Psychology of Adolescence DEP 4304 Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D. School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences The University of West Florida
Complete the following items: List 3 terms or phrases that come to mind when you think of adolescence. List the major problem, from your perspective, adolescents face in today’s US culture. List the major problem, from your perspective, adolescents face from a global perspective.
Adolescence: Historical Perspective Relatively recent category Based on labor market –Labor intensive to knowledge intensive –Rural, agricultural to technological Lifespan perspective –Changes in healthcare –Changes in environmental conditions –Changes in pregnancy and childbirth practices
Adolescence: Historical Perspective Emerging Adulthood (Arnett, 2000) –Recently established category –Physical relocation frequent –Reflects extended adolescence –Extended dependency on family of origin –Extended time to economic independence –Extended educational experiences (graduate school or second undergraduate degree common)
BioPsychoSocial Model Human development can best be understood as the interaction of: – biological forces (genetics, physical maturation), –individual psychological factors (intellectual, social, emotional), and –social forces (family, peers, social institutions, cultural factors).
Perspectives on Adolescence Constructivist: we form unique interpretations of our experiences based on: –history, –culture, and –cognitive strategies;
Perspectives on Adolescence Contextualist : our culture and context provide the lens through which we see our and others’ worlds—consciously or unconsciously; –Bronfenbrenner defines multiple levels of contexts—microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem –Contexts range from individual interactions to larger cultural institutions that govern individuals
Perspectives on Adolescence Lifespan : adolescence reflects a process of maturation that is similar to yet different from periods prior to and subsequent to it. –Early adolescence—pubescent through 14-15 years old; –Late adolescence—typically 16-19 years old –Emerging adulthood—typically post secondary school through establishing individual values, emotional independence,etc.
Diversity and the Adolescent Population Although the demographics of the US population are changing, adolescence remains a significant and growing group (11-19years); Diversity among adolescents reflects diversity among the broader population.
Concepts of Diversity Gender—social roles, not biological sex, individuals adopt or those roles to which individuals are limited by the dominant culture; –Feminine –Masculine –Androgynous
Concepts of Diversity Ethnic group— –Typically defined by racial, cultural, linguistic, economic, religious, ideological, and/or political status. –Members of the same ethnic group may or may not share common values and characteristics of all those defining the group.
Concepts of Diversity Sexual Orientation –Heterosexual (straight)—attracted to members of the opposite sex –Homosexual (gay, lesbian)—attracted to members of the same sex –Bisexual—attracted to members of either sex.
Scientific Study of Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood How we know about adolescents/adolescence and emerging adults/adulthood –Media –Experience –Science/scientific study Why science? Because it strives to be –Systematic –Unbiased –Self-correcting
Scientific Study of Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood Types of Relationships –Correlational – what happens, descriptive, predictive –Causal – why something happens, what causes it Types of Data –Qualitative (personal narratives, written records of observations) –Quantitative Nominal—Frequencies Ordinal—Rank Orders Interval—Measurements that have equal intervals between units of measurement Ratio—Measurements that have a true zero point and equal intervals
Scientific Study of Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood Types of Designs –Rigor of control Correlational – can show us whether A and B are related, but cannot show us which one caused which Experimental – controlled such that we can begin to say whether A caused B because experiments include the following: –Random assignment –Systematic control of variables Quasi-Experimental
Scientific Study of Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood Types of Designs (cont.) –Temporal Aspects Cross Sectional – uses different groups of participants from different age ranges for comparison at one time (e.g., comparing 6 th graders’ and 10 th graders’ relationships with their parents) Longitudinal – uses the same group of participants, taking measures over time at different ages (e.g., measuring one group of adolescents’ attitudes toward alcohol use when they are in 6 th, 8 th, 10 th, and then 12 th grade) Cohort Sequential – uses different groups, taking measures over time at different ages (e.g., measuring attitudes about gender roles in 6 th and 10 th graders in 2008 and then in 2010, when they are in 8 th and 12 th grade)
Scientific Study of Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood Interpretations of research –Reliability – the extent to which a measure yields similar results when used multiple times –Validity – the extent to which something measures what it claims to measure