Canadian Adolescence Midterm 1 Notes
There is no generation gap. Most people younger and older aren’t aware of it. Adults think they
value things that are important and younger people don’t.
- Honesty, family life, concern for others, spirituality are fading among both older and
Teens: How Teens are perceived by Adults vs. Actual
Trait: Perceived Actual
Honesty 21% 73%
Family Life: 13% 59%
Spirituality: 5% 29%
Concern for Others: 12% 62%
- Clearly adults think youth value these traits a lot less than they actually do
Adults: Teens Perceiving Adults vs Actual
Trait: Perceived Actual
Honesty 37% 92%
Family Life 47% 85%
Spirituality 15% 34%
Concern for Others 30% 71%
- Teens think adults value these traits a lot less than they actually do.
Young people are spiritual, but not for organized religion. Seems to be a disconnect between
generations in terms of perception, but in actuality, they overlap. Young people and old people
have a lot more common ground than they thought.
Top 5 Sources of Enjoyment:
Friends – consistently number 1 for both males and females
Music – consistently number 2 for both male and females
Your mother –3 for females
- 4 /5 for males : parents have to spend more time with their children and make them
understand the important relationship they have. We have to re-evaluate the mask of
masculinity where men can’t show emotion and cry.
Sports – 3 for males
Dating – 4 /5 for males, 4 for females: females care more about having a relationship than
Your father – doth not plathmuch significance for males, serious thing
Your BF/GF – 5 males, 4 females
** Sports and Males***
Why is it that boys can pick up guns and shoot someone? Mask of Masculinity. Comes the
variable of sports, males play to win.
Why do men kill their girlfriends? They do not like to lose. Have to do with boys not connecting
with their fathers. Girls on the other hand have a relationship with their fathers and have gf/bf relationships going on. This tells us that we have different things to worry about with boys and
- Mothers are tied with technology for girls, whereas boys place tech first
- Music plays a large role in both boys and girls (songs evoke memory) – need to look at
what kind of music is out there today
Drug Use Among Teens: Trend over the years
Cigarettes smoking – INCREASED
Alcohol – REMAINED CONSTANT over decades
Smoking Marijuana – INCREASED
Hard Drugs – DECREASED from ‘84 to ’92, then INCREASED to ’00 **drug use has not
increased markedly. Most teens aren’t bothering with drugs – unfair stereotype**
Almost 50% have a friend with severe depression
Almost 50% have a friend who has been bullied – doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening before, but
is now being recognized
30% attempt suicide – has dropped off
Less being physically/sexually abused – has dropped from 1992 to 2008
Victim of gang violence – dropped
Drinking, smoking and other drug use – more male adolescence than females smoke, however,
more males are now lowering and females are now increasing. This is brought out by longevity.
Now there are more women dying from lung cancer.
Shift in life cycle expectations: Women dying a little younger, men living a bit longer.
Conventional Relationships and Dating:
It’s less important to have bf/gf or be dating today. There are increasing numbers of teens more
willing to hang out. They are less likely to be alarmed if they aren’t dating. Conventional
relationships and dating are losing popularity. How does it translate to young adult life?
Common law outranks institutionalized ceremony. Today, people are more likely to live with
person without being married.
Sexual Activity Across Generations:
Has NOT increased (contrary to what people think). Has been consistent since 1987. Unfair
We are not as prejudice against gays and lesbians as the older generations. Conservatism is
dying and liberalism is flourishing. Jean Cretienne implemented laws.
28-57: 1 st
58-68: 2 rd
13-28: 4 th
Image of who is sexually intimate is not correct and has led to unfair stereotypes.
Are teachers genuinely interested in you?
50% of teens say teachers are genuinely interested in them.
60% of teens have confidence in the teacher being in charge. Believe that most courses are fairly interesting.
50% (in high school) enjoyed school quite a bit
- 40% - they may not like academics, but they like school for social aspects.
Do you have confidence in governments?
40% have confidence in governments.
40% have confidence in religious organizations.
A Brief History of Youth:
• The concern for those in our community who are “coming of age”
- Researchers say that we should be concerned about young people. They are “coming of
age” – left childhood, in adolescence and transferring into young adult. Should become
responsible individual that the nation can rely on. Distrust of adolescence.
- Plato – reasoning was not characteristic of children, but ability to reason first made
appearance in adolescence. Younger children should spend time in sports and music,
while adolescence should study science and math (showing ability to critically think).
- Last part of the brain to develop is the frontal lobe (critical thinking part of brain).
- Aristotle – most important aspect of adolescence is ability to choose. Critical thinking is
gathering important information and making a decision.
- Made observation that adolescence are egocentric. He said that this was something he
thought needed to be fixed.
- They think they know everything and they’re sure of it.
• The view of the Greek poet Hesoid
- Hesoid – if society depends on frivolous youth of today, there would be problems.
Stereotype that adolescence are irresponsible and the future is at risk.
• Adages of today, opinion of today
- Same concern is consistent throughout years. “Youth is wasted on the young.” We are
the most tech savvy, literate generation ever had.
• “coming of age” associated with tension
- Tension: More likely to happen in society where people are encouraged to live
vicariously (where the individual lives for the group). They’re more concerned about
“what others will think.” Do what you do so you don’t bring shame on the family.
- Starting to live for individual rights and fight for what you believe in (living a democratic
life) – for them there is less tension since they’ve aired their concerns. For individual
living for the group – more tension.
Erikson – adolescence is a natural stage in life. It’s something they have to go through.
Need to be mentored, but cannot deny them the process.
I.e., baby learning to walk and talk – it stumbles and falls, you help them up. If teen
comes home drunk, parents do not help them up. But you need to let them make their
mistakes. Allow them to learn from their mistakes. However, this doesn’t always happen
due to being afraid.
Expectations are being changed and require patience. Benchmarks – graduating from grade 8, 12, getting a degree (honestly from a University)
- Today, it seems to be taking longer for credibility (i.e. finishing a B.A in 3 years and
getting a good job vs. now more schooling)
- Prolonged stage of adolescence
• Today it takes longer to reach this “coming of age”
- Previous generations, adolescence didn’t exist
- They were mini adults. Went from childhood to young adulthood to adults. Very little time
- Young men in the army were only 14/15 years old
- There is a discrepancy between the period of being a “mini-adult” to the now elongated
- Moved from agrarian society to industrial society, then 1800’s to 1900’s there was a rural
to urban translation
- Both parents would work, they ended up trusting their children to go school (sometimes
would skip school and smoke)
- What were they supposed to do with this period of their lives?
- First recognized this cohort of individuals showing negative behaviour, seen as
- Who is this problem category? Adolescence – Canadian term (teenager was coined in
1950 by Americans)
- People thought there was something wrong with them. Adolescence becomes period of
horrible hormones, judgery period in which parents will have to suffer. At end of this
period of stress and storm, the individuals will be able to manage impulses and reach
- G. Stanley Hall – addressed new stage of nature stage – natural stage, teen will move
through this period, one would have to just wait it out. It was inevitable and nature
- Cross-culturally, not all cultures have this period of adolescence:
- Traditional cultures – where individual lives for the group, there is a very
tempered adolescence (don’t do things that will bring shame to family)
- More western cultures – there’s more individualism and freedom, bad behaviour
takes place more often
• The nature vs. nurture issue
- Some researchers thought there was strong genetic influence, maybe nature has
something to do with it, but nurturing and socialization has something to do with it too.
How much nature? How much nurture?:
- Brain development – frontal lobe is part that develops the latest – the critical
thinking part of our mind. Adolescence think they’re invaluable.
- We socially construct reality – need to nurture youth in a way that they become
- Most important that adults provide adolescence with support, welcoming environment,
and make a place in the young adult world and prepare themselves for it.
- Margaret Mead’s contribution and suggestions
- The adult community should provide a set of consistent beliefs: - Need integrity
- hard work
- encouragement in time managements, taking risks and trusting yourself (in
- Reality shows – different
- There should be a clear role for young people today. Should be mentoring and
facilitating young people. Now trying to build in apprenticeship into the degree – need
hands on experience.
- Society with inconsistent beliefs, make youth feel marginalized.
- Easier for youth to live in a small community, same ethnic culture, strong religious beliefs
- In a homogenous societies, if it’s a pleasant situation, okay to live there. But if
you move to a society that’s heterogeneous (many religions, cultures, races,
educational opportunity) – become too overwhelmed with the choices that’s
available to you.
- Older generation won’t know how to mentor you – it becomes difficult
• An education for choice
- Adolescent needs an education for making choices – have to learn how to gather
information and make informed decisions and seek out specialists that will help them
(diminishes the role of parents).
- Important for them to learn critical thinking – so once gathered information, they will
make good decisions.
Youth of Today
• Industrialized society advanced industrialized societ
• “coming of age” again delayed
- Need to understand that we are a post-industrialized society. Given this change, there
can be tension between them and adults.
- Moved into this era where young people have to face different things at a different time
which means we have to exercise different strategies and solutions
- Young generation is not being facilitated the way it should. Our generation is referred to
“the generation on hold”.
- Double dipping – older retired people coming back – where are the jobs for young
people? “Generation x” – unknown quantity, insecurity about the future. “The lost
generation” – when is that we will be able to settle down and make a living? The baby
boomers can be considered greedy – working too much and costing the younger
- We are now demanding more of adolescence in Canadian society. Youth have all the
degrees, all the debt, no job, further in debt for a car, debt for a mortgage and wedding.
- We’re coming to a stall, when will we be where/who we want to be? Increasing
competition for more limited spaces for education after university. Why not maximize on
the students who want to learn?
• Phenomenon of collective outbursts - Because of these pressures, young people are not happy: collective outburst (Quebec’s
- There’s frustrations in high school – metal detectors, shootings – youth are frustrated
and begin to get this image as troublemakers. Media reports it as deviant behaviour.
- Deviancy Amplification: we have these media based campaigns that are directed at
youth problems. Sometimes they have the effect opposite to what was intended.
- Collective outbursts happening today are much more specialized for a targeted issue.We
are now witnessing a frustration as we find these collective outbursts, individuals feel
- Youth are economically manipulated as well – fashion
- Marginalized – do people take you seriously? In the last election they did, the winning
party would have to have young people voting. Platforms were made focused to youth.
- Adults are cautious about youth (guards in schools). Girls are also forming gangs, high
levels of unemployment, the levels of suicide continue, mindless consumerism is still
there to consider
- Researchers produce little interest in “coming of age” phenomena
- Researchers are there to study the frustration of the coming of age, but it takes them
years to analyzed, peer reviewed, published
- We are the most educated generation so far
• Sensationalism vs. understanding
Why study adolescence?
• Recognition of “life-span development”
- Important years because they set foundation for young adult and adult life. It is a
- Think of most powerful, positive influence in your life what would it be? – easier for us to
- Usually a person, encouragement, gave you empowerment
- What is the most negative power of influence in your life and what has that done to you?
Usually someone who has done something to diminish you,
- The hockey players that were molested – they endured it so they could be in the NHL – it
greatly changed them (one chose his career based on it and the other started drinking)
- Theo Flurry, discloses, advocates for a just sentence for people who sexually abuse kids
- Large negative power of influence in life – until you heal the wound, you’re not a whole
- It is very important to look at adolescence, because many things can happen at this
stage of life that shape the future.
- Dependency of childhood, performance stage of adulthood. Adolescence is the transition
- Don’t want people messing you up at that stage
- You should be mentored, facilitated • Adolescence – a “way station stage”
What is adolescence?
• Definitions within various disciplines
- Little agreement among scholars about the beginning and ending of adolescence
• Physiological definition
- When reproductive organs and secondary sex characteristics begin to change when
they become fully functioning
- Ending – when reproductive organs are fully functional
- Basically sexual development
- Does it start with hormonal changes? Or visible secondary characteristics that mark the
- Do you have to prove fertility to be considered at the end of adolescence?
- Sometimes fertile youth can be impregnated…does this mean they have finished their
- Criticized a lot
• Cognitive definition
- Acquisition of ability to reason concretely. Children are not able to think abstractly, they
have to have a concrete point, doing math.
- As you get older, brain develops, critical thinking skill begin, children gradually develop
thinking process, become less dependent on their concrete thinking process and can
start thinking more abstractly.
- Gifted children test: thinking about thinking – metacognition – deep thinking
- Individual develop towards this ability to think on a metacognition level (towards end).
This proves difficult to measure. When they test the population, 1/3 of population in
north America is unable to think abstractly on a meta cognitive level.
- There’s a large part of society that do not fit into this category.
- Criticism – can we really say that 1/3 of population are preadolescent?
• Chronological definition
- Second decade in life (10-20 years)
- Criticism – this is too simple, not enough to work with, false assumption for beginning
and end of this:
- Some third world countries 10 year olds have to take care of a family whereas
western world 30 year olds live in parents basement
- Who’s the adult?
• Eclectic definition
- Use a bit of each, put them together
- Come up with a specific score - Many difficulties with this
• Sociological definition
- Onset of puberty as start of adolescence
- Sebald – argues that adolescence ends when young people have established a coping
style consistent with demands for their social world and when society recognizes their
entry into adulthood
- Told that there has to be some sort of managing of your world
- There’s a drinking age – point at which you’re entrusted to have some coping style – not
expected to get drunk
- Considered someone that is respected and given that right to drink
- Criticism –
- Society’s recognition and individual’s point of reaching maturity could be
- Can be mature and very young, but society doesn’t see that.
- Teenagers permitted to participate in war – are 18 year olds mature enough to kill
someone in battle?
- There are a lot of steps and things to look at before this term can be defined
- Any definition can be justified, but there are always shortfalls with them
• Learner’s permit definition
- This one seems to work. Adolescence as a period of transition. Period that differs in
length for each individual
- Franklin Zimring – legal world of adolescence – it is best viewed as a growing up
process that necessitates the individual making decisions. A process where adolescents
are expected to make decisions and make mistakes. We permit it. The mistakes ideally