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PSYC 1000
Benjamin Giguere

ADOLESCENCE Adolescence  Development is lifelong process  Lifespan perspective emerged psychologists began to look at how maturation and experience shape us not only in infancy and childhood, but in adolescence and beyond  Adolescence the years spent morphing from child to adult-starts with the physical beginnings of sexual maturity and ends with the social achievement of independent adult status  Teen years in industrialized countries blissful time when childhood is coming to an end, and out of that vast circle, a path takes shape  Tension between biological maturity and social dependence creates a period of storm and stress  social approval was imperative, their sense of direction in life was in flux, and feeling of alienation from parents was deepest  It is also a time of vitality without the cares of adulthood, a time of rewarding friendships, of heightened idealism and growing sense of life’s exciting possibilities Physical Development  Adolescent begins with puberty, the time when we mature sexually  Puberty follows a surge of hormones, which may intensify moods and which trigger a 2-year old period of rapid physical development, usually beginning at age 11 in girls, 13 in boys  About the time of puberty, boy’s growth propels them to greater height than their female counterparts  During the growth spurt, the primary sex characteristics the reproductive organs and external genitalia develop dramatically  So do secondary characteristics the non-reproductive traits such as breasts and hips in girls, facial hair and deepened voices in boys, pubic and underarm hair in both  A year or two before puberty boys and girls often start feeling attraction towards others  In girls puberty starts with breast development  Puberty’s landmarks are first ejaculation in boys and first menstrual period in girls  Menarche (first menstrual period) appears to a few months earlier for girls who have experienced their stresses, related to father absence, sexual abuse, or insecure attachments  First menstrual period mixture of feelings (pride, embarrassment, excitement, apprehension)  Sequence of physical changes in puberty are more predictable than timing  Variations in timing have little effect on height at maturity but have psychological consequences  Early maturation in boys tend to be more athletic and stronger therefore more popular, independent and self- assured, though they are more at a risk for alcohol use, delinquency, and premature sexual activity  Early maturation in girls if a young girl’s body and hormone-fed feelings are out of sync with her emotional maturity and her friends’ physical development and experiences she may begin associating with older adolescents or may suffer teasing or sexual harassment  Not only maturation that counts but reaction to physical development  Puberty for girls includes increased body fat, increased hormone-mimicking chemicals, and increased stress relate family disruption  today occurs at earlier age  Until puberty brain cells increase their connection  During adolescence, comes a selective pruning of unused neurons and connections  As teens mature their frontal lobes continue to develop  The growth of the myelin, the fatty tissue that forms around axons and speeds neurotransmission, enables better communication with other brain regions  These developments bring improved judgement, impulse control, and long-term planning ADOLESCENCE  Frontal lobe maturation lags behind the emotional limbic system  Puberty’s hormonal surge and limbic system development help explain teens’ occasional impulsiveness, risky behaviours, and emotional storms  Seek thrills and rewards, but cannot yet located brake pedal to controlling their impulses  Frontal lobes will continue maturing until age 25 (unless slow brain development by drinking and addiction) Cognitive Development  Early teen years reasoning is often self-focused  Worry about how others think about them  Begin to reason more abstractly Developing Reasoning Power  When adolescents achieve intellectual summit, Piaget called formal operations, they apply their new abstract reasoning tools to their world around them  May think about what is ideally possible and compare that with the imperfect reality of their society, their parents, and even themselves  Sense of what is fair changes from simple equality to equity  May seek deeper conception of God and existence  Reasoning hypothetically and deducting consequences also enable adolescents to detect inconsistencies and spot hypocrisy  Debate human nature, good and evil, truth and justice Developing Morality  Two critical task of childhood and adolescence is discerning right from wrong and developing character the psychological muscles for controlling impulses  To be a moral person is think morally and act accordingly  Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg proposed that moral reasoning guides moral actions  Much functioning occurs of unconscious, automatic thinking Moral Reasoning  Piaget believed that children’s moral judgments build on their cognitive development  Lawrence Kohlberg sought to describe the development of moral reasoning, the thinking that occurs as we
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