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Introduction Reading Notes.odt

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Diane Glebe

READING NOTES INTRODUCTION: The Study ofAdolescent Development AMultidisciplinary Approach toAdolescence • Answering questions about adolescent psychological development requires an understanding of how they develop physically. How: ◦ their brain matures ◦ their relationships with others change ◦ as a group they are viewed and treated by society ◦ adolescence in our society differs from adolescence in other cultures ◦ the nature of adolescence itself has changed over the years ▪ Must be familiar with the biological, social, sociological, cultural, and historical perspectives • Amultidisciplinary perspective: ◦ Aperspective that draws on a variety of disciplines • The challenge is not to determine which perspective is best, but to integrate contributions into a coherent viewpoint The Boundaries ofAdolescence • Adolescence is derived from the Latin adolescere which means “to grow into adulthood” • Adolescence is a period of transitions: ◦ Biological, psychological, social, economic ◦ During adolescence, individuals become interested in sex and become biologically capable of having children ◦ “The second decade of the life span” • It makes more sense to think of development during adolescence as a series of transitions from immaturity to maturity • See table 1.1 on page #6 Early, Middle and Late Adolescence ▪ Early adolescence is the period spanning roughly ages 10 – 13, junior high to middle school ▪ Middle adolescence is roughly ages 14 – 17, high school years ▪ Late adolescence is roughly ages 18 – 21, college years ▪ Emerging adolescence is roughly 18 – 25, transition from adolescence to adulthood • “Youth-hood” Recap: • The study of adolescence draws on different disciplines ◦ Psychology, biology, sociology, anthropology, adulthood • Adolescence comes from the Greek word meaning “to grow into adulthood” • There is no single accepted way to define the beginning or end of adolescence • Most social scientists distinguish among three stages of adolescence ◦ Early ◦ Middle ◦ Late • Some writers have suggested that a new phase of life, called “emerging adulthood,” now characterizes the early and mid-20s AFramework for StudyingAdolescent Development #1. The Fundamental Changes of Adolescence • Three features of adolescent development according to Hill: ◦ 1 – The onset of puberty ◦ 2 – The emergence of more advanced thinking abilities ◦ 3 – The transition into new roles in society • Fundamental changes of adolescence ◦ Biological Transitions ▪ Puberty involve changes in the young person's physical appearance and the development of the ability to conceive children ▪ Girls may suddenly become uncomfortable about being affectionate with their father, and boys with their mother ▪ Friendships are altered by newly emerging sexual impulses • In short, puberty is not just a biological event ◦ Cognitive Transitions ▪ Cognitive is used to refer to the processes that underlie how people think about things ▪ The emergence of more sophisticated thinking abilities ▪ Able to think hypothetically and more abstract ◦ Social Transitions ▪ Changes in rights, privileges, and responsibilities ▪ Arite of passage is the social changes of adolescence marked by a formal ceremony Recap • The three features of adolescence that make the period unique are called the “fundamental changes of adolescence” • One fundamental change is biological and involves the physical changes of puberty • Asecond fundamental change is cognitive and involves changes in thinking ability • The third fundamental change is social and involves changes in the way that society defines the individual #2. The Contexts of Adolescence • Although adolescents experience all three fundamental changes, the effects of these changes are not uniform ◦ e.g.) Puberty may make someone feel ugly or attractive ◦ Why? ▪ The psychological impact of the biological, cognitive, and social changes is shaped by the environment in which the changes take place • According to the ecological perspective on human development, we cannot understand development without examining the settings, or context in which it occurs ◦ We focus not only on the developing individual but also on the interrelations between the individual and his or her connections among the contexts ▪ Brofenbrenner, the ecology of adolescence has four distinct levels: • Micro – systems is the immediate settings in which adolescents develop ◦ e.g.) Family or peer group • Meso – system is formed by two or more immediate settings ◦ e.g.) As in the home–school linkage • Exo – system does not directly contain the developing person but affects the setting in which the person lives ◦ e.g.) Parent's workplace • Macro – system is the outermost layer, containing forces such as history and culture ◦ e.g.) Country or era in which the adolescent lives • Four main contexts of adolescence ◦ Families ▪ Frequent moves, high rates of divorce, and increasing numbers of single-parent households have altered aspects of family life ◦ Peer groups ◦ Schools ▪ Contemporary society depends on schools to occupy, socialize and educate ◦ Work, Leisure and the Mass Media ▪ Includes the influence of part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, the mass media, and the Internet Note: They cannot be studied in isolation because they themselves are located within a neighbourhood or community, which influences how they are are structured and what takes place in them. Recap • According to Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological perspective on human development, we cannot understand development without examining the settings, or context, in which it occurs • Although the fundamental biological, cognitive, and social changes of adolescence are universal, their effects depend on the context in which they take place • The immediate, or proximal, contexts of adolescent development are family, peer groups, school and work and leisure settings, including mass media and the Internet • What takes place in these immediate settings is influenced by the broader context in which they are contained, including the community, the culture, and the historical era in which people grow up #3. Psychosocial Development of Adolescence • Psychosocial refers to the aspects of development that are both psychological and social in nature. For example: (Basic developmental challenges) ◦ Identity ▪ Discovering and understanding who they are as individuals ▪ Involves self-conceptions, self-esteem, and the sense of who one is ◦ Autonomy ▪ Establishing a healthy sense of independence ▪ Three sorts of concerns about autonomy: • becoming less emotionally dependent on parents • learning to make independent decisions • establishing a personal code of values and morals ◦ Intimacy ▪ Forming close and caring relationships with other people ▪ Friendships emerge that involve openness, honesty, loyalty, and exchange of confidences • Rather than simply sharing activities and interests ◦ Sexuality ▪ Expressing sexual feelings and enjoying physical contact with others ▪ Aperiod where relationships transform between adolescents and difficult questions arise for the young person ◦ Achievement ▪ Being successful and competent members of society ▪ Changes in individuals' educational and vocational behaviour and plans • Important decisions – with many long-term consequences ◦ e.g.) Schooling, careers ◦ Psychosocial Problems ▪ Drug and alcohol use and abuse ▪ Delinquency and other “externalizing problems” ▪ Depression and other “internalizing problems” Recap • 5 main psychosocial issues are especially important in adolescence • Identity involves changes in he ways individuals see, evaluate, and think about themselves • Autonomy involves the development of emotional, behavioural, and moral independence • Intimacy involves the development of the ability to form close and satisfying relationships with others • Sexuality involves the development of the ability to express sexual feelings and enjoy the physical contact with others • Achievement involves the d
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