Adolescence: ★ Defined across cultures ★ Biological & cognitive development that sets stage for psychological changes ★ Social context in which adolescents develop ★ Challenges & possible crises facing adolescents today Adulthood & Aging: ★ Stages of adulthood ★ Physiological & cognitive changes in adulthood ★ Concerns related to aging
Adolescence: term coined by G. Stanley Hall 1904 Before 12th century, young people commonly passed from childhood to adulthood after whatever schooling they received. Their work was a valuable commodity for their families & the economy. Hall’s research developed during the Industrial Revolution, when labor market shifted in emphasis from rural work to urban factories & service industries. Adolescence: Stage between childhood & adulthood (12-20 yr old) Primarily a phenomenon of the Western world today
Adolescence: Time of Change on 4 levels 1. Biological (or physical) 2 major changes occur: growth spurt & puberty (sexual maturation) Hormones kick into action, estrogen: girls, testosterone: boys. Stimulate production of growth hormone. 2. Cognitive (or intellectual) 3. Social, including peers & family. 4. View of self, including self-esteem. Emotional changes occur across all 4 levels
Adolescent Maturation Research on adolescence Girls early maturation is particularly difficult Boys late maturation is especially hard How would you explain this gender difference? Consider how Weiten uses unifying themes in study of psychology, including that psychology evolves in a socio-historical context. How might this context help to explain it?
Differences arise from society's belief & expectations about what behaviors are appropriate Boys - socialized towards achievement in the world of action. Physically mature boys appear to be more competent achievers, better able to meet society's expectations for males. Late-maturing boys may appear inept in this regard, & this is threatening to their self-esteem.
Girls, on the other hand, have traditionally been socialized to become wives & mothers Roles closely tied to their biological & sexual characteristics Traditional role of the female has been to be the source & preserver of the family. Differences arise from society's belief & expectations about what behaviors are appropriate
Early-maturing girl (she arouses sexual feelings in other males and because of her own developing sexual desires) is thus seen as a threat. She is viewed with suspicion & made to feel ashamed of her developing sexuality. Differences arise from society's belief & expectations about what behaviors are appropriate
Midlife Crisis compared to Adolescent Search for Identity The experience of midlife crisis has been likened by some to adolescent search for identity. In what ways are these two developmental phenomena similar? How are they different?
Midlife Crisis compared to Adolescent Search for Identity Midlife adults motivated to ask: "Who am I?" “BIOLOGICAL CLOCK” is ticking... approximately 1/2 through life's journey, they may not have achieved all that they had hoped to by this point in life. Time is seen to be running out. Resultant anxiety provokes some to rethink & reevaluate earlier choices (e.g., occupation, marriage partner) that were predicated on conclusions about one's identity. The feeling may be either: "I am not who I thought I was. Who am I?" or "I am no longer who I once was. Who am I?"
Midlife Crisis compared to Adolescent Search for Identity For adolescents: question arises mainly because they are on the brink of adulthood, when they will be expected to make highly consequential choices based on their understanding of who they are. In addition, the emerging cognitive capacities of adolescence make them both aware of these circumstances & capable of exploring alternative identities.
High School to College: Transition from Adolescence to Adult Girls have a 2 year head start on boys in puberty, but in boys a growth spurt leads to puberty around age 14. Increasing interactions with the opposite gender. Dating begins. Realistic considerations about abilities, training requirements, thoughts turn to advanced education, vocation and jobs. Mid-20s: Reaction time and muscular strength peak. Trial period begins for vocation and relationships. Strong bonds are formed with mentors. "Intimacy vs. Isolation"
Married Life Researchers have found that married couples go through ups and downs in terms of marital satisfaction. Increasingly couples are getting married at a later age in the U.S. (into late 20s and beyond) After the birth of the 1st child, couples report a drop in marital satisfaction. Spouses marital satisfaction is at it's lowest at the middle of the cycle. Parents overwhelming rate adolescence as the most difficult stage in child rearing.