Invitation to the Life Spanby Kathleen Stassen Berger Chapter 10 – Adolescence: Psychosocial Development PowerPoint Slidesdeveloped by Martin Wolfger and Michael James Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington
Identity Identity versus Role Confusion: • Erikson’s term for the fifth stage of development, in which the person tries to figure out “Who am I?” but is confused as to which of many possible roles to adopt. Identity: • A consistent definition of one’s self as a unique individual, in terms of roles, attitudes, beliefs, and aspirations. Identity achievement: • Erikson’s term for the attainment of identity, or the point at which a person understands who he or she is as a unique individual, in accord with past experiences and future plans.
Not Yet Achieved Role confusion (identity diffusion): • A situation in which an adolescent does not seem to know or care what his or her identity is. Foreclosure: • Erikson’s term for premature identity formation, which occurs when an adolescent adopts parents’ or society’s roles and values wholesale, without questioning or analysis. Moratorium: • An adolescent’s choice of a socially acceptable way to postpone making identity-achievement decisions. Going to college is a common example.
Four Areas of Identity Achievement • Religious Identity • Gender Identity • Gender identity: A person’s acceptance of the roles and behaviors that society associates with the biological categories of male and female. • Sexual orientation: A term that refers to whether a person is sexually and romantically attracted to others of the same sex, the opposite sex, or both sexes. • Political/Ethnic Identity
Four Areas of Identity Achievement • Vocational identity: Rarely achieved until age 25 for at least four reasons: • Few teenagers can find meaningful work. • It takes years to acquire the skills needed for many careers (premature to select a vocation at age 16). • Most jobs are unlike those of a generation ago, so it is unwise for youth to foreclose on a vocation. • Most new jobs are in the service or knowledge sectors of the economy. To be employable, adolescents spend years mastering literacy, logic, technology and human relations.
Relationships with Elders and Peers THE OLDER GENERATION Conflicts with Parents • Parent–adolescent conflict typically peaks in early adolescence and is more a sign of attachment than of distance Bickering • Petty, peevish arguing, usually repeated and ongoing. Neglect • Although teenagers may act as if they no longer need their parents, neglect can be very destructive.
Relationships with Elders and Peers Closeness within the family • Communication: Do parents and teens talk openly with one another? • Support: Do they rely on one another? • Connectedness: How emotionally close are they? • Control: Do parents encourage or limit adolescent autonomy?
Relationships with Elders and Peers Emotional Dependency • Adolescents are more dependent on their parents if they are female and/or from a minority ethnic group. • This can be either repressive or healthy, depending on the culture and the specific circumstances.
Relationships with Elders and Peers Do You Know Where Your Teenager Is? Parental monitoring: Parents’ ongoing awareness of what their children are doing, where, and with whom. • Positive consequences when part of a warm, supportive relationship • Negative when overly restrictive and controlling • Worst: Psychological control - a disciplinary technique in which parents make a child feel guilty and impose gratefulness by threatening to withdraw love and support
Peer Support • CLIQUES AND CROWDS Clique • A group of adolescents made up of close friends who are loyal to one another while excluding outsiders. Crowd • A larger group of adolescents who have something in common but who are not necessarily friends.
Peer Support • CHOOSING FRIENDS Peer pressure • Encouragement to conform to one’s friends or contemporaries in behavior, dress, and attitude; usually considered a negative force, as when adolescent peers encourage one another to defy adult authority. Selection • Teenagers select friends whose values and interests they share, abandoning friends who follow other paths.
Peer Support Facilitation • Peers facilitate both destructive and constructive behaviors in one another. • Makes it easier to do both the wrong thing (“Let’s all skip school”) and the right thing (“Let’s study together”). • Helps individuals do things that they would be unlikely to do on their own. Deviancy training • Destructive peer support in which one person shows another how to rebel against authority or social norms.
Sexuality • FROM ASEXUAL TO ACTIVE Sequence of male–female relationships during childhood and adolescence: • Groups of friends, exclusively one sex or the other • A loose association of girls and boys, with public interactions within a crowd • Small mixed-sex groups of the advanced members of the crowd • Formation of couples, with private intimacies
Romance: Straight and Gay Straight • First romances appear in high school and rarely last more than a year. • Girls claim a steady partner more often than boys do. • Breakups and unreciprocated crushes are common. • Adolescents are crushed by rejection and sometimes contemplate revenge or suicide.
Romance: Straight and Gay Gay • Many do not acknowledge their sexual orientation. • National and peer cultures often make the homosexual young person feel ashamed. • Many gay youth date members of the other sex to hide their true orientation. • Past cohorts of gay youth had higher rates of clinical depression, drug abuse, and suicide than did their heterosexual peers. • True number of homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, or asexual youth is unknown.
Sex Education Learning from peers: • Adolescent sexual behavior is strongly influenced by peers. • Specifics of peer education depend on the group: All members of a clique may be virgins, or all may be sexually active. • “Virginity pledge” in church-based crowds. If a group considers itself a select minority, then virginity. • Only about half of U.S. adolescent couples discuss issues such as pregnancy and STIs and many are unable to come to a shared conclusion based on accurate information.
Sex Education Learning from parents • Parents often underestimate their adolescent’s need for information. • Many parents know little about their adolescents’ sexual activity and wait to talk about sex until their child is already in a romantic relationship. • Gender and age are the most significant correlates of parent–child conversations. • Parents are more likely to talk about sex to daughters than to sons and to older adolescents (over 15) than to younger ones.
Sex Education • Parents tend to underestimate adolescents’ capacity to engage in responsible sex. • Proper condom use is higher among adolescents than among adults. • Parental example may be more important than conversation.
Sex Education Learning in school Abstinence-Only Programs: • 1998: U.S. government decided to spend about $1 billion over 10 years to promote abstinence-only sex education in public schools. • Goal: To prevent teen pregnancy and STIs by waiting until marriage before becoming sexually active. • No information about other methods of avoiding pregnancy and infection was provided. • Abstinence-only curriculum had little effect
Sex Education Starting Early The most effective programs: • begin before high school • include assignments that require parent–child communication • focus on behavior (not just on conveying information) • provide medical referrals on request • last for years Important: Some school programs make a difference!
Sexual Behavior Selected examples • In 2007, more than half of all U.S. teenagers had had sexual intercourse by age 16. • The rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States has declined dramatically since 1960. • Higher than in any other developed nation because of American teenagers use less contraception. • 86% of new teenage mothers are unmarried • About 20% of teenage couples use the pill and condoms, to prevent both pregnancy and infection.
Sadness and Anger Depression • Self-esteem for boys and girls dips at puberty • Signs of depression are common • 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of ninth- to twelfth-graders: • 36% of girls and 21% of boys experienced depressed symptoms within the past year Clinical depression • Feelings of hopelessness, lethargy, and worthlessness that last two weeks or more
Sadness and Anger Gender Differences • 20% of female and 10% of male teenagers experience clinical depression. • Cause for the gender disparity may be biological, psychological, or social. Cognitive explanation • Rumination: Repeatedly thinking and talking about past experiences; can contribute to depression and is more common in girls.
Suicide • Suicidal ideation: • Thinking about suicide, usually with some serious emotional and intellectual or cognitive overtones. • Adolescent suicidal ideation is common, completed suicides are not. • Adolescents are less likely to kill themselves than adults are.
Suicide • Misconceptions about adolescent suicide rates • The suicide rate for adolescents, low as it is, is higher than it was in the early 1960. • Statistics on “youth” often include emerging adults, whose suicide rates are higher than those of adolescents. • Adolescent suicides capture media attention. • Suicide attempts are relatively common in adolescence.
Suicide • Cluster suicides • Several suicides committed by members of a group within a brief period of time. • Parasuicide • Any potentially lethal action against the self that does not result in death. • Parasuicide is common, completed suicide is not.
Suicide • Completed suicide: Four risk increase risk: • Availability of guns • Use of alcohol and other drugs • Lack of parental supervision • A culture that condones suicide
Suicide • Gender Differences in Suicide • Suicide rate among male teenagers in the U.S. is four times higher than the rate for female teenagers. • Reasons for this difference • Availability of lethal means • Male culture that shames those who attempt suicide but fail • Methods: Males tend to shoot themselves; females swallow pills or hang themselves • Girls tend to let their friends and families know that they are depressed, but boys do not.
Suicide • Drugs and depression • Some adolescents self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. • Decreased rates of adolescent suicide in the United States because of antidepressants. • Some antidepressants (e.g. Prozac) may increase suicidal ideation. • Untreated depression may be worse than potentially hazardous drug treatments.
Anger and Aggression • Increased anger during puberty is normal but most adolescents express their anger in acceptable ways. • Steady aggression throughout childhood and adolescence (7%) is warning sign. Juvenile delinquent • A person under the age of 18 who breaks the law Life-course-persistent offender • A person whose criminal activity typically begins in early adolescence and continues throughout life; a career criminal Adolescence-limited offender • A person whose criminal activity stops by age 21
Drug Use and Abuse • VARIATIONS AMONG ADOLESCENTS Age Differences • Drug use becomes widespread from age 10 to 25 and then decreases • Drug use before age 18 is the best predictor of later drug use National Differences • Nations have markedly different rates of adolescent drug use, even nations with common boundaries. • These variations are partly due to differing laws the world over.
Drug Use and Abuse • Cohort Differences • Drug use among adolescents has decreased in the U.S. since 1976. • Adolescent culture may have a greater effect on drug-taking behavior than laws do. • Most adolescents in the U.S. have experimented with drug use and say that they could find illegal drugs if they tried. • Most U.S. adolescents are not regular drug users and about 20% never use any drugs. • Rates vary from state to state.
Drug Use and Abuse • Gender Differences in Drug Use • Adolescent boys generally use more drugs and use them more often. • Gender differences are reinforced by social constructions about proper male and female behavior (e.g., “If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man”).
Drug Use and Abuse • HARM FROM DRUGS Tobacco • Slows down growth (impairs digestion, nutrition, and appetite) • Reduces the appetite • Causes protein and vitamin deficiencies caused • Can damage developing hearts, lungs, brains, and reproductive systems
Drug Use and Abuse • Alcohol • Most frequently abused drug among North American teenagers • Heavy drinking may permanently impair memory and self-control by damaging the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. • Alcohol allows momentary denial of problems when problems get worse because they have been ignored, more alcohol is needed • Denial can have serious consequences.
Drug Use and Abuse Marijuana • Adolescents who regularly smoke marijuana are more likely to drop out of school, become teenage parents, and be unemployed. • Marijuana affects memory, language proficiency, and motivation.
Drug Use and Abuse Occasional use of any drug • Drug use is progressive and the first use usually occurs as part of a social gathering. • Few adolescent drug users are addicts but occasional drug use can lead to addiction. • The younger a person is when beginning drug use, the more likely addiction will occur. • Occasional drug use excites the limbic system and interferes with the prefrontal cortex drug users are more emotional and less reflective.
Preventing Drug Abuse: What Works? Generational forgetting • The idea that each new generation forgets what the previous generation learned. As used here, the term refers to knowledge about the harm drugs can do. Project DARE • Drug Abuse Resistance Education • Features adults (usually police officers) telling students about the dangers of drugs • DARE has no impact on later drug use
Preventing Drug Abuse: What Works? Scare tactics: May increase drug use because • The advertisements make drugs seem exciting • Adolescents recognize the exaggeration • the ads give some teenagers ideas about ways to show defiance Advertising campaigns against teen smoking: • Antismoking announcements produced by cigarette companies increase use
Preventing Drug Abuse: What Works? Important: • Prevention and moderation of adolescent drug use and abuse are possible. • Antidrug programs and messages need to be carefully designed to avoid a backlash or generational forgetting.