Developing Through the Life Span PowerPoint® Presentation by Jim Foley © 2013 Worth Publishers Module 11: Adolescence Teenage Topics Physical Development: Puberty and more Cognitive Development in Adolescence Reasoning Power Moral Intuition, Reasoning, and Action Social Development in Adolescence Forming an Identity Parent and Peer Relationships Emerging Adulthood The next phase of development Developmental psychologists used to focus attention only on childhood. Lifespan perspective refers to the idea that development is a lifelong process. The next phase of that process is adolescence. the transition period from childhood to adulthood the period of development ranging from puberty to independence Are these kids adolescents yet? Adolescent Physical Development Puberty is the time of sexual maturation (becoming physically able to reproduce). During puberty, increased sex hormones lead to: primary and secondary sex characteristics. some changes in mood and behavior. As with other maturation, the sequence is more predictable than the timing. Effects of Early Physical Maturation: Boys who become strong/athletic early • become more popular and confident • Are at greater risk of substance abuse, delinquency, premature sexual activity. Girls whose bodies mature early may associate with older teens or be teased or taunted. Adolescent Brain Development During puberty, the brain stops automatically adding new connections, and starts pruning away the neurons and synapses that aren’t being used (Use them or lose them!) The frontal lobes are still forming during this time, still becoming more efficient at conducting signals. The adolescent brain is at its peak of learning ability but not fully able to inhibit impulses (good accelerator, bad brakes). “Young man, go to your room and stay until your frontal lobes finish forming.” Adolescent Cognitive Development According to Jean Piaget, adolescents are in the formal operational stage. They use this reasoning to: think about how reality compares to ideals. think hypothetically about different choices and their consequences. critique the reasoning of others. debate matters of justice, meaning of life, and human nature. Building Toward Moral Reasoning Adolescents see justice and fairness in terms of merit and equity instead of in terms of everyone getting equal treatment. Moral Intuition: Our reasoning may be directed by emotions, such as disgust about evil acts, and elevated feelings about generosity and courage. Lawrence Kohlberg’s Levels of Moral Reasoning Preconventional morality (up to age 9): “Follow the rules because if you don’t, you’ll get in trouble; if you do, you might get a treat.” Conventional morality (early adolescence): “Follow the rules because we get along better if everyone does the right thing.” Postconventional morality (later adolescence and adulthood): “Sometimes rules need to be set aside to pursue higher principles.” Building Toward Moral Reasoning Adolescents see justice and fairness in terms of merit and equity instead of in terms of everyone getting equal treatment. Adolescents may strive to advocate for ideals and political causes. Adolescents think about god, meaning, and purpose in deeper terms than in childhood. Lawrence Kohlberg’s Levels of Moral Reasoning Preconventional morality (up to age 9): “Follow the rules because if you don’t, you’ll get in trouble; if you do, you might get a treat.” Conventional morality (early adolescence): “Follow the rules because we get along better if everyone does the right thing.” Postconventional morality (later adolescence and adulthood): “Sometimes rules need to be set aside to pursue higher principles.” Example: looting after a natural disaster Which level of moral reasoning is involved? Looting is a problem; if everyone did it, there would be escalating chaos and greater damage to the economy. Looting is generally wrong, yet morally right when your family’s survival seems to depend on it. Looting is wrong because you might get punished, but if no one is punished, that’s a sign that it’s okay. Moral Intuition Jonathan Haidt believed moral decisions are often driven by moral intuition, that is, quick, gut-feeling decisions. This intuition is not just based in moral reasoning but also in emotions such as: disgust. We may turn away from choosing an action because it feels awful. elevated feelings. We may get a rewarding delight from some moral behavior such as donating to charity. An Example of Moral Intuition: Given a hypothetical choice to save five people from an oncoming trolley by killing one person, many people’s choice is determined not just by reasoning, but by disgust. Many people would flip a switch to make this choice, but not as many would push a person on the tracks to save five others. Moral Action: Doing the Right Thing Character education: what helps people choose principled actions over selfishness or social pressure? Experience serving others/the greater good Empathy for the feelings of others Delaying gratification to plan for larger goals Selfdiscipline, or the ability to resist impulses Psychosocial Development: Erikson’s Stages Each age involves an “issue,” a psychological challenge in managing our interaction with the social world. The “vs.” part: there is tension between two opposing tendencies. Successfully resolving this tension gives us strengths that help us move to the next stage. Not resolving this tension can lead to lifelong emotional and social difficulties. Social Development: Erik Erikson Erik Erikson’s model of lifelong psychosocial developmentsees adolescence as a struggle to form an identity, a sense of self. Adolescents may in different roles with peers, with parents, and with teachers, try out different “selves.” For Erikson, the challenge in adolescence is to test and integrate the roles/selves in order to prevent role confusion (which of those selves, or what combination, is really me?). Erik Erikson: Stages of Psychosocial Development Other Eriksonian stages on the minds of adolescents While currently in the identity vs. role confusion stage, adolescents have ideally just finished working through the tension of competence vs. inferiority. They are ready after adolescence to take on the challenge of intimacy vs. isolation. Peer Influence The degree of peer influence is hard to trace. Apparent conformity (the whole group smokes) could be a selection effect (they get together because they want to be with others who like to smoke). Interaction with peers can teach new social skills. Parents may try to have indirect influence by selecting a child’s peers, such as by selecting a school or neighborhood. However, ultimately, most children self-select their peers. Influences on Identity: Parent and Peer Relationships During adolescence, peer relationships take center stage. Conflicts arise in this stage, especially with first born children. The challenge: finding how adolescent relationships with peers and with parents can coexist well, rather than being in conflict. Parents vs. Peers Battling over non-genetic influence Parents have more influence on: Education and career path Cooperation Self-discipline Responsibility Charitableness Religion Style of interaction with authority figures Peers have more influence on: Learning cooperation skills Learning the path to popularity Choice of music and other recreation Choice of clothing and other cultural choices Good and bad habits Adolescence, the sequel… Emerging Adulthood In some countries, added years of education and later marriage has delayed full adult independence beyond traditional adolescence. This seems to have created a new phase which can be called emerging adulthood, ages 18-25.