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Conceptions of Adolescence (3 types)
The biological perspective: the natural turbulent and stressful time teens go through. "storm and stress"
The social perspective: this view suggests that the environment and culture of a society is responsible for a teenagers experiences wether stressful and turbulent or relaxed and calm. Mead, offered this suggestion based on her findings in societies where adolescence/puberty were not looked down on as much.
A balanced point of view: a little bit of both social and biological mixed with psychological influence the difficult times of adolescence. This view has broken down the somewhat extended time frame into 3 parts: early, middle and late adolescence.
The 3 sub parts of "A balanced point of view"
- -Early adolescence: 11/12-14 yrs. this is a period of rapid pubertal change.
- -Middle: 14-16yrs. pubertal changes are now nearly complete.
- -Late: 16-18 yrs. the young person achieves full adult appearance and anticipates assumption of adult roles.
a flood of biological events leading to an adult sized body and sexual maturity.
Marks the transition between childhood and adulthood.
Hormonal changes during puberty
- -hormonal changes are gradual.
- -secretions of growth hormone (GH) and thyroxine increase leading to gains in body size.
- -both the male hormone (androgens) and female hormone (estrogen) is present in each sex but different amounts.
Puberty changes for BOYS in BODY GROWTH
- -50% of boys experience breast enlargement from the estrogen hormone.
- -shoulders broaden.
- -growth spurt after girls around age 12 but surpass them later.
- -gain more muscle, attributing to their athletic performance over girls.
2 broad types of pubertal changes
- 1) overall body growth
- 2)maturation of sexual characteristics
The first outward sign of puberty?
- -is the rapid gain in height and weight known as the growth spurt.
- -the hands, legs and feet grow first. followed by the torso. leading to awkward proportions in teens.
Puberty changes for GIRLS in BODY GROWTH
- -because estrogens trigger secretions more than androgens, girls are typically heavier and taller than boys during early adolescence.
- -girls start growth spurt a little after age 10 but are surpassed by the boys at age 14.
- -growth is usually complete by age 16 or 17.5yrs.
- -hips expand
Motor development and physical activity for BOYS & GIRLS
- -boys show a dramatic spurt in strength, speed and endurance. this is reason for gender specific sports teams in teenagers, cuz the boys and girls are not longer equally matched.
- -Girls gains are gradual leveling off by 14.
- -Physical activity as an adolescent is the best predictor of adult physical exercise. physical self efficacy.
Physical self efficacy
belief in one's ability to sustain an exercise program. people who did sports young will have better of this.
Sexual maturation in girls and menarche
- -female puberty usually begins with budding of the breasts and the growth spurt.
- -Menarche-first menstruation.
- -following menarche is breast and pubic hair are completed.
- -Menarche takes place after the height of the growth spurt when a girls body is large enough for childbearing.
Sexual maturation in boys and spermarche
- -first sign of puberty in boys is growth of the testes.
- -growth spurt occurs much later than it does for girls.
- -when the their growth spurt reaches its peak the enlargement of the testes and penis are nearly complete.
- -spermarche is the first ejaculation. boys and girls both have a period of reduced fertility.
Individual differences in pubertal growth
- -hereditary contributes alot to the timing of pubertal growth.
- -nutrition and exercise make a difference.
- -for fat girls, puberty happens earlier because of fat cells. Vice versa for skinny or malnutrioned/over exercised girls may start puberty later.
- -higher income girls reach puberty/menarche earlier cuz they are fed better.
- -black girls reach menarche about 6 months earlier because of genetic reasons.
- -boys and girls with conflictive family issues reach puberty earlier, compared to warm families reaching it later.
Threats to puberty? (2)
threats to emotional health accelerate puberty and threats to physical health delay it.
Brain development during puberty
sensitivity of neurons during teen years makes brain more responsive. as a result, teens react more strongly to stressful events and experience pleasurable stimuli more intensely but have not yet acquired the capacity to control these powerful impulses. Example, drug taking, or certain disorders like eating or depression.
changing states of arousal during puberty
-sleep patterns are different because teens want to stay up late and wake up early for school but still need the same amount of sleep as they did as children
Reactions to pubertal changes (boys and girls)
- -when a teen is better prepared they tend to react more positively.
- -Overall boys get much less social support than girls for physical changes.
- -moods of teens are less stable than adults and children.
- -parent daughter conflict is more common than with sons, probably cuz of the restrictions placed on girls.
Pubertal timing for boys & girls
- -early maturing boys are viewed as relaxed and well adjusted. Considered more popular and more attractive. but cuz of this they may experience alcohol and sexual activity problems.
- -Late maturing boys are viewed as anxious, talkative, and seek attention.
- -Early maturing girls are seen as unpopular, withdrawn, unattractive and prone to depression. more likely to involve in deviant behaviors, sex and drugs.
- -later maturing girls seen as prettier, sociable, leaders at school.
- -early maturing girls and late maturing boys feel out of place with their peers because they are at the extreme ends of physical development.
- -early maturing girls tend to have lasting consequences.
- -individuals starve themselves for the fear of getting fat.
- -severe dieting is strongest predictor of an eating disorder.
- -early maturing girls are at risk bcuz of their poor body image.
- -often mothers of these girls have high expectations of physical appearance.
- -fathers tend to be emotionally distant
- -need for perfection.
- -only about half fully recover.
- -malnutrioned, leading to pale skin, brittle nails, fine dark hairs all over body, sensitivity to cold.
- -if continued kidney can fail and irreversable brain damage can occur and eventually death.
- -genetic influence possible, anxiety and impulse control, high standards for themselves, avoid intimate ties outside the family.
- -usually minimize the seriousness of disorder so treating it is difficult
- -most succesful treatment is family therapy and medication
bulimia nervosa and treatment
- -young people engage in strict dieting and excessive exercise accompanied by binge eating and deliberate vomitting as well as laxatives.
- -more common than anorexia.
- -overweight and early menarche increase risk.
- -unlike anorexics, bulimics usually feel embarrassed and guilty about their eating habits and desperately want help.
- -easier to treat.
- -damage to stomach and throat and teeth enamel occurs
- -also possibly hereditary
- -some are perfectionists like anorexics but most are impulsive, sensation seeking people who lack self control.
- -parents are usually less attached than anorexics who are controlling.
- -support groups and meds are treatment.
Sexuality in both sexes
- -pubertal hormonal changes like androgens lead to the increase in sex drive for girls and boys.
- -north america is not talked about as much from parents and not educated well. yet the media glorifies it. confusing for teens.
- -males tend to have 1st intercourse before females.
- -more common among low ses homes.
- -overlook consequences of risky behaviors therefore not responsible when using contraceptives.
- -most common std is aids.
teen pregnancy & parenthood
- -higher than any country, declined though since the 90's
- -3 factors heighten the incidence of teen pregnancy: 1) effective sex ed reaches few teens 2) not enough convenient and low cost contraceptive services fro teens 3) many families live in poverty which encourages teens to take risk w/o thinking.
- -decline since 90's because abortion # has risen.
- -when child is born the teens lives often worsen in several ways such as continuing education, marital problems, low ses, as well as birth complications bcuz of teen moms poor diets and recreational drugs and alcohol. especially low birth weight.
- -contraceptive increase is very controversial, many say it is like placing sex in teens hands but abstinence programs have no effect. other countries like canada have less teen pregnancy even when handing out condoms and contraceptives.
- -the majority of teens who dabble in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are not headed for a life of addiction. these minimal experimenters are usually psychologically healthy, sociable, and curious young people.
- -decline since 90's
- -drug abusers are serious disturbed young people compared to just the experimenters.
- -drug abusers tend to use drugs for coping with daily stressors, they show serious adjustment problems like chronic anxiety, depression, antiosical behavior. usually fail later in life.
Piagets Theory: the formal operational stage (and 2 features of it)
- around age 11 young people enter the formal operational stage, in which they develop the capacity for abstract, scientific thinking.
- the 2 features are hypothetico deductive reasoning and propositional thought.
Hypothetico deductive reasoning
when faced with a problem they start with a hypothesis or prediction about variables that might affect an outcome. then they isolate and combine variables to see which of these inferences are confirmed in the real world. Ex, they start with possibility and lead to reality.
teens ability to evaluate logic of verbal statements w/o referring to real world circumstances. ex, the chip is green or not green study.
why are so many adults not fully formal operational?
- -one reason is people are more likely to think abstractly on tasks that they have had extensive guidance on.
- -w/o the opportunity to solve problems people in some societies might not display formal operations.
Consequences of adolescent cognitive changes. personal fable and imaginary audience
- as adolescents reflect on their own thoughts they think more about themselves and 2 distorted images of the relation b/t self and the other appear---imaginary audience and the personal fable.
- -imaginary audience- teen's belief that they are the focus of everyone elses attention and concern. become self concious. ex, not wanting to go to school cuz of a huge pimple.
- -personal fable-teens are certain that others are observing and thinking about them, teenagers develop an inflated opionon of their own importance, a feeling that they are special and unique. Ex, "my parents are so ordinary and boring, my life will be different" or "my mom will never understand what its like to be in love"
-not as good as adults, they focus on short term goals rather than long term goals.
Sex differences in mental abilities
- -girls score higher than boys on tests of verbal ability and advantage in reading and writing. great verbal stimulation.
- -boys surpass girls in complex mathematical reasoning. boys biologically have better spatial skills.
- -gender stereotyping increases these differences.
School transitions for boys and girls
- -girls experience more adjustment difficulties than boys after transitioning to middle school bcuz other life changes like puberty and dating begin at that time.
- -teens dealing with other academic or mental difficulties are at great risk for adjustment problems.
- -authoritative parenting and parents school involvement promote high achievement.
- -the more hours teen gives to part time job the poorer their attendance and academics unless they provide vocational learning opportunities.
what factors increase the risk of highschool dropout?
low ses, minority, long history of poor academic performance, lack of parental support, large impersonal classes, bad teaching.