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Adolescence • Adolescence: transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence • Due to improved nutrition, sexual maturation occurs earlier nowadays • Psychologists note that adolescence is often marked by mood swings • Begins with puberty: period of sexual maturation, during which one first becomes capable of reproducing; 2-year period of rapid development usually beginning in girls at age 11 and in boys at age 13 • Primary sex characteristics: body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible • Secondary sex characteristics: nonreproductive sexual characteristics –female breasts and hips, male voice quality and body hair • Landmarks of puberty for boys are first ejaculation at about 14 and first menstrual period for girls at about 13 • Menarche: first menstrual period • Although variation in the timing of growth spurt has little effect in height, there are psychological consequences • Early maturation is good for boys –stronger, more athletic, and tend to be more popular, selfassured, and independent • Early maturation for girls is stressful; but later when peers catch up, helps enjoy greater prestige and self-confidence • Reasoning is often self-focused –may believe private experiences are unique and no one understands the feelings Kohlberg’s Moral Ladder 1. Preconventional morality (before age 9) • Obey to either avoid punishment or to gain concrete rewards; If you don’t feed the dog, he will die; If you do the dishes, you can have desert 2. Conventional morality (by early adolescence) • Morality evolves to a more conventional level that upholds laws simply because they are laws and rules; since able to see others’ perspectives, follow actions that gain social approval or maintain social order; if you steal, everyone would think you are a thief 3. Postconventional morality • Those who develop abstract reasoning of formal operational thought; follow what affirms people’s rights or what one personally perceives as basic ethical principles; if you steal the drugs, you would not have lived up to your own ideal; Robin Hood is a hero because he stole from the rich for the poor • As our thinking matures, our behavior becomes less selfish and more caring • To refine sense of identity, adolescents in western cultures try out different “selves” • Different selves gradually reshape to form identity: one’s sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent’s task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
“hardens” = stronger (increases with time) • Fluid Intelligence: one’s ability to reason speedily and abstractly. refers to biological changes a women experiences as ability to reproduce declines • Menopause does not usually create psychological problems for women • Women’s expectations and attitudes regarding menopause influence its emotional impact • Men experience decline in sperm count. testosterone level. tends to increase with age. separation from parents occur Adulthood • Physical abilities peak in early adulthood. other variables may skew the results. language. gradual loss of brain cells. and physical functions. self-esteem increases • Erikson contended that after identity stage is developing capacity for intimacy: ability to form close. peak earlier than men • Foremost biological sign of aging in women is menopause: time of natural cessation of menstruation. their rich web of existing knowledge helps them catch it • Cross-sectional study: study in which people of different ages are compared with one another. small. a group of people for a long time • Show that until late in life. intelligence remains stable • Found that because cross-sectional use people of different eras. but decline of abilities not noticed till later in life • Women. world-class sprinters and swimmers peak in their teens or early twenties. loving relationships. As time passes. cross the age groups • Show that younger people do better than older ones • Longitudinal study: research in which same people are restudied and retested over long period. but can be compensated by active growth of neural connections in people who remain active • Some do suffer brain ailment such as Alzheimer’s disease: progressive and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory. and speed of erection and ejaculation • With age.• Identity searching continues past teen years. less suffering of short-term ailments • Since early adulthood. but longitudinal may be at fault as those who survive the end of test may be the healthiest. tends to decrease with age • Types of intelligence explain why mathematicians and scientists produce creative work in early adulthood while those in literature produce best work in late adulthood • Social clock: culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage. and retirement • 2 basic aspects of lives dominate adulthood: intimacy (forming close relationships) and generativity (being productive and supporting future generations) • Children are the most enduring of life changes . but due to lifetime collection of antibodies. deterioration of neurons that produce neurotransmitter acetylcholine • Hard for older people to recall meaningless info. primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood • As identity is formed. because of early maturation. as it becomes clearer. reasoning. but if it is meaningful. smartest • Conclude that whether intelligence increases/decreases depends on type of intellectual preformance measured • Crystallized intelligence: one’s accumulated knowledge and verbal skills. eye’s pupil shrinks and lens becomes less transparent –reducing light reaching retina • Disease-fighting immune system weakens –more susceptible to life-threatening disease. parenthood.
but more enduring moods Death and Dying • • • • • • Elisabeth Kubler-Ross proposed that terminally ill pass through 5 stages (Dabda): Denial. and an increase in sex hormones. Once they have established gender identity. loss of everything and everyone Acceptance. Social development. NY ©1998 Development in Adolescence Adolescence is the transition period from childhood to adulthood. the empty nest is for most people a happy place and they report greater happiness and enjoyment of marriage • People of all ages report similar levels of happiness and satisfaction with life. a period that brings sometimes tumultuous physical. Girls' first menstruation ( menarche) usually occurs between the ages of 11 and 14. the recognition of being male or female. Puberty is the period during which the reproductive system matures. children usually try to adapt their behavior and thoughts to accepted gender-specific roles. Physical development. According to Erik Erikson. a strong sense of “who I am and what I stand for. and emotional changes. Sometimes a person adopts gender-role stereotypes. New York. . develops by age 3. Inc. with God Depression. adolescents must form an ego-identity. appear. Adolescence begins with the onset of puberty and extends to adulthood. • A gender role consists of the behaviors associated with one's gender. social. a process characterized by a marked increase in sex hormones.• When children leave home. accepting one’s fate Bibliography Myers. Why me? Bargaining. appropriate social development in adolescence requires solving the major challenge of ego-identity vs.. Psychology Fifth Edition. peaceful.” or they may suffer role diffusion (running from activity to activity). role diffusion. • Gender identity. beliefs about the “typical” behavior of males and females expected by society. Gender-related activities help an individual to establish an identity. Worth Publishers. David G. teenagers have quick changing range of moods while adults have less extreme. To resolve this life crisis. unacceptance of ill Anger or resentment. such as breasts in females and beards in males. Secondary sex characteristics. Gender • Gender differences in behaviors or mental processes continue to develop during adolescence. Physical development in adolescence includes a growth spurt as the body fills out. Research has indicated that experience and learning have a greater impact on such behaviors than do biological factors. voice changes (especially in males). with the increased likelihood of succumbing to peer pressure. usually spanning the years between 12 and 20.
recognition. Although a peer group rarely forces an adolescent to try new activities. consequently. with premarital intercourse reported by 68% of college men and 59% percent of college women. Legal and illegal substances available to adolescents include tobacco. Studies have also shown that teenagers are still largely uninformed about contraception. and challenge. • Such alternatives to marriage as “living together” ( cohabitation) have become more common. glue. or attractiveness. the careers of both . In the modern cultures of many nations. personality. alcohol. While the threat of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) has changed some behaviors. Most people who have divorced remarry. • Choices concerning marriage and family are often made during this period. the Census Bureau estimated that 4. Androgynous males can do hard physical labor and yet care for babies. Early adulthood. satisfaction. job stress.• One meaning of the term androgynous is having adopted both behaviors associated with males and those associated with females. the sexual behavior of adolescents has been heavily investigated. a term used to denote legitimization of activities by a peer group. intelligence. it may legitimize those activities by indulging in them. security. children may experience more than one set of parents. and many other aspects of life. caffeine. Research shows that divorce is more likely among people who marry during adolescence. and those who are dissimilar in age. the life span is more than 70 years. Three surveys in the 1980s found a substantial increase in the activity. an individual is concerned with developing the ability to share intimacy. • Work/career choice affects not only socioeconomic status but also friends. those whose parents were divorced. Peer pressure. The famous Kinsey survey in the 1940s reported that 50% of the men and 20% of the women surveyed reported having engaged in premarital intercourse by age 20. many surveys indicate a dramatic increase in adolescent sexual activity through the twentieth century. In technologically advanced nations. Long-term relationships are formed. And while income is important in both career selection and career longevity. During the past few decades. has been used to explain many adolescent societal difficulties. Development in Early & Middle Adulthood Adulthood has no signpost to announce its onset (as adolescence is announced by puberty). androgynous females can be homemakers and yet fix cars or drive taxis. so are achievement. In one survey. Sexual behavior. seeking to form relationships and find intimate love. paint vapors. Adolescent problems are many and often involve the adolescents' relationships with their peer group as well as their search for identity. The young adult is also faced with career decisions. 30% of the adolescents reported using illicit drugs. These problems not only may affect physical survival in adolescents but also may have lifelong physical and psychological effects. In 1997. residence location. such as amphetamine and cocaine.13 million unwed couples lived in the United States. child care. and often marriage and children result. Developmental psychologists usually consider early adulthood to cover approximately age 20 to age 40 and middle adulthood approximately 40 to 65. The spread of AIDS infections by use of dirty needles increases the seriousness of this health threat. and pills. In early adulthood. • Substance abuse is a major health threat. Peer pressure. political values. Separation is also more frequent among those who do not have children. Problems during adolescence.
involves psychology. In middle adulthood. Robert Havighurst lists seven major tasks in the middle years. That recognition may prompt some to feel that the clock is ticking and that they must make sudden. Despite the problems associated with longevity. It has been estimated that by the year 2030. Erik Erikson suggests that at this time it is important to find meaning and satisfaction in life rather than to become bitter and disillusioned. Many older people are happy and engaged in a variety of activities. despair.spouses or partners frequently must be considered in making job choices. self-absorption. such as menopause • reaching and maintaining satisfaction in one's occupation • adjusting to and possibly caring for aging parents • helping teenage children to become responsible adults • achieving adult social and civic responsibility • relating to one's spouse as a person • developing leisure-time activities While a midlife crisis is not regarded as a universal phenomenon. Development in Late Adulthood Late adulthood (old age) is generally considered to begin at about age 65. while others focus on finding satisfaction with the present course of their lives. during one's 40s and 50s comes the recognition that more than half of one's life is gone. drastic changes in order to achieve their goals. to resolve the conflict of integrity vs. and other fields. an important challenge is to develop a genuine concern for the welfare of future generations and to contribute to the world through family and work. sociology. . Erik Erikson refers to the problem posed at this stage as generativity vs. • accepting and adjusting to physiological changes. Gerontology. Americans over 65 will make up 20% of the population. biology. studies of people in their 70s have shown that growing old is not necessarily synonymous with substantial mental or physical deterioration. Middle adulthood. that is. an interdisciplinary field that studies the process of aging and the aging population.