adolescent psych

Multidisciplinary approach
biological, social, sociological, cultural, and historical perspectives
The second decade of life
Greek meaning: “To grow into adulthood”
Lengthened in 20th century—puberty occurs earlier, social roles delayed until mid (or even late!) 20’s.
Three Stages of Adolescence
Early adolescence: 10-13
Middle adolescence: 14-17
Late adolescence: 18-21

Similar to how young people are grouped into educational institutions (middle school, high school, and college)

Three Fundamental Transitions
Biological: The onset of puberty and how puberty affects psychological development and social relationships

Cognitive: The emergence of more advanced thinking abilities (more hypothetical and abstract terms)

Social: How society defines children versus those who are seen as ready to become adults

Ecological Perspective
Perspective on development which emphasizes the broader context/environment in which development occurs
Urie Bronfenbrenner (1979)
Four main contexts for adolescents
families, peer groups, schools, and work

Microsystem: Immediate settings of activities, roles, and interpersonal relations

Mesosystem: Contains the microsystems

Exosystem: Settings which do not specifically contain the developing person, but influence “his or her developmental possibilities” and daily life (examples: BC’s policies, parents work, town you grew up in, federal government, workplace, etc…)

Macrosystem: Overarching culture, beliefs, and patterns of a given society (examples: democracy, meritocracy, religion, economy, etc…).

Chronosystem: Historical events and time that shape development (examples: technology revolution, 9-11, change in presidency, etc…)

Elements of development that are psychological and social in nature—like identity
psychosocial elements of adolescents
Identity: Who you are as an individual
Autonomy: Establishing a healthy sense of independence
Intimacy: Forming close and caring relationships with others (friendships and romantic)
Sexuality: Expressing sexual feelings and enjoying physical contact with others
Achievement: Being successful and competent members of society
Psychosocial problems: Drug and alcohol use/abuse, delinquency, depression, etc….
theoretical perspectives on adolescence
Historical & Anthropological
Biosocial Theory
Stress the hormonal and physical changes of puberty as the driving forces
Hall’s Theory of Recapitulation (1904)
Development of the individual parallels development of human species
Storm and stress: Hormonal changes of puberty cause upheaval
organismic theory
Like biosocial stress the importance of biological changes, but also examine how contextual forces interact with and modify biological forces
Freudian Theory: Psychosexual conflicts that arise at different points of development; adolescence as a time of upheaval
Eriksonian Theory: Psychosocial crises characteristic of each period of growth—biological developments move individual from one stage to next, but face psychosocial conflict at each stage
Piagetian Theory: Changes in the nature of thinking or cognition—as children mature, pass through (biological) stages of cognitive development, but also influenced by changes in intellectual environment
Learning Theory
Stress the context in which behavior takes place; not especially developmental
Behaviorism: The process of reinforcement and punishment (Skinner, 1953)
Social Learning Theory: The ways in which adolescents learn to behave through modeling and observation (Bandura, 1959)
Sociological Theory
How adolescents, as a group, come of age in society (do not emphasize differences, focus on factors that adolescents have in common)
Adolescent Marginality: Two themes
Power difference exists between adults and adolescent generations
Many adolescents are prohibited from occupying meaningful roles
Intergenerational Conflict: Adolescents and adults grow up under different social circumstances and develop different sets of attitudes, values, and beliefs
Historical & Anthropological
: Examine the broader context in which young people come of age; adolescence as a developmental period has varied from one historical era to another
Adolescence as an “invention:” Some theorists believe that adolescence is an entirely social invention—what do you think?
Anthropological perspectives: View adolescence as a culturally defined experience
Continuous: Transition into adulthood is gradual and peaceful
Discontinuous: Transition into adulthood is abrupt and difficult
Stereotypes vs. Scientific Study
Adolescents are one of the most stereotyped groups in society
Most stereotypes of adolescence are very negative: sex-crazed, foolish, irresponsible, difficult, combative, etc…
Scientific study of adolescence has not provided evidence in support of these stereotypes
Social Redefinition
Process through which an individual’s position or status is redefined by society
Elongation of Adolescents
Adolescence lasts longer today (in the US) than ever before
Puberty is occurring earlier
Entering into adult social roles later: work & family
Some argue that the transition into adulthood is “too long, too vague, and too disorderly” and has had harmful effects on adolescents
Theorists who argue that the period of adolescence is a social invention
Prior to mid 19th century (industrial revolution) adolescence as we know it did not exist, including the word “adolescence”
Not until the late 19th century that adolescence is what it is today
Lengthy preparation for adulthood
Young people need guidance and supervision
Remain economically dependent
The word teenager was not introduced until 60 years ago
Also in the 60’s, with growth of college aged population and activism, the word “youth” began to define 18-22 year olds
Changes in legal status during adolescence
In most societies, it is not until adult status (legally) is attained that individuals permitted to participate in certain activities
Subject to new set of laws and treated differently
In the US huge inconsistency where we draw age boundaries between childhood and adulthood
Issues around juvenile’s being tried as adults in court
process of social redefinition
The process is not a single event (like puberty); begins around 15 or 16 and continues into young adulthood
In many cultures, social redefinition of young people occurs in groups
Cohort: A group of individuals who share common historical experiences at same STAGE in life; may also share attitudes, values, skills, or life experiences
Common practices in the social redefinition process:
Real or symbolic separation from parents
Emphasis on differences between sexes (examples?)
Passing on of information form older generation
variations in social transitions
Although social redefinition of adolescence is universal, transition itself varies greatly for different cultures
Societies differ regarding social definition on two dimensions:
Clarity: The explicitness of the transition
Continuity: The smoothness of the passage (gradual or abrupt)
variations in clarity
Some societies utilize initiation ceremonies: formal introduction of adolescent into adulthood–examples?
No formal ceremonies in the US marking transition from childhood to adolescence, or adolescence into adulthood
Even if religious or cultural ceremonies exist, rite does not have much significance outside of family, friends, or religious community
In traditional cultures, clarity of social redefinition is more formal
Adolescents are treated as adults at different times by different people in different contexts!
variations in continuity
Continuous vs. discontinuous
In contemporary (western) society: little training for adult life, then thrust in abruptly
Often segregated from work, family, and citizenship roles as adolescents
In traditional cultures focus on informal education of children/adolescents rather than formal education; accompany adult members of society
The transition into adulthood in contemporary society: some challenges
Do not know if prolonged and discontinuous passage to adulthood impedes or enhances psychosocial development
Because of the discontinuity into adulthood in the US, those not college bound are having tremendous problems negotiating the passage into adulthood
As labor force continues to grow more dependent on formal education, greater division between the “haves” and “have nots”
Race/ethnicity differences:
Due to discrimination, segregation, and racism, racially and ethnically minoritized adolescents (Black, Latino/a, Native American) have more trouble managing adulthood transitions (than White & Asian)—what are some examples?
Foreign-born adolescent immigrants fair better in terms of mental health than same ethnic group who are American born
“Americanization” is associated with worse, not better outcomes
Economic differences:
Poverty is a major factor impairing the transition into adulthood
Associated with failure in school, unemployment, out-of-wedlock pregnancy (creates transitional difficulties)
Also linked to race/ethnicity differences: minoritized adolescents more likely to grow up in poverty
how to ease the development for those at risk
Need a comprehensive approach to address: educational, employment, interpersonal, and health needs of adolescents from all walks of life
Mentoring: Many at-risk adolescents lack positive adult role models; those who have been mentored less likely to have problems at school/home, use drugs and alcohol, get in trouble with the law
Influence of neighborhood conditions
Poverty more concentrated over past 40 years; clustering of poor families into economically and racially segregated communities
Growing up in a poor neighborhood has a negative effect on adolescent behavior, achievement, and mental health
Adolescents in impoverished urban communities (even compared to equally poor households in better neighborhoods) more likely to be involved in criminal activity, drop out of high school, etc…
Interferes with successful transition into adulthood
Collective efficacy
: A community’s social capital derived from members’ common values and goals
Poverty in neighborhoods breeds social disorganization and undermines collective efficacy
Under conditions of low collective efficacy, social problems are “contagious”
impact of stress
Stressors associated with poverty undermine quality of people’s relationships with each other (eg. Parenting)
When parents are not effective in supervising/monitoring adolescents, more likely to associate with antisocial peers
Adolescents growing up in poor neighborhoods more likely to be exposed to chronic community violence; this stressor also increases risk of behavioral, emotional, and physical health problems
Limited access to resources
Adolescents who grow up in poorer neighborhoods have access to fewer resources
Fewer chances to engage in activities that facilitate positive development
The more positive features an adolescent’s environment contains, the better off they will be
More sources of contextual risk (via the neighborhood) adolescent is exposed to, greater their chances of developing problems
puberty and identity development
When you change the way you look, sometimes feel like your personality/identity changes too
cognitive changes and identity development
Broadening of intellectual capabilities allows adolescents to think about themselves in new ways
Possible selves
Future orientation
social roles and identity development
With new social roles comes new choices and decisions
identity as adolescent issue
Researchers/theorists have taken three different approaches to how individual’s identity changes over adolescence:
Self-conceptions: Traits/attributes that individuals use to describe themselves
Self-esteem: How positively or negative they feel about themselves
Sense of identity: The extent to which individuals feel secure about who they are and who they are becoming
changes in self conception
Compared to children, adolescents use more complex, abstract, and psychological self-characterizations when describing themselves—example?
Self-conceptions become more differentiated (specific) and better organized into a more logical/coherent whole
Realization that personality is expressed in different ways in different circumstances, or may come across differently to different people, occurs in adolescence
Recognize that inconsistencies and contradictions exist within personality—example?
A more differentiated self concept allows adolescents to distinguish between actual self, ideal self, and feared self
Consequence of adolescents recognizing they are not always consistent in their personality leads some to engage in false-self behavior
More likely to do so in romantic and dating situations and with classmates
changes in self conception: personality
Most researchers approach the study of personality using the five-factor model (FFM) (McCrae & John, 1992)
5 critical personality dimensions or “factors”
Extraversion (how outgoing and energetic)
Agreeableness (how kind or sympathetic)
Conscientiousness (how responsible and organized)
Neuroticism (how anxious or tense)
Openness (how curious and imaginative)
Sliding scale for all of these factors—have a certain degree of openness, conscientiousness, etc…
There are both genetic and individual differences on personality
Can have temperamental predispositions that can be “hardened” in response to the environment
Although individuals change (as a whole) from adolescence to adulthood in terms of their personality states—become more extraverted, more agreeable, more conscientious—underlying traits are stable over time at the individual level
changes in self esteem
Although a dramatic drop in self-esteem during adolescence typically does NOT occur, how adolescents feel about themselves fluctuates daily, particularly in early adolescence
Self esteem becomes more stable between childhood and early adulthood
3 aspects of adolescents’ self image:
Self-image stability
Fluctuations in self-image more likely to occur between the ages of 12-14
Early adolescents have lower self-esteem, more self-conscious and a more unstable self-image
Averages regarding self-esteem for adolescents as a whole often hide substantial differences between adolescents
Many researchers believe that adolescents also evaluate themselves on several distinct dimensions: academics, athletics, appearance (physical self esteem), social relationships, and moral conduct
Can have a very differentiated view of self based on these dimensions
changes in self esteem: group differences
Sex differences:
Early adolescent girls’ self esteem is lower, degree of self-consciousness is higher, and their self image is shakier than boys
Racial/ethnics differences:
Black adolescents have higher self-esteem than White adolescents, who have higher self-esteem than Latino/a, Asian, or Native American adolescents
Some researchers argue that despite encounters with racism/prejudice, Black teenagers have positive support from adults in the Black community
Other researchers argue that Black adolescents have a strong sense of racial/ethnic identity, which enhances overall self-esteem
effects of high or low self esteem
Across all demographic groups, self-esteem is enhanced by having the approval of others, particularly parents and peers, and doing well in school (academic success)
Adolescents who derive their self-esteem from peers, rather than teachers or parents show more behavioral problems and poorer school achievement
High self-esteem does enhance adolescents’ well being
Low self-esteem may lead to deviant activity & psychological distress that can last into adulthood
Low self-esteem is one of several symptoms of depression
Erik Erikson: identity
Psychosocial development continues over entire life span—inner instincts vs. outer social demands; a social and mental process
Development follows a universal sequence (in stages)
Successful identity development involves resolving eight crises or dilemmas of “opposing possibilities;” if do not resolve crisis positively, still move to next stage
Adolescent stage is “Identity vs. Role Confusion” (5th stage)
Adolescent must develop their core sense of self, values, beliefs, and goals. Identity diffusion occurs when individuals lack a clear sense of self or purpose
psychosocial moratorium
According to Erikson, in order to resolve identity crisis, adolescent needs a psychosocial moratorium to explore and experiment
Definition of psychosocial moratorium: Period during which individuals are free from excessive obligation and responsibilities; therefore can experiment with different roles and personalities
Psychosocial moratorium can only occur in an environment that encourages it
resolving the identity crisis
According to Erikson, a sense of identity is experienced as a sense of well-being, a feeling of “being home in one’s body,” a feeling of continuity between the past and the future
When the identity crisis of adolescence is successfully resolved, culminates in a series of basic life commitments: occupational, ideological, social, religious, ethical, and sexual (Côté, 2009)
A defining characteristic of someone who has achieved a coherent sense of identity is they approach their life decisions with a strong sense of agency
studying identity development over time
Researchers have done both cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies to examine the development of a sense of identity
Research shows that identity is not resolved during adolescence; rarely is identity even established by the age of 18 (Côté, 2009)
No pattern in how identity is formed—adolescents do not move through various states in a set fashion; some get stuck at stages
Some longitudinal studies show that individuals move through different statuses in identity exploration, even if originally in “identity achieved”
Research typically focuses on the various stages adolescents move through, rather than how or why identity changes when it does
Provoked by internal factors and specific life events or changes
racial/ ethnic identity development
For those not part of the majority, developing an integrated sense of racial or ethnic identity into overall identity is often an important task of late adolescence
White adolescents in America are less likely than racially or ethnically minoritized individuals to choose labels based on their specific heritage to define themselves
Among immigrant adolescents, vast differences between those who choose to associate with a broader ethnic/racial category (Latino/a or Asian) vs. specific country of origin (Mexican or Japanese)
ethnic or racial socialization
Process through which individuals develop an understanding of their ethnic or racial background
Understanding and valuing one’s race/culture
Dealing with racism
Succeeding in mainstream society
Research results are mixed on whether or not ethnic/racial socialization (when encouraged early by parents) is a positive or negative occurrence.
Having positive attitudes about own racial/ethnic group is correlated with having positive attitudes for other ethnic groups
Positive mental health of racially/ethnically minoritized youth impacted by “savvy biculturalism”
identity development for recent immigrants
Adolescents who are recent immigrants report high levels of academic, familial, social and economic stress
However, perform better in school, are less likely to be involved in delinquent behavior, and have less physical, emotional, behavioral problems than adolescents from same ethnic groups whose parents were born in America.
What is this phenomenon known as?
The process of identity development among adolescents from immigrant families also depends on context in which the family lives
discrimination and its effects
Must examine racial/ethnic (and overall) identity development within the social context in which the adolescent lives
Studies of Asian, Black, & Latino youth have found that feeling discriminated against is predictive of conduct problems, depression, and lower school achievement
Individuals with heightened sensitivity to discrimination may be better at perceiving more subtle signs of genuine racial bias
Adolescents whose parents have emphasized the positive aspects of racial/ethnic socialization, and who have a more positive family relationship, fare better in the face of discrimination
Multidimensional model of racial identity (MMRI)
A theory of racial/ethnic identity which emphasizes three different phenomena:
Race centrality: How important race is in defining individuals’ identity
Private regard: How individuals feel about being a member of their race
Public regard: How individuals think others feel about their race
multiethnic and multiracial adolescents
Having two parents of different ethnic or racial background
Understudied population
Developing a sense of racial/ethnic identity may be especially challenging—why do you think that is?
Often forced to select one ethnic or racial group (on college applications for instance), or select “other”
Many biracial adolescents change their racial identity over time—either associating as monoracial, or back to biracial, etc…
Racial/ethnic association often depends on physical appearance, and contextual factors—like friend group, community, etc…
gender role development
Although there are obvious physical differences developmentally for males and females, they are more alike in their attitudes, abilities, and behaviors than dissimilar
Differences within groups of males or families more substantial
Adolescent females tend to be more “people oriented” and males more “things or doing oriented,” but sex differences in interests and attitudes are smaller than most people think
gender intensification hypothesis
Idea that pressure to behave in sex-appropriate ways intensifies during adolescence
The impact of environmental factors on gender-role behavior is much stronger than the impact of the hormonal changes of puberty
masculinity and femininity
Males and female adolescents who behave in gender-typical ways are more accepted by their peers than those who do not
However, the costs of behaving in gender-atypical ways are more significant for males (pressured not to behave in feminine ways) than females
Easier for females to behave in more “masculine” ways in adolescence (i.e. athletics )than vice versa—do you agree with this statement?
Interestingly, males with more traditionally masculine orientation are more likely to be involved in various types of problem behavior
Females with more traditionally feminine gender-role orientation are more likely to develop more traditionally female psychological problems (like eating disorders)
autonom as an adolescent issue
Puberty and the development of autonomy
Evolutionally, independence-seeking can be seen as a natural consequence of sexual and physical maturation
Also may change how treated by others because look different
Cognitive changes and the development of autonomy
Cognitive changes (during adolescence) play a role in development of autonomy—ability to make independent decisions
Cognitive changes also provide foundation for thinking about social, moral, and ethical problems
Social roles and the development of autonomy
As adolescents move into roles that require more responsibility and reliability (such as having a job or drivers license), raise questions about independence
three times of autonomy
Emotional autonomy: Aspect of autonomy that involves close relationships
Behavioral autonomy: Capacity to make independent decisions and follow through on them
Cognitive autonomy: Having independent values, opinions, and beliefs
development of emotional autonomy
By the end of adolescence, individuals are far less emotionally dependent on their parents than as children
May not be first people adolescents turn to when upset
Do not see parents as all-knowing and all-powerful anymore
Invest a great deal of emotional energy in relationships outside of family
idea of detachment
Detachment: Process through which older adolescents sever emotional emotional attachments to parents and other authority figures
Derived from psychoanalytic thinkers who argue that physical changes or puberty cause substantial disruption inside the family
Does research on relationships between teenagers and their parents support his theory of detachment?
Most individuals report becoming closer to parents in late adolescence, especially after transition to college
Relationships in adolescence with parents are modified (transformed), but not broken off or severed
Adolescents who can better balance autonomy and connectedness with parents are also better able to balance autonomy and intimacy within romantic relationships
Adolescents who develop a healthy sense of individuation and autonomy can accept responsibility for their choices and actions
Two models suggested as the triggers of individuation in adolescence:
Puberty: Changes in the way adolescents are viewed by parents changes the parent-child relationship
Social-cognitive development (the way we think about ourselves and relationship with others): May be provoked by more sophisticated understanding of themselves and parents
research of emotional autonomy
Development of emotional autonomy begins in early adolescence and continues into young adulthood
De-idealization: Researchers believe that knocking parents off of pedestal may be one of first aspects of emotional autonomy to develop—how is this linked to cognition?
Importance of maintaining connection with parents: Adolescents who demonstrate emotional autonomy but still feel close and attached to parents are psychologically healthier than those who do not
There is a healthy way of developing autonomy but still maintaining closeness with family, then developing alienation, conflict, and hostility
emotional autonomy and parenting practices
Healthy individuation and positive mental health are fostered by close, not distant family relationships
However, adolescents whose parents use psychological control (parenting that attempts to control adolescent’s emotions and opinions) leads to difficulty in developing individuation
May lead to depression, anxiety, and lowered social competence
Globally, adolescents whose parents provide support for growing interest in autonomy report being more satisfied with life
emotional autonomy and parenting styles
Independence, responsibility, and self esteem fostered by parents who are authoritative (friendly, fair, and firm), rather than authoritarian, indulgent, or indifferent.
In authoritative families, guidelines are established for adolescent behavior, but they are flexible and open to discussion
In authoritarian households, rules are rigidly enforced and seldom explained
When this is coupled with extreme coldness and punitiveness, adolescents may rebel against parents
In indulgent and indifferent families, parents do not provide sufficient guidance for adolescents; do not acquire adequate standards for behavior
development of behavioral autonomy
Again, this is the capacity for independent decision making
Changes in the following areas for behavioral autonomy:
Decision-making abilities
Susceptibility to the influences of others
Feelings of self-reliance
changes in decision making abilities
Improvements in decision-making occur during middle and late adolescence
With age, adolescents become more likely to consider both the risks and benefits associated with the decisions they make
Also more likely to weigh the long-term consequences of their choices, not just the immediate ones
There is a decline over adolescence in the extent to which decisions are influenced by their potential to produce an immediate reward—by late adolescence rewards and costs weighed more evenly
With age, individuals’ ability to control impulses also improves
changes in susceptibility to influence
As adolescents spend more time outside the family, the opinions and advice of others become more important
Studies show that in some situations, peers’ opinions more influential, and in other situations, parents’ opinions are more powerful
Peers: More impact on the short-term, day to day, and social matters—music, style, choices in leisure activities, etc…
Parents: More impact on the long-term—educational or vocational plans, values, religious beliefs, or ethics
peer pressure
Conformity to peers is higher during early and middle adolescence than later adolescence
Conformity the highest during early adolescence, but researchers not 100% sure why
One thought is there is a heightened orientation toward the peer group
Do you agree that susceptibility to peer pressure lessens over adolescence?
Less autonomous adolescence are also more susceptible to peer pressure and to engage in delinquent activity
individual differences toward peer pressure
Girls are less susceptible to peer pressure than boys
Black adolescents are less susceptible to peer pressure than other racial/ethnic groups; Asian Americans are particularly susceptible to peer pressure
Adolescents from single-parent households, as well as from less supportive households, are particularly susceptible to peer influence
Like emotional autonomy, behavioral autonomy is associated with authoritative, rather than permissive, authoritarian, or neglectful parenting
Adolescents who have less positive relationships with parents tend to be especially peer oriented, to affiliate with negative peers, and spend more time with friends unsupervised
ethnic and cultural differences in behavioral autonomy
Adolescents’ mental health is best when their desire for autonomy matches their expectations for what their parents are willing to grant
A problem facing families that migrate to a new culture is that parents and families may have different expectations regarding a timetable for autonomy
Adolescents acculturate more quickly than their parents—may experience conflict regarding differences in expectations
Adolescents expectations for autonomy are shaped by their perceptions of how much autonomy their friends have
changes of feelings in self reliance
The subjective feelings of autonomy (self-reliance) increases steadily over the adolescent years
This is the opposite of being influenced by peers
Which gender feels more self-reliant?
Adolescents who have a stronger sense of self-reliance report higher self-esteem and fewer behavioral problems
development of cognitive autonomy
The development of cognitive autonomy facilitates changes in adolescents’ beliefs, opinions, and values
As you may recall from the chapter on cognition….
Adolescents become increasingly abstract in the way they think about moral, political, and religious issues
Adolescents become more rooted in their own principles and understand that life isn’t black and white
Adolescents develop their own values, not just the value system passed on by parents
Cognitive autonomy develops in late adolescence, unlike emotional or behavioral autonomy which develops earlier
moral development during adolescence
The study of moral development involves both reasoning (how individuals think about moral dilemmas) and behavior (how they behave in situations that call for moral judgments)
Related to this is the study of prosocial behavior: behaviors intended to help others
Theories of morality stem from the Piagetian, cognitive-developmental perspective—shift in reasoning that individuals use in moral meaning making, rather than the changes in the content of the decisions they reach
Piaget’s work was expanded by Lawrence Kohlberg
Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning
Lawrence Kohlberg (1981, 1984)
Extension of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development—children and adults move through sequence of stages in moral reasoning, each stage growing out of one that comes before
Each stage reflects meaning making system based on internal set of assumptions (right/wrong) and how should be judged by others
Kohlbergs Stages of moral development
Level 1 (Preconventional): See rules as something outside of oneself
Stage 1 (Punishment & Obedience Orientation): Right behavior rewarded, wrong behavior punished
Stage 2 (Naïve Hedonism Orientation): What brings pleasure or serves one’s own needs
Level 2 (Conventional): One internalizes rules and expectations of one’s family, peer group, or society
Stage 3 (Good Boy/Good Girl Orientation): You are what society defines as good/bad
Stage 4 (Social Order Maintaining Orientation): Need to obey laws no matter what
Level 3 (Postconventional): Search for underlying reasons behind society’s rules which are relative
Stage 5 (Social Contract Orientation): Laws/rules important to ensure fairness, but are not perfect—may conflict with fundamental moral principles (Example: Civil Rights movement)
Stage 6 (Individual Principles of Conscience Orientation): Searches for and lives in a way of commitment to deeper set of moral principles (Gandhi, MLK Jr., Mother Theresa)
Postconventional thinking is more rare, particularly stage six
Advanced levels of moral reasoning are more common of adolescents raised in authoritative families in which child encouraged to participate in family discussions
Kohlberg critique
Kohlberg only studied men, therefore did not examine gender differences
Do you think gender differences exist in regards to moral reasoning?
Concept of “care” (Gilligan, 1982)
While Kohlberg’s theory may provide some insight to how people think about the abstract and hypothetical, does little about how people reason about their day-to-day problems
Moral Reasoning and Moral Behavior
Individuals who are capable of reasoning at higher stages of moral thought are less likely to commit antisocial acts, less likely to cheat, and less likely to bow to pressure of others…also more likely to do what?
Moral reasoning and behavior for adolescents is likely to break down when they see an issue as a personal choice, rather than an ethical dilemma—ex: drug usage
Delinquency and aggression are more common among adolescents who score higher on moral disengagement: rationalizing immoral behavior as legitimate as a way of justifying own bad acts—do you know anyone who is like this, or can think of someone from a TV show or movie?
prosocial reasoning and prosocial behavior
Although a great deal of research on what adolescents will do if law might be broken, or rule violated, research now looking at prosocial behavior—what is that again?
Overall, ways individuals think about honesty or kindness become more sophisticated during late adolescents
Over course of adolescence individuals begin to devalue prosocial acts that are self-serving, and value those done out of genuine empathy for others
Positive parenting helps to develop greater empathy and emotion regulation, which contribute to prosocial development
Adolescents who have volunteered significant amounts of time in service activities score higher on measures of moral reasoning
Individuals with higher measures of prosocial moral reasoning are more sympathetic and empathetic—what is the difference between those two?
Which gender tends to score higher on measures of prosocial moral reasoning? Why do you think this is?
Prosocial behavior is fairly stable over time and across different contexts
Civic Engagement
Broad term for involvement in political and community affairs, including staying knowledgeable about politics and current affairs, participation in political activities, and engaging in community service
Only small proportion of young people can be characterized as politically engaged (globally)
Service learning (learning through involvement in community services) has become more common in the US
Best predictors of volunteerism: attending a school where community service is required, being actively involved in religion, having parents who are active as volunteers
Individuals who volunteer their service work are more likely to continue after graduatio, than those who are “forced” into volunteering
changes in political thinking
Becomes more abstract
As individuals progress through adolescence, more likely to judge appropriateness of having certain rights in regards to individual characteristics and context where the right is being expressed (eg: maturity to engage in free speech at demonstration)
Political thinking during adolescence becomes less authoritarian and less rigid
Also during late adolescence a coherent and consistent set of attitudes (an ideology) forms
Political thinking and political behavior: Most important influence on political behavior tends to be social context in which adolescents come of age
religious beliefs during adolescence
Religious beliefs, like moral and political beliefs, become more abstract, more principled, and more independent during the adolescent years
Compared to children, adolescents place greater emphasis on internal aspects of religious commitments than external manifestations—what does this mean?
Adolescence is an important time of spiritual questioning, doubting, and creating
During late adolescence, develop a system of personal religious beliefs, rather than solely adopting parents/family’s beliefs
Religious development has two main components:
Religiosity: Outwards displays of religious practices—attending services (may be more important for identity development)
Spirituality: The degree to which one places importance on quest for answers to questions about God and meaning of life (may be more important for cognitive autonomy)
The importance of religion and religiosity declines during adolescent years
Early college years when many individuals reevaluate the religious beliefs and values they grew up with
Some research suggest that religious adolescents are better adjusted and less depressed than other adolescents
Changes in cognition
How adolescents differ from children (Keating, 2011):
Better able to think about what is possible, instead of limiting to what is real
Better able to think about abstract things
Think more about the process of thinking itself
Thinking is more multidimensional, rather than limited to a single issue
See things as relative, rather than an absolute
thinking about possibilities
Children think about the here and now; adolescents can imagine what is possible
Better at scientific problem solving
Better at debating or arguing—can anticipate possible response of opponent and prepare counterargument
Develop deductive reasoning: Logical reasoning in which one draws logically necessary conclusions from a general set of premises, or givens—What is an example?
Similar to deductive reasoning is the emergence of hypothetical thinking, or if/then thinking (again, anticipating what is possible)
thinking about abstract concepts
In adolescence, appearance of more systemic, abstract thinking
Seen through adolescents facility and interest in thinking about abstract concepts: interpersonal relationships (friendship), politics (democracy), religion (faith), morality (fairness and honesty)
thinking about thinking
Development of metacognition: the process of thinking about thinking itself
Adolescents can manage their thinking better than children and are better able to explain the processes they are using
Not only what you know, but how you know
Adolescent egocentrism: Being able to introspect may lead to to periods of extreme self-absorption
Imaginary audience: Having such a heightened self-consciousness that the adolescent imagines her/her behavior is the focus of attention—example?
Personal fable: Adolescents egocentric belief that his/her experiences are unique—example?
thinking in multiple dimensions
Adolescents can think about things through more complicated lenses
Can describe themselves in more complicated terms (eg. being shy and extroverted—and explain when and why)
Can look at problem from multiple perspectives more easily
Ability to use and detect sarcasm also improves during adolescence
adolescent relativism
Shift from thinking in absolute terms (black and white) to seeing things more relative
Adolescents more likely to question others’ assertions and less likely to accept “facts” as truths
Sometimes adolescents belief that everything is relative can become so overwhelming that they may become extremely skeptical about many things—anyone experience this? Or know someone who did?
theoretical perspective of adolescent thinking
2 theoretical perspectives that have been especially important in explaining the process underlying cognitive development from childhood to adolescence
Piagetian perspective (cognitive-developmental)
Information-processing perspective
Piagetian perspective
A cognitive-developmental view: A qualitative, fixed stage-theory approach—who else have we discussed uses stages?
According to Piaget, cognitive development progresses through 4 stages:
Sensorimotor period: Birth to age 2
Preoperational period: Ages 2-5
Concrete operations: Ages 6 through early adolescence
**Formal operations: Early adolescence through adulthood
Involves the use of abstract logical reasoning
Chief feature of adolescent thinking that differentiates it from thinking employed by children
Transition to higher stages more likely to occur when biological readiness and increases in the complexity of environmental demands interact to stimulate more advanced thinking
Earlier stages of thinking are incorporated to the next stage
Not all adolescents (or all adults) develop formal-operational thinking, or employ it regularly
What is a major critique of the Piagetian
Information Processing Perspective
Attempts to explain cognitive development in terms of growth of specific components of the thinking process (specific abilities that improve)
5 specfic areas in which improvement occurs during adolescence:
Processing speed
During adolescence there are advances in an individuals ability to pay attention, with improvements in selective attention and divided attention
Selective attention: The process by which we focus on one stimulus while tuning out another
Divided attention: The process by which we focus on two or more stimuli at the same time
Better able to concentrate and stay focused on complicated tasks than children
During adolescence memory abilities improve, particularly in regards to working memory and long-term memory
Working memory: The ability to to hold information in your mind for a short period of time, and perform an operation on that information. What is an example?
Long-term memory: The ability tor recall something from a long time ago
During adolescence the sheer speed of information processing increases
During adolescence there are improvement in organizational strategies
Adolescents are more “planful” than children
More likely to approach a problem with the appropriate information-processing strategy in mind
More flexible in their ability to use different strategies in different situations
Adolescents knowledge of their own thinking processes improves
Much better at monitoring their own learning processes
The adolescent brain
Brain reaches adult size by 10—changes in thinking during adolescence are not due to increases and size of the brain
15 years ago, explosion in research on adolescent brain development
Techniques used to produce brain images, show that adolescents have changes in brain structure and brain function
Brain structure: Physical composition of the brain (certain areas smaller or larger in adolescence than childhood)
Brain function: Patterns of brain activity (adolescents may use different parts of the brain than children when performing the same task)
Differences between genders in brain structure and function are very small—do not explain differences in the way they behave or think
how the brain works
Brain contains billions of neurons: cells that carry information by transmitting electrical charges across the brain through chemicals called neurotransmitters
Neurons have projections, like tentacles, but they do not touch
Miniscule gap between neurons is called the synapse (connections between neurons)
Formation of some synapses are genetically programmed, others occur through what?
Development of synapses continue through life as learn new skills, build new memories, etc…
The more a synapse is used, the stronger the electrical pathway
Synaptic pruning: Unused and unnecessary synapses start to be eliminated
Those pathways we used often become more ingrained, those we do not disappears
Is pruning a normal and necessary part of development?
Different regions of the brain are pruned at different points of development
Brain region where pruning taking place are the regions associated with the greatest changes in cognitive functioning during this stage—neural transmission becomes more efficient
Myelination: Encases the projections of neurons (called white matter)—improves the efficiency and speed of information processing
Increases in myelination throughout childhood and adolescence, well into adulthood
changes in brain structure
Better connectivity between prefrontal cortex and the limbic system leads to improvements in our ability to regulate our emotions and coordinate our thoughts and feelings
Limbic system: Area of the brain that plays an important role in processing of emotional experience, social information, and reward and punishment
changes in brain function
Two most important changes in brain functioning involving the prefrontal cortex in adolescence lead to greater efficiency in information processing
Patterns of activation within the prefrontal cortex become more focused
Individuals become more likely to use multiple parts of the brain simultaneously and coordinate activity between prefrontal regions and other areas
Simultaneous coordinated activity of multiple brain regions, working as a “team,” called functional connectivity
As individuals mature through adolescence, more distant regions become increasingly connected
Maturation of functional connectivity typically completed by 22
Different type of functional change results from changes (especially in the limbic system) in ways in which brain affected by certain neurotransmitters, particularly:
Dopamine: Important in brain circuits that regulate experience of reward
Serotonin: Important for the experience of different moods
These changes, linked to puberty, have an impact on adolescents how?
The changes to the limbic system occur early in adolescence, in contrast to development in the prefrontal cortex
Brain changes may provoke individuals to seek novelty, reward, and stimulation several years before complete maturation of the brain area that that regulate judgment, decision making, and impulse control
The social brain
Changes in the limbic system in early adolescence may explain why there is an increase in concern with what their peers think (of them) during this time
Social rewards may be processed during adolescence similar to the way we process other rewards
Teenagers who show stronger activation of certain brain regions when made to feel rejected, are at a greater risk for depression
Brain systems governing things like impulse control, planning ahead, and balancing risk & reward still maturing during late adolescence, yet rates of adolescents’ risky behavior and experimentation vary considerably around the world
brain implications for adolescent behavior
Brain is very malleable or “plastic”—development influenced by experience & biology, and the interaction between them
Whether genes are actually expressed depends on the environment
The process of synaptic pruning is influenced by experience
Practicing the same task over and over again makes it easier to perform the task each time
Scientists interested in whether different sorts of training programs can improve adolescents’ self control
individual differences in inteligence
Some theorists ask: How does thinking change as individuals move into adolescence? (as a whole)
Other theorists ask: How can we account for different patterns of intellectual growth within the adolescent population? (individual)
Still today, most commonly used measure of intelligence is the IQ (intelligence quotient) test
Score of 100 is average
Many theorists argue that it’s exclusive focus on “school smarts” yields a one sided picture of what it means to be an intelligent person
IQ test scores remain stable over time (adolescent test scores not much different than as children)
However, individuals do become smarter as they get older, and schooling during adolescence enhances performance on IQ tests
sternberg’s triarchic theory
3 part theory of intelligence
Componential intelligence: Ability to acquire, store, and process information (traditional intelligence)
Experiential intelligence: Our abilities to use insight and creativity (creativity)
Contextual intelligence: Our ability to think practically (street smarts)
Gardners theory of multiple intelligence
Seven types of intelligence: verbal, mathematical, spatial, kinesthetic, self-reflective, interpersonal, and musical
vygotsky perspective
Must take into account broader context in which intellectual development occurs
Adolescents (and children) learn best when they encounter tasks that are neither too simple or too advanced, known as the zone of proximal development—which is what?
Role of instructor to create scaffolding: Structuring a learning situation so just within reach of student (also known as plus one staging)
Nevitt Sanford
Challenge & Support
-growth is in between
social cognition
: Aspect of cognition that involves thinking about other people, interpersonal relationships, and social institutions
Adolescents have a more mature understanding of interpersonal relationships than children
Gains in social cognition help with psychosocial advances in autonomy, intimacy, sexuality, and achievement
Adolescence develop more nuanced mentalizing abilities: the ability to understand someone else’s mental state
Also develop more sophisticated theory of mind: understanding that others have beliefs, intentions, and knowledge that is different form one’s own
Improvements in mentalizing leads to changes in the way adolescents view relationships with peers and parents
Transforms their beliefs about authority
May begin to question their parents’ authority in various contexts; also occurring when adolescents developing their own moral and value system
Issues that seen as matters of right and wrong, start to seem more like matters of personal choice, beyond the bounds of parental authority
social conventions
The norms that govern everyday behavior in social situations
Young adolescents often view social conventions as nothing but social expectations and insufficient reasons for compliance
Better able to see that social “rules” we follow are not absolute and subject to debate and questioning
Laws, civil liberties, and rights
Adolescents become more nuanced in how they think about the relationship between the individual and society
Adolescents support of “self-determination” rights (the right to make their own decisions) increases
Also develop a more nuanced understanding of social norms—entitled to certain rights, but some situations when these right might need to be curtailed
risk taking
Adolescents take more risks than either children or adults
Risk taking common during adolescence
By the time they are 15, adolescents make decisions using same basic cognitive process as adults, so educating adolescents on how to make “better” decisions is unlikely to reduce risk taking
How has risk taking changed for you or people you know?
Some suggest that adolescents are more likely to feel invulnerable, but adolescents and adults are just as likely to subscribe to personal fables
Have different values and priorities than adults
When weighing the risks of decisions, may value one aspect more (like peer influence) than other aspect (health concerns), which is different for adults
Are more attuned to potential rewards than adults are
May be more beneficial to point out that rewards for risky behavior are smaller than trying to persuade them that the costs are large
Individuals who are high in reward seeking and sensation seeking (pursuit of experiences that are novel or exciting) are more likely to engage in risky behaviors than their peers
The quality of adolescents’ decision making declines more than adults’ when they are emotionally aroused
Context also important because adolescents risk taking often occurs in situations when they are emotionally aroused—unsupervised by adults, and often encouraged by peers
Spend so much time in their peer group—one reason why risk taking for teenagers is greater
general info on problems in adolescents
Important distinction between the normative difficulties during adolescence and serious psychosocial problems
The mass media like to paint extreme pictures of adolescence
The realities:
Rates of occasional, and usually harmless, experimentation far exceed rates of enduring problems
Need to distinguish problems that have origins/onset in adolescence and those that have roots to earlier periods of development—which is more serious?
Many problems of adolescence are resolved by beginning of adulthood
Problem behavior during adolescence is rarely a direct consequence of normative changes of adolescence itself
nature of psychosocial problems
3 broad categories of psychosocial problems in adolescence:
Substance abuse: Misuse of alcohol or other drugs that causes problems in an individual’s life
Externalizing disorders: Psychosocial problems that are manifested in the symptoms turning outwards—aggression or delinquency
Internalizing disorders: Psychosocial problems that are manifested in the symptoms turning inwards—depression or anxiety

**Comorbid: When an individual has more than one problem occurring at the same time—example?

comorbidity of externalizing problems
Problem behavior syndrome (Jessor & Jessor, 1977): The covariation among various types of externalizing disorders result from an underlying trait of unconventionality
More tolerant of deviance and very liberal in views
Problem clusters: Different types of deviance have different origins, but involvement in one may lead to involvement in another (not trait based but activity/behavior based)
Social control theory: Individuals who do not have strong bonds to society’s institutions (family, school, work)—more likely to behave unconventionally
Example of comorbity: Delinquency is often associated with truancy, defiance, sexual promiscuity, and violence—all different types of manifestations of impulse control
comorbidity of internalizing problems
Comorbidity of internalizing disorders tends to have subjective state of distress in common—example: depressed adolescents to experience anxiety, phobias, panic, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, obsessive thinking, etc…
Negative emotionality: Theory that various internalizing problems may be caused by underlying high levels of subjective distress
Adolescents high in negative emotionality are more likely to suffer from depression, feel anxious and report other symptoms of distress
prevalence of substance use and abuse
Drugs of choice: 1) Alcohol, 2) Marijuana, 3) Tobacco
By the time individuals are seniors in high school, 70% have tried alcohol, 46% have smoke marijuana, and 40% have smoked cigarettes
Very small proportion of adolescents have serious drug dependency or use “hard” drugs
Changes in substance abuse:
Marijuana, which was on the decline since the 70’s, rose sharply during mid 90’s
Alcohol use has been on a slower decline since the 80’s
Teen smoking, which increased in the 90’s, has declined dramatically
A couple of quick facts:
Gender gap has narrowed in drug use—but who tends to abuse more?
The chances of becoming addicted to alcohol/nicotine increases dramatically when substance use begins before the age of 15
Drugs of choice: 1) Alcohol, 2) Marijuana, 3) Tobacco
By the time individuals are seniors in high school, 70% have tried alcohol, 46% have smoke marijuana, and 40% have smoked cigarettes
Very small proportion of adolescents have serious drug dependency or use “hard” drugs
Changes in substance abuse:
Marijuana, which was on the decline since the 70’s, rose sharply during mid 90’s
Alcohol use has been on a slower decline since the 80’s
Teen smoking, which increased in the 90’s, has declined dramatically
A couple of quick facts:
Gender gap has narrowed in drug use—but who tends to abuse more?
The chances of becoming addicted to alcohol/nicotine increases dramatically when substance use begins before the age of 15
drugs and the adolescent brain
Researchers speculate that experimentation with drugs during early adolescence, more harmful than later in development—why?
Certain drugs affect the same receptors that are sensitive to dopamine (a neurotransmitter that influences or experience of pleasure); frequent drug usage during adolescence interferes with the normal maturation of brain’s dopamine system
Repeated exposure to drugs during heightened malleability of brain or early adolescence can affect the brain so that it is necessary to use drugs to experience normal amounts of pleasure
People who begin drinking before 14 are 7x more likely to binge drink as teenagers, and 5x more likely to develop a substance abuse problem at some point in their life
An area of adolescent brain that is vulnerable to harmful effects of alcohol is hippocampus (memory) and prefrontal cortex (impulsive behavior)
more on substance abuse
Racial/ethnic differences: White adolescents are more likely to use drugs and alcohol than other racial/ethnic groups
Latino/a groups are similar to White youth in drug usage
American Indian adolescents score the highest though on drug use
Foreign born adolescents use alcohol/drugs at lower rate than American born
Substance use progression?
In general, adolescents experiment with beer and wine before cigarettes or hard liquor, which precedes marijuana, which precedes other illicit drugs.
Thus, tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana are known as what??
causes and consequences of substance use and abuse
Important to differentiate between four groups of adolescents: 1) Frequent drug users (at least once a week), 2) Hard-drug users (drugs beyond alcohol, tobacco, marijuana), 3) Experimenters (like once a month), and 4) Abstainers
Who score higher on measure of psychological adjustment?
Has moderate usage of alcohol and marijuana become normative among adolescents in contemporary society?
Drug and alcohol abuse during adolescence is often a symptom or prior psychological disturbance and often maladjusted as children
Young people who abuse alcohol, etc…more likely to experience problems at school, suffer from psychological distress, and become involved in deviant activity
risk factors for substance abuse
Four sets of risk factors for substance abuse—the more factors that are present, the more likely to abuse drugs:
Psychological: Individuals with certain personality characteristics (typically present before adolescence) including: anger, impulsivity, inattentiveness, and sensation seeking
Familal: Individuals with distant, hostile, conflicted family relationships, rather than those that grow up in close, nurturing families
Social: Individuals with substance abuse problems more likely to have friends who use and tolerate use of drugs
Contextual: More likely to live in social context that makes drug use easier—what does this mean?
protective factors for substance abuse
Protective factors: Decrease the individual vulnerability to substance abuse
Positive mental health (includes high self esteem and absence of depression)
High academic achievement
Engagement in school
Close family relationships
Involvement in religious activities
Thoughts on these factors?
externalizing problems in adolescence
3 main categories of externalizing problems:
1) Conduct Disorder: Repetitive and persistent pattern of antisocial behavior that results in problems at school, work, or in relationship to others
Very stable between childhood and adolescence
Individuals who have been diagnosed with conduct disorder and who persist in antisocial behavior after age 18, may be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder: Antisocial behavior and persistent disregard for rules of society and rights of others
Some individuals with antisocial personality disorders are psychopaths: Antisocial AND manipulative, superficially charming, impulsive, and indifferent to feelings of others
This cluster of of characteristics referred to as callous-unemotional (CU) traits

2) Aggression: Behavior that is done intentionally to hurt someone, like physical fighting, intimation, etc…
Stable over time (from childhood to adolescence), although more so in males than females
3) Juvenile Offending: Includes delinquency (crimes committed by minors and dealt with by juvenile justice system) and criminal behavior (crimes dealt with by criminal justice system)
Unlike conduct disorder and aggression, which are defined in terms of behavior, juvenile offending is defined legally
Violent crimes and property crimes peak during late high school years and decline during young adulthood

developmental progression in antisocial behavior
Antisocial behavior takes different forms:
Authority conflicts: Characterized by stubbornness and rebelliousness
Covert antisocial behavior: Misdeeds are not always detected by others such as lying or stealing
Overt antisocial behavior: Characterized by aggression toward others
Virtually all violent juveniles have a history of escalating aggressive behavior, and most chronically rebellious teenagers were oppositional children
The authority conflict pathway almost always starts when?
changes in juvenile offending over time
Rates of juvenile crime in the US are lower than they have been in past 30 years
Female adolescents are being arrested more frequently for the same things they did in the past (but weren’t arrested for)
Violent females have significantly more mental health problems
Adolescents are 2.5 times more likely than adults to be the victim of a non-fatal violent crime
Adolescents living in a single parent household in the inner city are disproportionately more likely to be the victims of violent crimes
Violence and aggression among youth are linked to poverty
Poor and ethnically/racially minoritized youth more likely to be arrested and treated more harshly than others if convicted—skews data
Majority of teenagers who violate the law do so only once, and do not commit violent crimes
causes of antisocial behavior
The earlier an adolescent’s “criminal career” begins, especially if before adolescence, the more likely he/she is to become a chronic offender and continue committing crimes in adulthood
Two types of offenders:
Life-course-persistent offenders: Individuals who begin antisocial or aggressive behavior during childhood, and continue through adolescence into adulthood
More males than females
Adolescence-limited offenders: Antisocial adolescents whose delinquent or violent behavior begins and ends in adolescence
Causes and consequences of both types of offenders are very different
life course persistent offenders
Studies show that individuals whose problems with the law begin before adolescence are often:
Psychologically troubled
From low economic background
From homes in which divorce has occurred
From homes with hostile, inept, or neglectful parenting
Important to remember that the majority of children who have histories of aggressive behavior do NOT grow up to be delinquent
Children who become persistent offenders have problems with self-regulation: are more impulsive, less able to control their anger, and more likely to suffer from ADHD
Current thinking is that chronically conduct-disordered adolescents are born with strong biological predispositions towards antisocial behavior—what do you think of this belief?
Low levels of serotonin (diminish ability to delay gratification)
An emotional system that is easily aroused and difficult to regulate
A temperament that makes them hard to control
Children who become chronically delinquent are more likely to score low on IQ tests and neropsychological functioning, and do poorly in school
Hostile attributional bias: The tendency to interpret ambiguous interactions with others as deliberately hostile
Especially aggressive children/adolescents are more likely to suffer from this tendency
adolescence limited offenders
Those who begin offending in adolescence do not typically show signs of serious psychological abnormality or family pathology
Also do not commit serious violations of the law after adolescence
The ratio of males to females for adolescence-limited offenders is much more even (1.5 to 1)
However, often display more mental health, substance abuse, and financial problems in adulthood than individuals who were not delinquents as adolescents
Risk factors: poor parenting and affiliation with antisocial peers
Strongest predictor for delinquency is unsupervised time in unstructured activities with peers
The peak years of susceptibility to peer pressure overlap with peak years of this type of delinquency
prevention and treatment of externalizing problems
Experts argue that to prevent chronic antisocial behavior, need to prevent disruption in early family relationships and head off early academic problems through family support and school intervention
Family based prevention programs may have the strongest effects for adolescents with a genetic predisposition for problem behavior
Interventions that group antisocial youth together tend to be less effective—do you remember why?
For adolescence-limited offenders, they simply “age out” of criminal activity
How else would you target interventions for adolescence-limited offenders? What strategies would you employ?
internalizing problems
Although it is common for adolescents to experience fluctuations in self-esteem, it is not the norm to feel a prolonged or intense sense of hopelessness, frustration, or sadness
Depression is the most common internalizing problem in adolescence
Depression: A psychological disturbance characterized by low self-esteem, decreased motivation, sadness, and difficulty in finding pleasure in formerly pleasurable activities
Mood, Syndromes, and Disorder (important to differentiate)
Depressed mood: feeling sad
Depressive syndromes: Having multiple symptoms of depressions
Depressive disorder: Having enough symptoms to be diagnosed with depression
Depressed mood, depressive syndrome, and depressive disorder become more common over adolescence partly because of the increase in stressful events during adolescence
One reason depression declines after late adolescence is that individuals report a decline in stress during this time period
What do you think?? Do you feel less stressed now than as a teenager?
Some studies indicate that there have been historical increases in the prevalence of depression and other internalized disorders, with rates increasing for each generation—thoughts?!
sex differences in depression
Some researchers believe the emergence of sex differences in depression is linked to social roles as adolescent girls enter the world of boy-girl relationships
This role may bring heightened self-consciousness over physical appearance and increased concern over popularity
Depression in girls is significantly correlated with having a poor body image
Both males and females who experience more stress are more vulnerable to depression
However, females are more likely than males to react to stress by turning feelings inward, while boys more likely to turn feelings outward, engage in aggressive behavior, or engage in drug/alcohol use
Females also more sensitive to interpersonal relations—more likely than males to develop emotional problems as result of family discord or problems with peers
Up to 10% of American female high school students, and 6% of males, attempt suicide each year
2x as many adolescents think about killing themselves, known as suicidal ideation
Suicidal ideation increases during early adolescence and peaks around age 15
Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people—why is this?
Many adolescents do not contemplate suicide, but commit acts of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)—what does this mean?
Some studies indicate that nearly 25% of adolescents have engaged in NSSI at least once (reasons: reduce tension, anger, anxiety; prompt feelings…)
Risk factors for suicide: Having a psychiatric problem, having a history of suicide in the family, being under stress (especially in terms of sexuality or achievement), and experiencing parental rejection, family disruption, or extensive family conflict
More likely to attempt suicide if one of their friends of someone in community has
causes of depression and internalizing disorders
Current consensus is that internalizing problems are likely to result from interaction between environmental conditions (stressful event of condition) and individual predisposition (the diathesis)
Known as the diathesis-stress model
The diathesis: 2 categories of predispositions
GENETIC/BIOLOGICAL: Related to problematic patterns of neuroendocrine functioning (hormonal activity in the brain and nervous system)—difficult to regulate emotions
Vulnerability to depression tends to run in families—linkage to genetics
COGNITIVE: People with tendencies towards hopelessness, pessimism, and self-blame more likely to interpret life events in ways that leas to depression
The stress: Focus on three broad sets or stressors
Depression more common among adolescents from families with high conflict and low cohesions, and from divorced households
Depression is more prevalent among adolescents who are unpopular, have poor peer relations, or have friends who are depressed
Adolescents who are depressed report more chronic and acute stress than non-depressed adolescents
Do you remember: what is the single
treatment and prevention of internalizing problems
Variety of approaches, most common are:
Antidepressant medication: Address neuroendocrine problem, if one exists
Psychotherapies (counseling) designed to help depressed adolescent understand the roots of their depression
Family therapy: Changing patterns of family relationships that may be contributing to adolescent’s symptoms
These are especially effective if combined!
stress and coping
Stress effects individuals in different ways
For some, stress leads to internalized disorders (typically more female)
For others, leads to externalized disorders (typically more male)
However, for some adolescents same sources and levels of stress do not cause psychological or physical upset
Resilience: The ability of an individual to continue to function competently (or to return to normalcy) in the face of adversity or stress
What makes some adolescents more prone to the effects of stress than others?
A stressor is exacerbated if accompanied by additional stressor(s)
Adolescents with other resources—high self-esteem, healthy ID development, strong feelings of competence, support from others—less likely to be aversely affected by stress
Some adolescents have more effective coping strategies
types of coping
Primary control strategies: Coping strategies in which an individual attempts to change the stressor
Secondary control strategies: Coping strategies in which an individual attempt to adapt to the stressor
Individuals who use primary and secondary control strategies are better adjusted, less depressed, and less likely to have behavioral problems than those who react to stress through disengagement or avoidance
Emerging Adulthood: A Theory of Development from the Late Teens Through the Twenties (Arnett, 2000)
(18-25): A period of frequent change and exploration. Distinguished by relative independence from social roles and from normative expectations.
• Directions remain possible; little about future has been decided.
• Most “volatile” years of life.
• Emerging adulthood is culturally constructed.
• Demographic changes in the timing of marriage and parenthood have made emerging adulthood typical in industrialized societies.
• Great deal of demographic variability—nothing is normative demographically.
• Have left adolescence, but not yet completely entered adulthood.
Emerging Adulthood: A Theory of Development from the Late Teens Through the Twenties (Arnett, 2000) – Theoretical Background- Following Major Tasks
• Identity exploration: Trying out various life possibilities and gradually moving toward making enduring decisions.
• Positive Instability: Finding one’s way through trial and error.
• Self-focus: Most self focused phase.
• Feeling in-between: One foot in adolescence, one foot in adulthood.
• Possibilities: Can make changes and explore options
Chickering’s Theory of Identity Development Background
1. Developmental issues college students face (late adolescents) and environmental conditions that influence development
2. Built off of Erikson’s stage 5: Identity vs. role confusion
3. Identity development is major task of college years
4. Seven vectors of development—spiral or steps rather than a straight line
5. Students move through different vectors at different times, can be working on more than one at same time, rework through old vectors, etc…
What are Chickering’s “seven vectors?” Be detailed. Also give an example of someone who may be moving through this vector—what are they grappling with?
1. Developing Competence (reaching full potential)- Intellectual, Physical, and Interpersonal- student without study skills, girl who can’t talk to boys
2. Managing Emotions- recognize/ accept emotions and properly express them- lashing out at people when feeling anxiety
3. Moving through Autonomy Towards Interdependence- increase emotional independence but accept that interdependence is necessary- maintaining relationship with parents and independence while in college
4. Developing Mature Interpersonal Relations- toleration and appreciation of interpersonal differences- accepting different races/ backgrounds when moving, living with a roommate
5. Establishing Identity- comfort with appearance gender heritage role and lifestyle/ personal stability- somebody struggling with their sexual identity, rejecting the identity given to you by others
6. Developing a Purpose- intentionally making choices and sticking with them when opposition arises- picking a major
7. Developing Integrity- humanizing values, personalizing values, developing congruence- forming views different from parents views
Do you think Chickering’s theory can be applied in the same way to men and women? To individuals who are not from white middle-class background? Or how about for individuals from non-heterosexual backgrounds?
Study was mostly affluent white males from Harvard
vectors are all applicable
depending on situation vectors can be achieved at different times
unrealistic to say they will be achieved in college or in the same manner
Is Chickering’s Theory still valid today?
flexibility of vectors makes it universal- not outdated
not just in college or certain time
James Marcia (1966): Ego Identity Statuses
Grounded in Erikson’s stage theory, explain how adults experience and resolve crisis. Unlike Erikson’s stages, these identity statuses are not linear or permanent—a person’s identity status may or may not change over a life span.
(No crisis/commitment): Individuals accept values (often from authority figures) without questioning them. Commitment to values and goals comes without crisis because authorities direct their path. Individuals in foreclosure will experience major challenge if a crisis arises due to their inability to adapt to change in the absence of authority.
(Crisis/No commitment): Individuals actively question values in order to form their identity; but their crisis comes without commitment. The vacillating occurs as they grapple between resistance and conforming to authority. Shift frequently between indecisiveness and ambivalence towards authority to creativity and exploration. Individuals remain in moratorium for the shortest amount of time, and are the “most engaging among the statuses” (Marcia, 1994, p. 75).
(No crisis/No commitment): Individuals in this sate either refuse to or are unable to commit; they “go with the flow,” taking no account of consequences (positive or negative). Tend to conform, have trouble with intimacy, and sometimes lack cognitive complexity. Conformity is a reflection of their submission to external authority. Individuals who remain in diffusion also tend to score lowest of the four statuses in “healthy psychological functioning” (Josselson, 1978 p. 140).
Identity Acheived
(Crisis/Commitment): Achievement status comes after extensive period of crisis in which individuals makes choices that lead to strong commitments in setting goals and laying a firm foundation. Individuals in this status are likely to experience more crises, because the foundation of their identity is secure enough to explore alternatives and engage in risk taking. Rely on internal rather than external process to construct identity.
The Growth or transformation of the ways people construct meaning moving from external to internal self definition
is our way of knowing (Habit of Mind/ Point of View)
a new experience (of information) is shaped to conform to existing knowledge structures
When knowledge structures actually change in response to new experiences
Informational Learning
tied to assimilation
changes what we know- extends already established cognitive structures
Brings valuable new content into the existing form of our way of knowing
Transformational Learning
Changes in HOW we know
restructuring our cognitive structure
Evolutionary or “Conciousness” bridge
According to Keegan, a context for crossing over from one order of consciousness to the next, more developed order
Kegan (1982. 1994) “Orders of Conciousness”/ “Forms of Mind”
ORDER 0- Infants live in an objectless world- when the infant cannot see or experience something it does not exist
ORDER 1- Develops in Children around the age of 2- have control of reflexes and aware of objects in their environment that are independent from themselves- attach to whatever or whoever is present at the moment
ORDER 2- INSTRUMENTAL MIND- relate to others as separate and unique beings- people develop a sense of what they want and who they are- often concerned with own needs and desires
ORDER 3-SOCIALIZED MIND- Thinking is more abstract- individuals are aware of their feelings/ internal processes associated with feelings- make commitments to communities of people and ideas- other people serve as a source of internal validation- how one is perceived by others is critically important
ORDER 4-SELF-AUTHORING MIND- have capacity and take responsibility for their inner authority and establish their own set of values and ideologies
ORDER 5-SELF-TRANSFORMING MIND- individuals see beyond themselves, others, and systems of which they are a part to understand how all people and systems interconnect
kegan- what order to adolescents typically fall in
adolescents gain greater awareness of feelings and emotions but are still more concerned with what others think and do not take responsibility for their emotions
potential for 2 in early adolescents and 4 in late adolescents
How would you help move an individual from order 3-> order 4
Encourage them to focus on unimportant relationships and on their own ideology
exposure to new things so they can form their own values
not too much exposure at once
Baxter Magoldas Theory of Self Authorship
PHASE 1-FOLLOWING FORMULAS- Individuals followed the plan laid out for them by external authorities- gaining approval from others is critical in relationship building
PHASE 2-CROSSROADS- individuals have discovered that the plans that they have followed do not necessarily work well- need to establish a new plan that better serves their needs and interests- although a general sense of unhappiness they are not at a point where they can act more autonomous because they fear the reactions of others- establishing their own beliefs rather than adopting the viewpoints of others
PHASE 3-BECOMING THE AUTHOR OF ONE’S LIFE- The ability to choose ones beliefs and stand up for them in the face of conflicting external view points- individuals feel compelled to live these beliefs out- as a result of intensive self reflection individuals develop a strong self-concept
PHASE 4- INTERNAL FOUNDATION- individuals are grounded in their self determined belief system in their sense of who they are and in the mutuality of their relationships- are accepting of ambiguity and open to change- life decisions are based on their internal foundations
Who did Baxter Magolda study
101 Miami University students – continued to study 30
narrowness of population is often critiqued- whit privileged undergrad students
Baxter MAgolda found that epistemological development is intertwined with
development of their sense of self and relationships with others
push and pull between the two
What are Baxter Magoldas three elements of self authorship
develop internal voice
build internal foundation
securing internal commitment
Formal operations thinking involves
concrete thinking
Peer influence is usually greater than parental influence in adolescent decisions concerning all the following EXCEPT
educational plans
Which of the following statements about parental involvement in an adolescent’s life is MOST ACCURATE?
One of the principal developmental tasks for adolescents is to become independent of their families.
What are the 5 personality factors laid out in the 5 factor model of personality
True or False: A strong racial identity tends to have a negative effect on self esteem.
Name Piaget’s four stages in his cognitive-development view (include ages for each stage)
1. Sensorimotor Period (birth to age 2)
2. Preoperational Period (2-5)
3. Concrete Operations (6-early adolescence)
4. Formal Operations (early adolescence through adulthood)
Describe the exosystem in Bronfenbrenner’s ecological perspective. Include some aspects of your own exosystem.
Settings which do not specifically contain the developing person, but influence his or her developmental possibilities and daily life. My own exosystem includes BC’s policies such as disciplinary policies, alcohol and drug policies, and no-tolerance cheating policies. My parents views on trying hard and being a determined and successful child, Armonk, NY (the town I grew up in), the federal government and their policies, and my job as a lifeguard at BC.
How are adolescents’ self esteem enhanced and who should adolescents best derive their self-esteem from
Self-esteem is enhanced by having approval of others and academic success. It is best for adolescents to derive their self-esteem from parents and/or teachers. Adolescents that derive their self esteem from peers rather than parents or teachers show more behavioral problems and poorer school achievement.
T/F: The impact of the hormonal changes during puberty is the main factor on gender role behavior throughout adolescence.
False. The impact of environmental factors on gender role is much stronger than the impact of the hormonal changes during puberty.
True/False. Parents are a big influence in adolescents’ emotional and behavioral autonomy development but do not play a role in cognitive autonomy development.
False. Parents play a big role in all areas of autonomy development.
Explain the relationship between the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system during adolescence and what affect it might have on an adolescent.
The limbic system is the part of the brain that processes emotional experiences and is heightened during adolescents. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that weighs risks and rewards and controls impulses, but is not fully developed until the mid 20s, after the adolescent period. The prefrontal cortex has the ability to control the emotional impulses that the limbic system outputs, but since it is not fully developed yet, adolescents are more susceptible to giving into their emotional impulses. This often leads to risky behavior and giving into peer pressure because their limbic system cannot yet be fully monitored and controlled by the prefrontal cortex.
True/False: The “exosystem” part of Bronfenbrenner’s model is any external settings that the developing person directly lives in or is surrounded by.
False. The “exosystem” is settings that do not specifically contain the developing person, but influence “his or her developmental possibilities” and daily life, such as BC policies.
What are the three main areas of identity exploration discussed in Arnett’s theory of emerging adulthood?
1) Love
2) Work
3) Worldviews
What are three ways in which adolescents show they think in more advanced ways than children?
1.) Adolescents tend to think more about possibilities as opposed to children who only think what is real.
2.) Adolescents are better at abstract thinking than children.
3.) Adolescents are more advanced thinkers in regards to their metacognition (thinking about thinking) skills.
True or False. According to Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Reasoning, preconventional moral reasoning is based on rewards and punishments from different courses of actions.
As a freshman in college, Jade was determined to make close friends with only Koreans, since she herself is Korean and went to a predominantly Asian high school. Since she grew up around Asians, she thought this was the easiest way to make friends. Thus, during her freshman year, the only club she joined was the Korean Students Association. However, at the end of freshman year, Jade felt like she was stuck in the “Asian Bubble” and wanted to diversify her friend groups. Therefore during sophomore year, she decided to branch off and she joined the Black and Latino Student Union. Through this club, Jade has made many meaningful friendships with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Given this scenario, which one of Chickering’s seven vectors is Jade demonstrating? and how so?
Vector 1- Developing mature interpersonal relationships
Which of the following is the understanding that other people have beliefs, intentions and knowledge that is different from one’s own?
Theory of Mind
What part of the brain experiences the biggest changes during adolescence? What are the main functions of the this part of the brain?
pre-frontal cortex, which includes thinking ahead, planning, weighing risks and rewards, and controlling impulse
What is the difference between Detachment and Individuation in terms of Autonomy?
Detachment includes severing emotional detachment, whereas Individuation means that relationships are only modified
What do inventionists’ theorists argue about adolescence? What is their evidence?
Inventionists’ argue that the period of adolescence is socially constructed. Before the mid-19th Century and the Industrial Revolution, there was no time in between childhood and adulthood. Following the Industrial Revolution, less labor was needed so children spent more time in school and with their peers. This lengthened education provided the space for what we now term adolescence. However, inventionists’ would uphold their argument because adolescence has evolved greatly from the 1960s. Finishing school, moving out from under your parent’s roof, and getting married are all occurring much later today, lengthening adolescence as a result of current societal standards.
True or False: Gender-role behavior changes that occur during adolescence are for the most part a result of the hormonal changes that occur during puberty.
False: the environmental factors have a much stronger impact.
A Boston College student who has made an appointment with the Career Center to explore possible job opportunities and has set up multiple job interviews is experiencing which of Chickering’s seven vectors?
Developing Purpose. By perusing a vocation and setting up interviews, this student is setting goals for himself and making commitments.
True or false: The main difference between Piaget’s and Erikson’s theories of development is that Piaget utilized a stage theory while Erikson viewed development as gradual and continuous.
False. Both Piaget and Erikson utilized a stage theory. The main difference between them is that Piaget’s theory ended development in adolescence, while Erikson viewed development as a lifelong process.