; • CROWDS are larger groups where people share some characteristic but often don't interact with each other. • Stereotypes: jocks, brains, druggie, nobody, etc.—strong agreement among teens about the characteristics of each group! • There are strong expectations that people in a particular crowd behave in specific ways. (Is it a self-fulfilling prophesy?)

    40. Another aspect of social and personality development during the adolescent years: gender relations  Gender relations change during the period of adolescence. • SEX CLEAVAGE is characteristic of early adolescence where girls play with girls, boys with boys. • With puberty, there is hormonal and social pressure to interact and eventually most adolescents are in mixed-sex cliques. • At the end of adolescence, cliques become less powerful and male-female relationships become the focus.

    41. Popularity and rejection are central focuses of adolescent lives. ~ Complex social world during the teen years! Categorization can effect social and personality development! High status Categories: • Popular adolescents, who are most liked • Controversial adolescents, who are like by some and disliked by others  Low status categories • Rejected teens, who are uniformly disliked • Neglected teens adolescents, who are neither liked nor disliked

    42. The Social World of Adolescence A teen’s popularity can fall into one of four categories, depending on the opinions of his or her peers. Popularity is related to differences in status, behavior and adjustment.

    43. Another factor impacting teen development: Peer pressure • Some teens are highly susceptible to peer pressure! • PEER PRESSURE is the influence of one's peers to conform to their behavior and attitudes. • In essence, susceptibility to peer pressure does not rise in adolescence; in fact conformity decreases as adolescents increase their own autonomy.

    44. When making decisions, adolescents turn to those whom they consider to be "experts" in that field or problem area. • Social decisions (what to wear, who to date, etc. ) they depend on peers • Non social matters (job/college info, etc.) they are more likely to ask an experienced adult ~Ultimately, however, teens learn to conform less to both peers and adults as they develop increasing autonomy over their lives.

    45. Juvenile Delinquency in the Teen Years • Juvenile delinquency (especially violent crime behavior) rates are rising. • Adolescents (along with young adults) are more likely to commit crimes than any other age group! • One reason is that more behaviors are considered illegal for teens (curfew, drinking) • BUT adolescents are disproportionately involved in violent crimes (almost 20% of serious violent crimes are committed by teens alone or in groups!) • Murders, assaults, rapes

    46. (Juvenile Delinquency in the Teen Years, continued)  Why do teens become involved in criminal activity? • UNDERSOCIALIZED DELINQUENTS are raised with little parental supervision or discipline: they have not been appropriately socialized. • They tend to be relatively aggressive and violent early in life; rejected by peers; likely to have ADHD; and are usually less intelligent than average. • They are relatively unlikely to be rehabilitated

    47. (Juvenile Delinquency in the Teen Years, continued) • SOCIALIZED DELINQUENTS are adolescent delinquents who know and subscribe to the norms of society, and who are fairly normal psychologically. • They are usually influenced by a group & their criminal behavior is usually committed with a group.

    48. Dating, Sexual Behavior, and Teen Pregnancy: Major Impacts on Adolescent Development • By the age of 16, more than 90% of teens have had at least 1 date • Dating serves developmental functions! • Learning how to establish intimacy • Learning how to engage in entertainment • Contributes to an identity in progress! • Cultural influences effect dating patterns, especially if the concept of dating is unfamiliar to the parents (often more control, attempts to maintain cultural patterns)