Development—Adolescence Chapter 9
Transition from Childhood to Adolescence • Core Concept: • Adolescence offers new developmental challenges growing out of physical changes, cognitive changes, and socio-emotional pressures. • When does Adolescence begin? • Psychologist mark the beginning of adolescence when puberty (or sexual maturation) begins.
Adolescence and Culture • The social and psychological dimensions of adolescence depend on the cultural context. • Experiences in adolescence can differ based on the culture you are raised in. • Ex: Puberty/Adolescence is a sign of greater responsibility. • Adolescences are seen as immature, confused and trouble makers.
Physical Maturation in Adolescence • One of the first signs on approaching adolescence is the pubescent growth spurt. • Two to three years after the growth spurt, puberty/ sexual maturation is reached.
Physical Maturation • One of the biggest tasks of adolescence is accepting body image. • One’s personal and subjective view of one’s own appearance. • This image is dependent not only on measurable features such as height, but as well as other people’s assessment and perceptions.
During this period, there is a dramatic physical changes and heightened emphasis on peer acceptance. (especially acceptance by sexually attractive peers). • Physical appearance is one of the biggest concerns in teens • 44% of American adolescent girls and 23% of boys claim they have “frequently ugly and unattractive” • Girls’ self- concepts are tied to perceptions of their physical attractiveness, while boys seem more concerned about their athletic ability and achieving goals.
Cognitive Development in Adolescence • During this stage (formal operational) the individual begins to ponder introspective problems involving ways of better becoming accepted by peers, along with abstract and intangible issues, such as fairness, love, and reason for existence. • This is a time for teens to experiment, become involved and expand their thoughts and beliefs.
Social and Emotional Issues in Adolescence • Erik Erikson suggested that the most essential problem of adolescence is discovering one’s true identity amid the confusion of playing many different roles for different audiences in the social world. • German-American psychologist • Born in Germany as a result of his mother’s extramarital affair • Was often teased in adolescence and it was his experiences as young person that led to his theory of identity development
Identity vs. Role Confusion • This is the stage most relevant to adolescence • Development depends on the individual • Outcome is identity formation • Healthy path – establishing a clear sense of who you are • Unhealthy path – failure to form a secure and stable identity
Development of Identity • Identity is partially based on identifications accumulated through childhood • Psychosocial moratorium • Postponing adult responsibilities to try out various possible selves • Not universal • At the extreme, a negative identity may be formed
Delinquency • Delinquency – when juveniles commit crimes • Three types of crimes • Status offenses • Index crimes • Nonindex crimes • The majority of crimes are committed by males aged 15 to 25
Delinquency • Life-course-persistent delinquents • Showed problems of neurological functioning, temperament, and behavior from an early age • Unpopular in childhood- aggressive, lack of impulse control • Likely to have been raised in a high-risk environment • Continue to commit crimes • Non-normative • Adolescent-limited delinquents • No early signs of problems • Periods of occasional criminal activity • Normative
Family Structure • Single strongest correlation to delinquency • More than 2/3 of delinquent males come from single parent families—almost always involving a mother but no father. • Female delinquents/ teen moms also tend to come from single parent, fatherless households. • Welfare Explanation:
Girls In Trouble • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzxazCM8N98 • What connections about the girl’s lives did you see in the video and our readings?
Sexual Issues in Adolescence • The development of sexual orientation and behavior is an important task of adolescence. • The majority of American adolescents males and females admit that they often think about sex. Yet, many still lack adequate knowledge or have misconceptions about sex and sexuality—even if they are sexually active. • Sex is a topic some parents find difficult to discuss with their children, thus influencing teens to be secretive about sexual concernsand questions.
Cultural Influence on Sexuality • Sexuality is shaped by cultural context • Asian Americans are the least likely of the major American Ethnic groups to engage in sexual activity . • For White American adolescents, there is a typical progression through sexual stages – masturbation, necking and petting, intercourse, oral sex. • African American adolescents are more likely to skip the petting stage and move right into sex.
Statistics • Masturbation is the most common expression of sexual impulses in adolescence. • (1990) By the age 16, almost 90% of boys and 60% of girls in the U.S. report that they have masturbated. (Janus&Janus). • These statistics could be distorted, because scientist find it difficult to get good data on such a private sexual practice. • To test these theories, research normally involves anonymous surveys. • Participants tend to not answer truthfully, because they feel ashamed or guilty.
Statistics • What percentage of high school and college students have had sex? • 33% of 9th graders • 62% of 12th graders • 80% of college students • Ethnic differences in proportion of high school students who have had sex • Lowest for white adolescents (49%) • Somewhat higher for Latino adolescents (58%) • Highest for African American adolescents (73%)
Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens • It is during adolescence that most gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) people become fully aware of their sexual orientation • Coming out • In most Western cultures, GLB adolescence engage in the process of coming out • Involves a person’s recognizing his or her own sexual identity and then disclosing the truth to friends, family, and others
Same-Sex Orientation • A Homosexual identity can be traumatic for many adolescents, usually because of the homophobia that exists in many societies • About one third attempt suicide • Higher rates of substance abuse, school and family problems • Exposure to mistreatment by peers • In recent years there has been a cultural shift in the US toward more favorable and tolerant perceptions • Increased media presence • Positive teen attitudes have tripled in the past decade to 54%
Heterosexual Behavior in Adolescence Gender Differences: • The initial sexual experiences of males and females differ tremendously. • For the majority of females, emotional involvement is an important ingredient of sexual attraction. • For most males, personal relationships appear to be less important than the actual sex itself.
Think, Pair, & Share • Reflect on the statistics of sexual activity in teens—do these numbers shock you? Why or Why not? • Reflect on homosexuality in teens– do you feel that teens who are openly gay are more likely to be bullied in social environments?
Kohlberg’s Moral Development • John Q: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc0vO7XqkE0
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development • Kohlberg presented his participants with hypothetical moral dilemmas and asked them to make a judgment and explain their reasons for their decision. • Whether a person judged the actions of the main character in the dilemma as right or wrong was not important. Rather, his or her reasoning for the judgment was key to determining stage of moral reasoning.
Consider… • In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that? (Kohlberg, 1963, p. 19) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY4etXWYS84
Critiques of Kohlberg • Gender critique • Justice orientation versus care orientation • Carol Gilligan: • Cultural critique • Biased toward individualistic cultures • Use of hypothetical dilemmas
Conclusion • Adolescence is a developmental stage that is heavily influenced by peers, family, and society. • These effects can be both positive and negative. • During this stage, teens experiment to create an “identity”.