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Later Adolescence |1

Empig, Joanne
Golero, Mary Josephine
Andres, Nicole
2F1 AB Psychology

Later Adolescence

Ages 18-24 years old

Emerging Adulthood
A stage for experimentation and exploration
Youth is Kennistons term for the transitional period between adolescence and adulthood,
which is a time of economic and personal temporariness.
Many individuals are still exploring which career path they want to follow, what they their
identity to be, and which lifestyle they want to adopt.
The most widely recognized marker of entry into adulthood is when an individual, more or less,
permanent full time job.


Begins with the onset of pubertal maturation, sexual maturation is the key to pubertal change.
Determinants of puberty are heredity, hormones and possibly weight, percentage of body fat,
and leptin.
Physical maturity and reproductive growth leveling off and ending (National Resource Center for
Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning, 2001).
Adolescents show heightened interest in their bodies and body images.


Piagets formal operational stage is when the adolescent reasons in more abstract, idealistic and logical

Piagets Tests:

1) Third eye problem: Children were asked where they would put an extra eye, if they were able to
have a third one, and why. Schaffer (1988) reported that when asked this question, 9-year-olds all
suggested that the third eye should be on the forehead. However, 11-year-olds were more
inventive, for example suggesting that a third eye placed on the hand would be useful for seeing
round corners.
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2) Pendulum task: The method involved a length of string and a set of weights. Participants had to
consider three factors (variables) the length of the string, the heaviness of the weight and the
strength of push.

The task was to work out which factor was most important in determining the speed of swing of the

Participants can vary the length of the pendulum string, and vary the weight. They can measure the
pendulum speed by counting the number of swings per minute. To find the correct answer the
participant has to grasp the idea of the experimental method -that is to vary one variable at a time
(e.g. trying different lengths with the same weight). A participant who tries different lengths with
different weights is likely to end up with the wrong answer.

Children in the formal operational stage approached the task systematically, testing one variable
(such as varying the length of the string) at a time to see its effect. However, younger children
typically tried out these variations randomly or changed two things at the same time. Piaget
concluded that the systematic approach indicated the children were thinking logically, in the
abstract, and could see the relationships between things (Mcleod, 2010).


By this stage they should have developed the emotional competencies (Saarni, 1999):

Being aware that the expression of emotions plays a major role in relationships.
Adaptively coping with negative emotions by using self-regulatory strategies that reduce the
intensity and duration of such emotional states.
Understanding that inner emotional states do not have to correspond to outer expressions. As
adolescents become more mature, they begin to understand how their emotionally expressive
behavior may impact others, and take that understanding into account in the way they present
Being aware of ones emotional states without becoming overwhelmed by them.
Being able to discern others emotion.

Self Integration self understanding becomes more integrative with the disparate parts of the self-
pieced together more systematically. Older youth may detect inconsistencies in their earlier self-
descriptions as they attempt to construct a general theory of self, an integrated sense of identity.
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A multidimensional task that is accomplished gradually over the course of later adolescence and
early adulthood
Ability regulate ones own behavior with undue control from or dependence on ones parents
Autonomy requires independence of thoughts, emotions, and actions
Beyond these physical requirements, autonomy involves a psychological sense of confidence
about ones unique point of view and an ability to express opinions and beliefs that may differ
from those of ones parents
Differentiation is the extent to which the family-system encourages intimacy while supporting
the expression of differences
It involves:

Leaving Home
Living away from ones parents household may be a symbol of independence;
however , it is not as readily achievable in the age range 18 to 24 as it was in the
Parents and adolescent children have different views about the age at which
children are expected to leave home
Economic factors and social norms play a significant role in the timing of leaving
The College Experience
Going away to college is an intermediate step between living at home and
establishing a permanent residence before marriage
College freshman express a variety of attitudes that suggest different views about
their desire to be independent from their family
The experience of entering college focuses new attention on ones attachment
relationships, specifically the revision of attachment to parents
Self Sufficiency
For students who live on campus, preoccupation with thoughts and concerns about
their parents tend to diminish over the course of the first semester, while new
relationships form and a new confidence in their independent decision making
Making independent decisions, taking responsibility for ones actions, and achieving
some degree of financial independence is part of establishing a sense of self-
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As a personal conception of oneself as male or female, or rarely, both or neither, (Ghosh, 2009)
Adolescents have firmer sense of sexual identity

The Role of Culture

Acquisition of a set of beliefs, attitudes, and values about oneself as a man or a
woman in many areas of social life, including intimate relationship, family, work,
community, and religion
All cultures construct gender-differentiated roles, and people expect one another to
behave in certain ways because they are male or female
Others argue that men and women should be considered equal, but that they
should be treated in ways that take into account differences in their needs and
Reevaluating Gender Constancy
Later adolescents can appreciate that the use of gender labels is a social convention
and that, apart from the genital basis of this label, there are wide individual
differences within gender groups in most traits and abilities
Later adolescents may realize that gender is not quite as fixed and constant as they
may have believed
As later adolescents learn about cultural, institutional, interpersonal, and individual
level gender-role expectations, they must integrate and synthesize them with their
assessments of their personal needs and goals
Reevaluating Earlier Gender-Role Standards and Learning New Ones
In later adolescence, young men and women begin to develop an analysis of what it
takes to get ahead: in their social world, whether success is defined as finding a
mate, getting a good job, being a good parent, or being popular
The knowledge base regarding the implications and consequences of gender for
each individual broadens as new understanding about adult roles is acquired
Gender role standards may change within ones lifetime
Revising Ones Childhood Identifications
The component of parental identifications that contributes to gender identity is also
reviewed and revised in later adolescence
During this time, young people begin to encounter a wide range of possible targets
for identification
Adding a Sexual Dimension to Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
Later adolescents add a sexual dimension to their gender identity that did not play
much or a role in their child gender-role identifications
Physical attractiveness become more salient during this time
Maturation of the hormonal system, which influence emotional arousal as well as
sexual urges, contributes to ones gender identity
Research on sexual orientation suggests that later adolescence is a common time
for the emergence of a homosexual identity
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Classification of Gender:
- Masculinity being instrumental and agentic (having leadership abilities,
assertive, control)
- Femininity being expressive and communal (valuing interpersonal and
spiritual development, tenderness, well being of others.
- Androgyny the capacity to express both masculine and feminine
characteristics demanded by situations.
- Transgendered people who do not identify with or present themselves as
reflecting the sex they were born with and who move across or combine
gender boundaries.
Integrating Ones Gender-Role Identity
If later adolescents become aware that their gender prevents them from having
access to resources, influence, and decision-making authority, they are likely to
experience a decline in their gender-role preference
If later adolescents perceive that, apart from real differences in ability, one gender
group is treated with greater respect, given more opportunities, and responded to
with more attention or greater rewards, then their gender-role preferences are
likely to be recalibrated

Figure 1: Factors Affecting the Gender Role Socialization and Career Decision-Making Process
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Explore the distinction between social conventions and moral issues
Bring new cognitive capacities to the arena of moral decision making
They are able to consider the multiple perspectives that are possible in a moral situation
Increasingly aware of the rights and needs of others
Exposure to a diversity of information, relationships, and worldviews stimulates moral reasoning

Lawrence Kohlberg: Morality development Level 2: Conventional, Stage 4: Law and Order (mentality)

Stage 4. Maintaining the Social Order.t he respondent becomes more broadly concerned
with society as a whole. Now the emphasis is on obeying laws, respecting authority, and performing
one's duties so that the social order is maintained. In response to the Heinz story, many subjects say
they understand that Heinz's motives were good, but they cannot condone the theft. What would
happen if we all started breaking the laws whenever we felt we had a good reason? The result
would be chaos; society couldn't function (Crain, 1985).

Moral exemplars people who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others. They
exemplify moral identity a sense in which they define themselves in moral terms and evaluate
their behavior against moral standards. It reflects an integration of parental socialization about
caring for others.

-choice of occupation sets the tone for ones early adult lifestyle
-will influence ones personal financial resources and opportunities
*Occupation confers social status and provides varying opportunities

7 Phases of Career Decision Making (Tiedman and OHara, 1963)

Exploration Person realizes that a career decision must be made. Begins to learn more aspects of the self and
phase occupational world that are relevant to the impeding decision. Generate alternatives for action.
Uncertain and Anxious
Crystallization More aware of the alternatives for action and their consequences. Conflicts are recognized and
phase some are discarded. Strategize for making decision (weighing costs and benefits)
Choice Phase Decides which is action follow. Decision solidified while elaborating of its benefits. Relief and
Clarification Fully understand the consequences of commitment. Plans definite steps that may be of advantage
Phase or disadvantage for him. Persons self-concept is modified and desire to create congruity between
ones decision and the demands
Induction phase Encounters new career environment. Wants to be accepted and cues from others on how to
behave. Identifies with the group and seeks recognition. Self-image is modified.
Influence phase Involved with the group. Becomes assertive to encourage performance in the group. Influence
them to accommodate his values. Committed to group goals.
Integration React against the new members attempts to influence them. New member compromises.
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Figure 2: Seven Phases of Career Decision Making


Individual Identity vs. Identity confusion

The individuals are face with deciding on who they are, what they are all about and where they are going
in life.

What is Identity?

Identity is a self portrait that is composed of many pieces: Career/vocational, Political, Religious,
Relationship, Achievement/Intellectual, Sexual, Cultural/Ethnic, Interest, Personality, Body

Two faces of Identity

1) The private self is a sense of self, which refers to ones uniqueness and unity, a subjective
experience of being self-reflective
Four elements:
o Sense of Agency Being the originator of thoughts and actions.
o Sense of Unity Sensing that one is the same basic self from one moment or situation to
the next
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o Sense of Otherness- recognizing the boundaries between the self and others
o Sense of decentering or distancing- reflecting on oneself so that one can recognize and
own ones thoughts and actions.
2) The public self includes the many roles one plays and the expectations of others

Four Stages of Identity (Marcia J.)

Identity diffusion- the state adolescents are in when they have not yet experienced a crisis or
made any commitments
Identity foreclosure- when they have made a commitment but have not experienced a crisis
Identity moratorium- in the midst of a crisis but not yet made a commitment to an identity.
Identity achievement- undergone a crisis and made a commitment

Figure 3: Marcias Four Statuses of Identity

Identity and Social Contexts

Family Influences
o Individuality it consists of two dimensions: self-assertion, the ability to have and
communicate a point of view; and separateness, the use of communication patterns to
express how one is different from others.
o Connectedness - it consists of two dimensions: mutuality, sensitivity to and respect of
others views; and permeability, openness to others views.
Cultural and Ethnic Identity
o defining and exploring ethnic identity

Identity confusion

Confusion - lack of clearness or distinctness

Those who do not resolve crisis suffer from Identity confusion. Either they withdraw, isolating
themselves from peers and family, or they immerse themselves in the world of peers and lose their
identity in the crowd. Many teens have failed to develop a strong sense of identity that they fall in this
situation. They may either join cliques, commit to cause, or drop out of school and drift from one
situation to the another.
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Figure 4: Relations Among Identity Status, Level of Exploration, and Level of Commitment


Personality and Role Experimentation

Two core ingredients of Identity development. It is a deliberate effort on the part of the
adolescents to find their place in the world.

Personality and Role Experimentation

They search for what their lives are going to be.

They need time and opportunity to explore different roles and personalities
Eventually, they will discard undesirable roles.
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Psychosocial Moratorium

The Time Out between childhood security and adult autonomy

Period of free experimentation before a final identity is achieved
Been partially incorporated into some college programs that permit students to enroll in pass-
fail courses before they select a major
Parents may become concerned because their adolescent child appears to be abandoning the
traditional family value orientation or lifestyle

(See Figure 3: Relations Among Identity Status, Level of Exploration, and Level of Commitment)


Fidelity to Values

Ability to freely pledge and sustain loyalty to values and ideologies in spite of the inevitable
contradictions and confusions of value systems
Incorporates the trust and hope of infancy and directs it toward a belief in values and ideologies
Provides a channel for guiding strong passions and drives towards the achievement of
meaningful goals



Rejection of roles and values that are viewed as alien to oneself

It fosters a rigid worldview that does not admit to the contributions of others idea
Perceive themselves as subjugated victims, rejected by mainstream
See their future grim or hopeless
Transform the mistrust and shame of childhood into fury against the other
May develop Fanaticism:
o A maladaptive tendency
o There is such a thing as too much "ego identity," where a person is so involved in a
particular role in a particular society or subculture that there is no room left for tolerance.
o A fanatic believes that his way is the only way. Adolescents are, of course, known for their
idealism, and for their tendency to see things in black-and-white.
o These people will gather others around them and promote their beliefs and life-styles
without regard to others' rights to disagree. (Boeree, 2006)
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December 31, 2011.

Later Adolescence (n.d.) Retrieved from Chapter 11:

%20Later%20Adolescence.pps on December 31, 2011

Santrock, J.W. (2007). Adolescence, 11th ed. U.S.A: McGraw-Hill

Ghosh, S. (2009). Sexuality, gender. Retrieved from

overviewon December 31, 2011

Crain, W.C. (1985). Theories of Development: Chapter seven- Kohlbergs stages of moral development.
Retrieved from on December 31, 2011

Newman, B. M. & Newman, P.R. (2011) Development through life: A psychosocial approach (Later
Adolescence). Retrieved from on
ad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false January 20, 2011