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Lecture 1

PSYC 437 Lecture 1: Most updated notes

Course Code
PSYC 437
David Schwartz

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Psychology 437: Adolescent Development
In the media, adolescence is a time of turmoil and brooding
Stereotypes of adolescence:
A time of stress
Peer pressure is a controlling influence
A time of rebellion and conflict
Adolescence is not a period of turmoil, that’s a myth
Early adolescents (middle school) are more susceptible to peer pressure, but it is
vastly overstated
We sort into peer groups where our values and interests are represented, self
selection plays a big role.
It is not often that children are pressured into things that are completely opposed
to their original values.
Some children are influenced more than others
On the contrary to popular belief, adolescence is a time when children develop
intimacy with their parents. It is a time when parents and children become closer.
Classic adolescent psychology video: The Age of Turmoil
The actions may be excessive, but is normal teenagers
Girls: Unrealistic ideas about their future, complaints about family and school
Boys: New lungpower and boundless energy annoys the neighbors, spend hours in
completely useless activities, the gang is impressed over materialistic things such
as car.
Behaviors such as eternal hunger and untidiness are annoying for parents
Girls need constant reassurance for friendships
Negative phase is the resistant to obedience, regress back to childhood
Adults with too strict an attitude will result n the child being more resistant
The picture of adolescents you get with this video is that they are bacuous,
irresponsible, animalistic, and immature.
1950s-1970’s way of thinking but is still prevalent in today’s society.
What is Adolescence?
A developmental transition period, but when does adolescence begin? When does it end?
Biological, cognitive, social, and economic changes
Are college students adolescents? Most would say yes.
The world is so complex, most people are developing later in life: getting jobs,
finishing school, and having children. (A new transition period?) Therefore, many
people are still unsettled in their 20s
Maybe there is a third stage, but is it a good thing?
Puberty is a defining feature, but not the only one
Puberty is on setting earlier now (every ten year, it begins four months earlier)

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The Secular Trend:
The tendency for puberty to begin earlier
There is a driving force
Occurs in the most industrialized countries
Puberty doesn’t start if the health is compromised
Could the American high fat diet have anything to do with this?
Puberty is dynamic system that occurs at different points
The roots of puberty are biological change that children experience since birth
Early Adolescence: Instability in self-image
Middle Adolescence: Early romantic relationships
Social transitions occur across the lifespan
What are some of the legal transitions of an adolescent? The right to drink, vote, and
As Adolescents unfold, we get an increased control of education
Rights of passage define adolescence
How we think about adolescence reflects social changes
Cognitive Changes:
-Adolescences have trouble with: categorizations and understanding cause and effect
Salient Developmental Tasks:
-Issues that are of particular concern during specific periods of development. These are
tasks that a youth must negotiate successfully to make the transition from childhood to
adolescence and then to adulthood. Every aspect of development is confronted by
different challenges. It’s in the salient developmental tasks where you see trouble in
child. Success in salient developmental task is critical in the subsequent SDT’s
Of infancy, emotion regulations. Critical because later the child transitions to school and
if they don’t have the capacity for emotion regulation, they will experience failure at
those future salient developmental tasks.
Of adolescents: intimacy in friendships, romantic relationships, autonomy, identity, and
academic adjustment (this is critical for adjustment in adulthood)
Historical forces that shape adolescence:
-Before the industrial revolution, adolescence didn’t exist. There was no bridge from
childhood to adulthood. The SDT was adjusting to the work place. Children went from
childhood to working
-Child Labor Laws
-Compulsory education: adjusting to school becomes a SDT
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