Psychology David Myers - Lone Star College System

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Developing Through the Life
Span
1
Adolescence
Module 12
2
Physical Development
Cognitive Development
 Developing Reasoning Power
 Developing Morality
Social Development
 Forming an Identity
 Parent and Peer Relationships
 Emerging Adulthood
3
Adolescence
Many psychologists once believed that our traits
were set during childhood. Today psychologists
believe that development is a lifelong process.
Adolescence is the transition period from
childhood to adulthood, extending from
puberty to independence..
4
Physical Development
Adolescence begins with
puberty (sexual
maturation). Puberty
occurs earlier in females
(11 years) than males
(13 years). Thus height in
females increases before
males.
5
Physical Development
During puberty primary sexual characteristics —
the reproductive organs and external genitalia —
develop rapidly.
The landmarks of puberty are for girls menarche –
the first menstrual period. And for boys the first
ejaculation or spermarche.
6
Secondary Sexual Characteristics
Also secondary sexual characteristics—the
nonreproductive traits such as breasts and hips in
girls and facial hair and deepening of voice in boys
develop.
7
Brain Development
Teens’ frontal lobes continue to develop and the
growth of myelin speeds neurotransmission and
improves communication with other regions of the
brain.
This lags the emotional limbic system, which along
with the hormonal surge, helps explain the
impulsiveness, risky behaviors, and emotional
storms of adolescence.
8
Cognitive Development
Adolescents’ ability to reason gives them a new
level of social awareness, leading them to think
about:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Their own thinking.
What others are thinking.
What others are thinking about them.
How ideals can be reached.
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Developing Reasoning Power
According to Piaget, adolescents can handle abstract
problems, i.e., they can perform formal operations.
Adolescents can judge good from evil, truth and
justice, and think about God in deeper terms.
AP/Wide World Photos
William Thomas Cain/ Getty Images
10
Developing Morality
Kohlberg (1981, 1984) sought to describe the development
of moral reasoning by posing moral dilemmas to children
and adolescents, such as “Should a person steal medicine
to save a loved one’s life?”
Hurricane Katrina victims were faced with a moral dilemma:
Should they help themselves to household necessities?
11
3 Basic Levels of Moral Thinking
1.
Preconventional Morality: Before age 9, children show
morality to avoid punishment or gain reward.
2.
Conventional Morality: By early adolescence, social
rules and laws are upheld for their own sake.
3.
Postconventional Morality: Affirms people’s agreedupon rights or follows personally perceived ethical
principles.
12
Social Development
13
Forming an Identity
In Western cultures, many adolescents try out different selves
before settling into an identity, a consistent and comfortable
sense of sense of who one is. Having such an identity leads to
forming close relationships.
Matthias Clamer/ Getty Images
Leland Bobble/ Getty Images
14
Forming an Identity
For both adolescents and adults, group identities often form
around how we differ from those around us. Social identity,
the “we” aspect of our self-concept, often forms around our
distinctiveness.
Some adolescents form their identity early, adopting the
values and views of their families. Others adopt an identity
in opposition to their parents, conforming instead with peers.
Erikson contended that the adolescent identity stage is
followed in young adulthood by a developing capacity for
intimacy, the ability to form close, loving relationships.
15
Parent and Peer Relationships
Although teens become
independent of their
parents as they grow
older, they nevertheless
relate to their parents on
a number of things,
including religiosity and
career choices. Peer
approval and
relationships are also
very important.
16
Emerging Adulthood
Emerging adulthood spans from the late-teens to the midtwenties. During this time, young adults may live with
their parents and attend college or work. On average,
emerging adults marry in their mid-twenties.
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