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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 part 2 PS102.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

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PS102 Chapter 11 – Human Development across the Life Span Week 9 The Transition of Adolescence -Adolescence is a transitional period between childhood and adulthood -Begins at around age 13 and ends at about age 22 -Not universal across cultures -A critical time for the development of important physical and psychological attributes, even a sense of identity Physiological Changes -Adolescent growth spurt – phase of rapid growth in height and weight -Recent evidence suggests that rising levels of leptin, the recently discovered hormone that reflects the body’s fat cell storage, may provide the crucial signals for these growth spurts -Pubescene is used to describe the two-year span receding puberty, during which the changes leading to physical and sexual maturity take place -Secondary sex characteristics – physical features that distinguish one sex from the other but that are not essential for reproduction – Ex. Breast growth -Puberty is the stage during which sexual functions reach maturity, which marks the beginning of adolescence -Primary sex characteristics – the structures necessary for reproduction -The primary sex characteristics develop fully during puberty -In females, the onset of puberty is typically signalled by menarche – the first occurrence of menstruation -For girls it starts at 12 ½-16 years old, and or boys around 14-18 -Girls who mature early and boys who mature late seem to have more emotional difficulties with the transition to adolescence Natural Development: The Teen Brain -Some have referred to the teenage brain as a “work in process” -The prefrontal cortex appears to be the last area of the brain to fully mature, and this maturation may not be complete until one’s mid-20s -Other factors also contribute to risky behaviour during adolescence, one of which is susceptibility to peer influence -The presence of peers more than doubled the number of risks taken by teenagers Time of Turmoil? -Adolescence is a time of change and transition -Statistics on adolescent depression and suicide would seem to support the idea that adolescence is a time marked by turmoil and disturbance for some -Adolescence is a period of increased risk for a variety of problems -Suicide rates among teens have increased alarmingly over the past few decades -Attempted suicides are much higher for females than males -Cultural continuity factors differentiate the setting where suicide rates are high -It is argued that a sense of personal and cultural continuity is necessary, especially in times of change, to serve as a critical foundation for personal and cultural identity -A sense of personal continuity or personal persistence is fundamental to psychological health -The highly publicized problem of adolescent violence has led many people to conclude that adolescence is indeed a time of turmoil PS102 Chapter 11 – Human Development across the Life Span Week 9 -Those most at risk for continued bullying during teen years were characterized by troubled relationships with the parents and friends -Overall recent consensus of the experts has been that adolescence is not an exceptionally difficult period -Although turbulence and turmoil are not universal features of adolescence, challenging adaptations do have to be made during this period. In particular, most adolescents struggle to some extent in their effort to achieve a sound sense of identity The Search for Identity -Erikson says that the premier challenge of adolescence is the struggle to form a clear sense of identity -This struggle involves working out a stable concept of oneself as a unique individual and embracing an ideology or system of values that provides a sense of direction -Although the struggle for a sense of identity can be a lifelong process, it does tend to be especially intense during adolescence -Adolescents deal with identity formation in a variety of ways -Marcia’s four identity statuses: -Identity achievement – successful achievement of a sense of identity -Identity foreclosure – unquestioning adoption of parental or societal values -Identity moratorium – active struggling for a sense of identity -Identity diffusion – absence of struggle for identity, with no obvious concern about it -People tend to reach identity achievement at later ages than originally envisioned -By late adolescence, only 22-26 percent of the sample had reached identity achievement Emerging Adulthood as a New Developmental Stage -According to Arnett, the years between age 18 and 25 have become a distinct, new transitional stage of life -A feature of emerging adulthood is that it is an age of possibilities – it tends to be a time of great optimism about one’s personal future -It is a self-focused time of life -Emerging adulthood is a period of identity formation The Expanse of Adulthood -Patterns of development during the adult years are becoming increasingly diverse Personality Development The Question of Stability -The evolution of a personality continues through the fifth decade of life -It appears that personality in adulthood is characterized by both stability and change Erikson’s View of Adulthood -Divided adulthood into three stages -In the early adulthood stage, called intimacy vs. isolation, the key concern is whether one can develop the capacity to share inti
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