Original Lecture = “Cambria”
Tuesday, January 28, 2014. Added on notes = “Arial Narrow”
Week 4: Troubling Teens
I/ Defining terms
II/ A psychological view
IV/ Critical theory
- Child, adolescent, teenager and youth are distinct yet overlapping concepts.
- Adolescence and teenagehood are often pathologized.
- There are different perspectives explaining adolescence, teenager and youth.
- Sociocultural theorists tend to see these as contextspecific, social concepts .
Midterm info, Section B
- Covers material from weeks 15
- Three questions from a choice of four
- Max one page, double spaced, 12pt font
- Each answer will be marked out of ten
- Due Feb. 25/27
- Hand in to turnitin and paper copy in lecture:
o Course ID: 7591862, Course Password: happydays
How to prepare:
- Do your readings
- Make sure you understand the material
- Answer all parts of the question
- Provide ‘road signs’ to the reader
- Define terms
- Do more than one draft
What is a teenager?
I/ Defining terms
- Anyone under the age of 18
- Mostly younger folks (Ages 0-12)
- The term adolescence was not a popular term until the late 19th/early 20th century
- Stanley G. Hall was the man who made this term popular – suggested that adolescence is a universal stage
- He was sort of part of the rise of psychology and had a real interest in populations and people
- He also looked at ways to organize and categorize people
- Linked to rise in psychology and sociology
- Adolescence as universal stage (roughly approximating the “teen years”
- And a stage of trouble and problems (a time that would have to be worried about)
- Embedded in the individual – what was going on between each individual
- Especially concerned with sex and sexuality and that it was important to contain/control adolescent sexuality =
appropriate gender development Tuesday, January 28, 2014.
- “teenager” was an even younger term
- The idea of “teenagers” became more and more popular just after World War II
- Trouble: Post World War 2 (was a time of responsibility)
- (see ‘moral hygiene’ films, e.g. “How to be Popular” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yaSuhmLk40)
- These types of people were also associated this age group with trouble
- Teenagers also associated with Fun: Link to spending and consumption (a willingness to use their income to
- Youth (late teens, early twenties, young adults): flexibly defined
II/ A note on psychology…
o Risk Taking
o Teenage Rebellion
- Stanley Hall (an American psychologist and educator)
o Teen brain are “not mature”
o Teens take risks and make unthoughtful decisions
o Teens rebel
o Is this inevitable?
- Underdeveloped prefrontal cortex
- Selfregulatory systems not mature
- Remember Omar and Nathan?
- The defence used the “immature brain” argument to explain their behaviour
Beatrice and John Whiting (anthropologists)
- Doesn’t occur in some cultures
- In other cultures it only occurs after Western ideals are introduced
- Is teen rebellion a Westerninfluenced concept?
- Is it cultural / contextual?
o These concepts and foundational understandings of teens do not hold up all the time
o Poses a real challenge for traditional psychologists
How can traditional psychology learn from a cultural approach?
- Maybe the environment (culture) created the neurological underdevelopment
- Neural Sculpting – a teenager’s typical development does not necessarily include an immature brain and it may
happen because of environmental changes