2 Adolescence – Physical Changes Early: yearsMiddle: yearsLate: yearsAdolescence has been described as a “socially constructed” age; it has a universal cultural context – the transition from childhood to adulthood. The one we recognize now in the western industrialized world was created in the late 19th century: 1) extended formal schooling; 2) prolonged economic dependency
3 Adolescence – Physical Changes Puberty:Physical growthSecondary sex characteristicsReproductive capacityMenarcheFirst menstruationAverage age of onset: years; varies significantly across global comparisonsDoes not indicate fertility – may occur much later – pelvic bones of average female cannot sustain a normal pregnancy until about years of age
4 Adolescence - Psychological Recapitulation of infancy (struggle to regain mastery; individuate; preoccupation with the present) – Freud, Mahler et alIdentity formation: Identity vs. role diffusion (Erikson); resolve identities in both the individual and social spheres (who am I? Who do people think I am?)“Disorders of the self”: vulnerable to low self-esteem, lack of goals, immobilization or dangerous acting out and risk-taking behaviors
5 Adolescence - Sexuality Sexual identity development: cultural context for sexual experimentation, role playDominant heterosexual culture demands conformity – how does someone develop an alternative sexual identity?“Coming out” – stage linear theory: 1) self-labeling, disclosure to others, public disclosureGender differences in sexual identity developmentRacial/ethnic differences in non-heterosexual identity developmentLittle research on transgender identity development
6 Adolescence – Racial/ethnic Identity Development Socio-cultural contextStage theory: Phinney“Unexamined ethnic identity” – lack of self-awareness; minimal conflict“Ethnic identity search” – period of exploration, may be discomfort because of conflicts, oppositional identity“achieved ethnic identity” – positive attitude towards one’s own identity, sense of belonging
7 Adolescence – Changing Significance of Attachment Desire for independence, peer group, identity, interest in sexualityParents and other authority figures are less significantParental role shiftsDevelopmental differences in life stage between parents and adolescents“Separation-individuation” process requires parents to set goals for independence and autonomy; parents can provide a secure base; adolescents move away from being cared for to taking on caretaking roles themselves
8 Adolescence - Challenges Teen pregnancyTeen pregnancy rates in the US have declined steadily: 117 per 1000 in 1990 to 67 per 1000 in 2010 (37% decline)86% is attributable to use of contraception59% of teen pregnancies end in birth; 30% in abortionInternational Comparison:Canada (27 per 1000)Sweden (31 per 1000)What factors are involved in teen pregnancy?