Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 8653 Spring 2021
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Course: Adolescent Psychology (8653)
Semester: Spring, 2021
- Explain the different aspects of transition to early childhood and adulthood.
Adolescence can be a time of both disorientation and discovery. The transitional period can raise questions of independence and identity; as adolescents cultivate their sense of self, they may face difficult choices about academics, friendship, sexuality, gender identity, drugs, and alcohol.
Most teens have a relatively egocentric perspective on life; a state of mind that usually abates with age. They often focus on themselves and believe that everyone else—from a best friend to a distant crush—is focused on them too. They may grapple with insecurities and feelings of being judged. Relationships with family members often take a backseat to peer groups, romantic interests, and appearance, which teens perceive as increasingly important during this time.
The transition can naturally lead to anxiety about physical development, evolving relationship with others and one’s place in the larger world. Mild anxiety and other challenges are typical, but serious mental health conditions also emerge during adolescence. Addressing a disorder early on can help ensure the best possible outcome.
Speaking openly with adolescents about changes that they are experiencing can be a challenge for any parent, especially given the shift in the parent-child relationship during this time.
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One important component of communicating with teens is helping them understand what lies ahead. Explaining how their bodies will change so that they aren’t caught by surprise can alleviate a child’s anxiety. Beyond physical changes, parents can begin a conversation about the social and lifestyle changes that accompany adolescence. Discussing the consequences of important decisions—like having sex or experimenting with drugs—can encourage a teen to reflect on their choices.
Listening is a powerful yet under-appreciated tool. Parents often orient toward directives and solutions. But setting aside those tendencies and simply listening to the teen can strengthen the relationship. Asking specific or prying questions can make the child feel judged and therefore hesitant to speak openly and honestly. Listening attentively shows interest, validation, and support. It also increases the chances that a teen will confide in a parent as needed. Active listening builds intimacy and trust—while simultaneously allowing the teen to process their experience.
- Adolescence is one of the most rapid phases of human development.
- Biological maturity precedes psychosocial maturity. This has implications for policy and programme responses to the exploration and experimentation that takes place during adolescence.
- The characteristics of both the individual and the environment influence the changes taking place during adolescence.
- Younger adolescents may be particularly vulnerable when their capacities are still developing and they are beginning to move outside the confines of their families.
- The changes in adolescence have health consequence not only in adolescence but also over the life-course.
- The unique nature and importance of adolescence mandates explicit and specific attention in health policy and programmes.
Adolescence is a period of life with specific health and developmental needs and rights. It is also a time to develop knowledge and skills, learn to manage emotions and relationships, and acquire attributes and abilities that will be important for enjoying the adolescent years and assuming adult roles.
All societies recognize that there is a difference between being a child and becoming an adult. How this transition from childhood to adulthood is defined and recognized differs between cultures and over time. In the past it has often been relatively rapid, and in some societies it still is. In many countries, however, this is changing.
Adolescence is one of the most rapid phases of human development. Although the order of many of the changes appears to be universal, their timing and the speed of change vary among and even within individuals. Both the characteristics of an individual (e.g. sex) and external factors (e.g. inadequate nutrition, an abusive environment) influence these changes.
Important neuronal developments are also taking place during the adolescent years. These developments are linked to hormonal changes but are not always dependent on them. Developments are taking place in regions of the brain, such as the limbic system, that are responsible for pleasure seeking and reward processing, emotional responses and sleep regulation. At the same time, changes are taking place in the pre-frontal cortex, the area responsible for what are called executive functions: decision-making, organization, impulse control and planning for the future. The changes in the pre-frontal cortex occur later in adolescence than the limbic system changes.
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 8653 Spring 2021
Linked to the hormonal and neurodevelopmental changes that are taking place are psychosocial and emotional changes and increasing cognitive and intellectual capacities. Over the course of the second decade, adolescents develop stronger reasoning skills, logical and moral thinking, and become more capable of abstract thinking and making rational judgements.
Changes taking place in the adolescent’s environment both affect and are affected by the internal changes of adolescence. These external influences, which differ among cultures and societies, include social values and norms and the changing roles, responsibilities, relationships and expectations of this period of life.
In many ways adolescent development drives the changes in the disease burden between childhood to adulthood—for example, the increase with age in sexual and reproductive health problems, mental illness and injuries.
The appearance of certain health problems in adolescence, including substance use disorders, mental disorders and injuries, likely reflects both the biological changes of puberty and the social context in which young people are growing up. Other conditions, such as the increased incidence of certain infectious diseases, for example, schistosomiasis, may simply result from the daily activities of adolescents during this period of their lives.
Many of the health-related behaviours that arise during adolescence have implications for both present and future health and development. For example, alcohol use and obesity in early adolescence not only compromise adolescent development, but they also predict health-compromising alcohol use and obesity in later life, with serious implications for public health.
- Highlight the norms and hormonal control of puberty.
During puberty, your body will grow faster than any other time in your life, except for when you were an infant. Back then, your body was growing rapidly and you were learning new things — you’ll be doing these things and much more during puberty. Except this time, you won’t have diapers or a rattle and you’ll have to dress yourself!
It’s good to know about the changes that come along with puberty before they happen, and it’s really important to remember that everybody goes through it. No matter where you live, whether you’re a guy or a girl, or whether you like hip-hop or country music, you will experience the changes that happen during puberty. No two people are exactly alike. But one thing all adults have in common is they made it through puberty.
Time to Change
When your body reaches a certain age, your brain releases a special hormone that starts the changes of puberty. It’s called gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH for short. When GnRH reaches the pituitary gland (a pea-shaped gland that sits just under the brain), this gland releases into the bloodstream two more puberty hormones: luteinizing hormone (LH for short) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH for short). Guys and girls have both of these hormones in their bodies. And depending on whether you’re a guy or a girl, these hormones go to work on different parts of the body.
For guys, these hormones travel through the blood and give the testes the signal to begin the production of testosterone and sperm. Testosterone is the hormone that causes most of the changes in a guy’s body during puberty. Sperm cells must be produced for men to reproduce.
In girls, FSH and LH target the ovaries, which contain eggs that have been there since birth. The hormones stimulate the ovaries to begin producing another hormone called estrogen. Estrogen, along with FSH and LH, causes a girl’s body to mature and prepares her for pregnancy.
So that’s what’s really happening during puberty — it’s all these new chemicals moving around inside your body, turning you from a teen into an adult with adult levels of hormones.
Puberty usually starts some time between age 7 and 13 in girls and 9 and 15 in guys. Some people start puberty a bit earlier or later, though. Each person is a little different, so everyone starts and goes through puberty on his or her body’s own schedule. This is one of the reasons why some of your friends might still look like kids, whereas others look more like adults.
It Doesn’t Hurt . . . It’s Just a Growth Spurt
“Spurt” is the word used to describe a short burst of activity, something that happens in a hurry. And a growth spurt is just that: Your body is growing, and it’s happening really fast! When you enter puberty, it might seem like your sleeves are always getting shorter and your pants always look like you’re ready for a flood — that’s because you’re experiencing a major growth spurt. It lasts for about 2 to 3 years. When that growth spurt is at its peak, some people grow 4 or more inches in a year.
This growth during puberty will be the last time your body grows taller. After that, you will be at your adult height. But your height isn’t the only thing that will be changing.
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As your body grows taller, it will change in other ways, too. You will gain weight, and as your body becomes heavier, you’ll start to notice changes in its overall shape. Guys’ shoulders will grow wider, and their bodies will become more muscular. Their voices will become deeper. For some guys, the breasts may grow a bit, but for most of them this growth goes away by the end of puberty.
Guys will notice other changes, too, like the lengthening and widening of the penis and the enlargement of the testes. All of these changes mean that their bodies are developing as expected during puberty.
Girls’ bodies usually become curvier. They gain weight on their hips, and their breasts develop, starting with just a little swelling under the nipple. Sometimes one breast might develop more quickly than the other, but most of the time they soon even out. With all this growing and developing going on, girls will notice an increase in body fat and occasional soreness under the nipples as the breasts start to enlarge — and that’s normal.
Gaining some weight is part of developing into a woman, and it’s unhealthy for girls to go on a diet to try to stop this normal weight gain. If you ever have questions or concerns about your weight, talk it over with your doctor.
Usually about 2 to 2½ years after girls’ breasts start to develop, they get their first menstrual period. This is one more thing that lets a girl know puberty is progressing and the puberty hormones have been doing their job. Girls have two ovaries, and each ovary holds thousands of eggs. During the menstrual cycle, one of the eggs comes out of an ovary and begins a trip through the fallopian tube, ending up in the uterus (the uterus is also called the womb).
Before the egg is released from the ovary, the uterus has been building up its lining with extra blood and tissue. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm cell, it stays in the uterus and grows into a baby, using that extra blood and tissue to keep it healthy and protected as it’s developing.
Most of the time, though, the egg is only passing through. When the egg doesn’t get fertilized, the uterus no longer needs the extra blood and tissue, so it leaves the body through the vagina as a menstrual period. A period usually lasts from 5 to 7 days, and about 2 weeks after the start of the period a new egg is released, which marks the middle of each cycle.
Hair, Hair, Everywhere
Well, maybe not everywhere. But one of the first signs of puberty is hair growing where it didn’t grow before. Guys and girls both begin to grow hair under their arms and in their pubic areas (on and around the genitals). It starts out looking light and sparse. Then as you go through puberty, it becomes longer, thicker, heavier, and darker. Eventually, guys also start to grow hair on their faces.
Another thing that comes with puberty is acne, or pimples. Acne is triggered by puberty hormones. Pimples usually start around the beginning of puberty and can stick around during adolescence (the teen years). You may notice pimples on your face, your upper back, or your upper chest. It helps to keep your skin clean, and your doctor will be able to offer some suggestions for clearing up acne. The good news about acne is that it usually gets better or disappears by the end of adolescence.
Putting the P.U. in Puberty
A lot of teens notice that they have a new smell under their arms and elsewhere on their bodies when they enter puberty, and it’s not a pretty one. That smell is body odor, and everyone gets it. As you enter puberty, the puberty hormones affect glands in your skin, and the glands make chemicals that smell bad. These chemicals put the scent in adolescent!
- Highlight the different aspects of cognitive development and behavioral changes.
In the two primary cognitive-developmental traditions, the questions typically take different forms. In the structuralist tradition, influenced strongly by the work of Jean Piaget, Heinz Werner, and others, the questions are: How is behavior organized, and how does the organization change with development? In the functionalist tradition, influenced strongly by behaviorism and information processing, the question is: What are the processes that produce or underlie behavioral change? In this chapter we review major conclusions from both traditions about cognitive development in school-age children.
The study of cognitive development, especially in school-age children, has been one of the central focuses of developmental research over the last 25 years. There is an enormous research literature, with thousands of studies investigating cognitive change from scores of specific perspectives. Despite this diversity, there does seem to be a consensus emerging about (1) the conclusions to be reached from research to date and (2) the directions new research and theory should take. A major part of this consensus grows from an orientation that seems to be pervading the field: It is time to move beyond the opposition of structuralism and functionalism and begin to build a broader, more integrated approach to cognitive development (see Case, 1980; Catania, 1973; Fischer, 1980; Flavell, 1982a). Indeed, we argue that without such an integration attempts to explain the development of behavior are doomed.
The general orientations or investigations of cognitive development are similar for all age groups—infancy, childhood, and adulthood. The vast majority of investigations, however, involve children of school age and for those children a number of specific issues arise, including in particular the relationship between schooling and cognitive development.
This chapter first describes the emerging consensus about the patterns of cognitive development in school-age children. A description of this consensus leads naturally to a set of core issues that must be dealt with if developmental scientists are to build a more adequate explanation of developmental structure and process. How do the child and the environment collaborate in development? How does the pattern of development vary across traditional categories of behavior, such as cognition, emotion, and social behavior? And what methods are available for addressing these issues in research?
Under the framework provided by these broad issues, there are a number of different directions research could take. Four that seem especially promising to us involve the relationship between cognitive development and emotional dynamics, the relationship between brain changes and cognitive development, the role of informal teaching and other modes of social interaction in cognitive development, and the nature and effects of schooling and literacy. These four directions are taken up in a later section.
Patterns Of Developmental Change
One of the central focuses in the controversies between structuralist and functionalist approaches has been whether children develop through stages. Much of this controversy has been obscured by fuzzy criteria for what counts as a stage, but significant advances have been made in pinning down criteria (e.g., Fischer and Bullock, 1981; Flavell, 1971; McCall, 1983; Wohlwill, 1973). In addition, developmentalists seem to be moving away from pitting structuralism and functionalism against each other toward viewing them as complementary; psychological development can at the same time be stagelike in some ways and not at all stagelike in other ways. As a result of these recent advances in the field, it is now possible to sketch a general portrait of the status of stages in the development of children.
The General Status Of Stages
Children do not develop in stages as traditionally defined. That is, (1) their behavior changes gradually not abruptly, (2) they develop at different rates in different domains rather than showing synchronous change across domains, and (3) different children develop in different ways (Feldman, 1980; Flavell, 1982b).
Cognitive development does show, however, a number of weaker stagelike characteristics. First, within a domain, development occurs in orderly sequences of steps for relatively homogeneous populations of children (Flavell, 1972). That is, for a given population of children, development in a domain can be described in terms of a specific sequence, in which behavior a develops first, then behavior b, and so forth. For example, with Piaget and Inhelder’s (1941/1974) conservation tasks involving two balls or lumps of clay, there seems to be a systematic three-step sequence (see Hooper et al., 1971; Uzgiris, 1964): (1) conservation of the amount of clay (Is there more clay in one of the balls, even though they are different shapes, or do they both have the same amount of clay?), (2) conservation of the weight of clay (Does one of the balls weigh more?), and (3) conservation of the volume of clay (Does one of the balls displace more water?). The explanation and prediction of such sequences is not always easy, but there do seem to be many instances of orderly sequences in particular domains.
Second, these steps often mark major qualitative changes in behavior—changes in behavioral organization. That is, in addition to developing more of the abilities they already have, children also seem to develop new types of abilities. This fact is reflected in the appearance of behaviors that were not previously present for some particular context or task. For example, in pretend play the understanding of concrete social roles, such as that of a doctor interacting with a patient, emerges at a certain point in a developmental sequence for social categories and is usually present by the age at which children begin school (Watson, 1981). Likewise, the understanding of conservation of amount of clay develops at a certain point in a developmental sequence for conservation.
More generally, there appear to be times of large-scale reorganization of behaviors across many (but not all) domains. At these times, children show more than the ordinary small qualitative changes that occur every day. They demonstrate major qualitative changes, and these changes seem to be characterized by large, rapid change across a number of domains (Case, 1980; Fischer et al., in press; Kenny, 1983; McCall, 1983). Indeed, the speed of change is emerging as a promising general measure for the degree of reorganization. We refer to these large-scale reorganizations as levels. We use the term steps to designate any qualitative change that can be described in terms of a developmental sequence, regardless of whether it involves a new level.
Third, there seem to be some universal steps in cognitive development, but their universality appears to depend on the way they are defined. When steps are defined abstractly and in broad terms or when large groups of skills are considered, developmental sequences seem to show universality across domains and across children in different social groups. When skills of any specificity are considered, however, the numbers and types of developmental steps seem to change as a function of both the context and the individual child (Bullock, 1981; Feldman and Toulmin, 1975; Fischer and Corrigan, 1981; Roberts, 1981; Silvern, 1984). For large-scale (macrodevelopmental) changes, then, there seem to be some universals, but for small-scale (microdevelopmental) changes, individual differences appear to be the norm. The nature of individual differences seems to be especially important for school-age children and is discussed in greater depth in a later section.
Large-Scale Developmental Reorganizations
In macrodevelopment there seem to be several candidates for universal large-scale reorganizations—times when major new types of skills are emerging and development is occurring relatively fast. Different structuralist frameworks share a surprising consensus about most of these levels, although opinions are not unanimous (Kenny, 1983). The exact characterizations of each level also vary somewhat across frameworks. Our descriptions of each level, including the age of emergence, are intended to capture the consensus.
Between 4 and 18 years of age—the time when many children spend long periods of time in a school setting—there seem to be four levels. The first major reorganization, apparently beginning at approximately age 4 in middle-class children in Western cultures, is characterized by the ability to deal with simple relations of representations (Bickhard, 1978; Biggs and Collis, 1982; Case and Khanna, 1981; Fischer, 1980; Isaac and O’Connor, 1975; Siegler, 1978; Wallon, 1970). Children acquire the ability to perform many tasks that involve coordinating two or more ideas. For example, they can do elementary perspective-taking, in which they relate a representation of someone else’s perceptual viewpoint with a representation of their own (Flavell, 1977; Gelman, 1978). Similarly, they can relate two social categories, e.g., understanding how a doctor relates to a patient or how a mother relates to a father (Fischer et al., in press).
The term representation here follows the usage of Piaget (1936/1952; 1946/1951), not the meaning that is common in information-processing models (e.g., Bobrow and Collins, 1975). Piaget hypothesized that late in the second year children develop representation, which is the capacity to think about things that are not present in their immediate experience, such as an object that has disappeared. He suggested that, starting with these initial representations, children show a gradual increase in the complexity of representations throughout the preschool years, culminating in a new stage of equilibrium called ”concrete operations” beginning at age 6 or 7.
Research has demonstrated that children acquire more sophisticated abilities during the preschool years than Piaget had originally described (Gelman, 1978), and theorists have hypothesized the emergence of an additional developmental level between ages 2 and 6—one involving simple relations of representations. The major controversy among the various structural theories seems to be whether this level is in fact the beginning of Piagetian concrete operations or a separate reorganization distinct from concrete operations. Many of the structural approaches recasting Piaget’s concepts in information-processing terms have treated this level as the beginning of concrete operations (Case, 1980; Halford and Wilson, 1980; Pascual-Leone, 1970).
For Piaget (1970), the second level, that of concrete operations, first appears at age 6-7 in middle-class children. In many of the new structural theories, concrete operations constitute an independent level, not merely an elaboration of the level involving simple relations of representations (Biggs and Collis, 1982; Fischer, 1980; Flavell, 1977). The child comes to be able to deal systematically with the complexities of representations and so can understand what Piaget described as the logic of concrete objects and events. For example, conservation of amount of clay first develops at this level. In social cognition the child develops the capacity to deal with complex problems about perspectives (Flavell, 1977) and to coordinate multiple social categories, understanding, for example, role intersections, such as that a man can simultaneously be a doctor and a father to a girl who is both his patient and his daughter (Watson, 1981).
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The third level, usually called formal operations (Inhelder and Piaget, 1955/1958), first emerges at age 10-12 in middle-class children in Western cultures. Children develop a new ability to generalize across concrete instances and to handle the complexities of some tasks requiring hypothetical reasoning. Preadolescents, for example, can understand and use a general definition for a concept such as addition or noun (Fischer et al., 1983), and they can construct all possible combinations of four types of colored blocks (Martarano, 1977). Some theories treat this level as the culmination of concrete operations, because it involves generalizations about concrete objects and events (Biggs and Collis, 1982). Others consider it to be the start of something different—the ability to abstract or to think hypothetically (Case, 1980; Fischer, 1980; Gruber and Voneche, 1976; Halford and Wilson, 1980; Jacques et al., 1978; Richards and Commons, 1983; Selman, 1980).
Recent research indicates that cognitive development does not stop with the level that emerges at age 10-12. Indeed, performance on Piaget’s formal operations tasks even continues to develop throughout adolescence (Martarano, 1977; Neimark, 1975). A number of theorists have suggested that a fourth level develops after the beginning of formal operations—the ability to relate abstractions or hypotheses, emerging at age 14-16 in middle-class Western children (Biggs and Collis, 1982; Case, 1980; Fischer et al., in press; Gruber and Voneche, 1976; Jacques et al., 1978; Richards and Commons, 1983; Selman, 1980; Tomlinson-Keasey, 1982). At this fourth level, adolescents can generate new hypotheses rather than merely test old ones (Arlin, 1975); they can deal with relational concepts, such as liberal and conservative in politics (Adelson, 1975); and they coordinate and combine abstractions in a wide range of domains.
Additional levels may also develop in late adolescence and early adulthood (Biggs and Collis, 1980; Case, 1980; Fischer et al., 1983; Richards and Commons, 1983). At these levels, individuals may able to deal with complex relations among abstractions and hypotheses and to formulate general principles integrating systems of abstractions.
Unfortunately, criteria for testing the reality of the four school-age levels have not been clearly explicated in most cognitive-developmental investigations. There seems to be little question that some kind of significant qualitative change in behavior occurs during each of the four specified age intervals, but researchers have not generally explicated what sort of qualitative change is substantial enough to be counted as a new level or stage. Learning a new concept, such as addition, can produce a qualitative change in behavior; but by itself such a qualitative change hardly seems to warrant designation as a level. Thus, clearer specification is required of what counts as a developmental level.
Research on cognitive development in infancy can provide some guidelines in this regard. For infant development, investigators have described several patterns of data that index emergence of a new level. Two of the most promising indexes are (1) a spurt in developmental change measured on some continuous scale (e.g., Emde et al., 1976; Kagan, 1982; Seibert et al., in press; Zelazo and Leonard, 1983) and (2) a transient drop in the stability of behaviors across a sample of tasks (e.g., McCall, 1983). Research on cognitive development in school-age children would be substantially strengthened if investigators specified such patterns for hypothesized developmental levels and tested for them. Available evidence suggests that these patterns may index levels in childhood as well as they do in infancy (see Fischer et al., in press; Kenny, 1983; Peters and Zaidel, 1981; Tabor and Kendler, 1981).
In summary, there seem to be four major developmental reorganizations, commonly called levels, between ages 4 and 18. Apparently, the levels do not exist in a strong form such as that hypothesized by Piaget (1949, 1975) and others (Pinard and Laurendeau, 1969). Consequently, the strong stage hypothesis has been abandoned by many cognitive-developmental researchers, including some Piagetians (e.g., Kohlberg and Colby, 1983). Yet the evidence suggests that developmental levels fitting a weaker concept of stages probably do exist.
Relativity And Universality Of Developmental Sequences
One of the best-established facts in cognitive development is that performance does not strictly adhere to stages. On the contrary, developmental stages vary widely with manipulations of virtually every environmental factor studied (Flavell, 1971, 1982b). Developmental unevenness, also called horizontal decalage (Piaget, 1941), seems to be the rule for development in general (Biggs and Collis, 1982; Fischer, 1980). During the school years it may well become even more common than in earlier years. By the time children reach school age they seem to begin to specialize on distinct developmental paths based on their differential abilities and experiences (Gardner, 1983; Horn, 1976; McCall, 1981). Some weak forms of developmental stages—what we have called levels—probably exist, as we have noted, but they occur in the face of wide variations in performance.
Since developmental unevenness has been shown to be pervasive, it seems inevitable that developmental sequences will vary among children and across contexts. Unfortunately, there have been few investigations testing for variations in sequence. Most of the studies documenting the prevalence of decalage are designed in such a way that they can detect only variations in the speed of development on a fixed sequence, not variations in the sequence itself. The dearth of studies testing for individual differences in sequence, apparently arises from the fact that cognitive developmentalists have been searching for commonalities in sequence, not differences.
Nevertheless, a few studies have expressly assessed individual differences, and their results indicate that different children and different situations do in fact produce different sequences (Knight, 1982; McCall et al., 1977; Roberts, 1981). A plausible hypothesis is that developmental sequences are relative, changing with the child, the immediate situation, and the culture.
To examine this hypothesis researchers must face an important hidden issue—the nature and generality of the classifications used to code successive levels or steps of behavioral organization. Indeed, when issues of classification are brought into the analysis, it becomes clear that universality and relativity of sequence are not opposed. With a general mode of analysis, children can all show the same developmental sequence in some domain, while with a more specific mode of analysis they can all demonstrate different sequences in the same domain.
- Write down detailed note on depression, aggression and shyness.
Aggression is overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual. It may occur either reactively or without provocation. In humans, aggression can be caused by various triggers, from frustration due to blocked goals to feeling disrespected. Human aggression can be classified into direct and indirect aggression; whilst the former is characterized by physical or verbal behavior intended to cause harm to someone, the latter is characterized by behavior intended to harm the social relations of an individual or group.
In definitions commonly used in the social sciences and behavioral sciences, aggression is an action or response by an individual that delivers something unpleasant to another person. Some definitions include that the individual must intend to harm another person.
In an interdisciplinary perspective, aggression is regarded as “an ensemble of mechanism formed during the course of evolution in order to assert oneself, relatives or friends against others, to gain or to defend resources (ultimate causes) by harmful damaging means […] These mechanisms are often motivated by emotions like fear, frustration, anger, feelings of stress, dominance or pleasure (proximate causes) […] Sometimes aggressive behavior serves as a stress relief or a subjective feeling of power.” Predatory or defensive behavior between members of different species may not be considered aggression in the same sense.
Aggression can take a variety of forms, which may be expressed physically, or communicated verbally or non-verbally: including anti-predator aggression, defensive aggression (fear-induced), predatory aggression, dominance aggression, inter-male aggression, resident-intruder aggression, maternal aggression, species-specific aggression, sex-related aggression, territorial aggression, isolation-induced aggression, irritable aggression, and brain-stimulation-induced aggression (hypothalamus). There are two subtypes of human aggression: (1) controlled-instrumental subtype (purposeful or goal-oriented); and (2) reactive-impulsive subtype (often elicits uncontrollable actions that are inappropriate or undesirable). Aggression differs from what is commonly called assertiveness, although the terms are often used interchangeably among laypeople (as in phrases such as “an aggressive salesperson”).
Aggression can have adaptive benefits or negative effects. Aggressive behavior is an individual or collective social interaction that is a hostile behavior with the intention of inflicting damage or harm. Two broad categories of aggression are commonly distinguished. One includes affective (emotional) and hostile, reactive, or retaliatory aggression that is a response to provocation, and the other includes instrumental, goal-oriented or predatory, in which aggression is used as a means to achieve a goal. An example of hostile aggression would be a person who punches someone who insulted him or her. An instrumental form of aggression would be armed robbery. Research on violence from a range of disciplines lend some support to a distinction between affective and predatory aggression. However, some researchers question the usefulness of a hostile versus instrumental distinction in humans, despite its ubiquity in research, because most real-life cases involve mixed motives and interacting causes.
A number of classifications and dimensions of aggression have been suggested. These depend on such things as whether the aggression is verbal or physical; whether or not it involves relational aggression such as covert bullying and social manipulation; whether harm to others is intended or not; whether it is carried out actively or expressed passively; and whether the aggression is aimed directly or indirectly. Classification may also encompass aggression-related emotions (e.g. anger) and mental states (e.g. impulsivity, hostility). Aggression may occur in response to non-social as well as social factors, and can have a close relationship with stress coping style. Aggression may be displayed in order to intimidate.
The operative definition of aggression may be affected by moral or political views. Examples are the axiomatic moral view called the non-aggression principle and the political rules governing the behavior of one country toward another. Likewise in competitive sports, or in the workplace, some forms of aggression may be sanctioned and others not (see Workplace aggression). Aggressive behaviors are associated with adjustment problems and several psychopathological symptoms such as Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Intermittent Explosive Disorder.
Shyness (also called diffidence) is the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness especially when a person is around other people. This commonly occurs in new situations or with unfamiliar people. Shyness can be a characteristic of people who have low self-esteem. Stronger forms of shyness are usually referred to as social anxiety or social phobia. The primary defining characteristic of shyness is a largely ego-driven fear of what other people will think of a person’s behavior. This results in a person becoming scared of doing or saying what they want to out of fear of negative reactions, being laughed at, humiliated or patronized, criticized or rejected. A shy person may simply opt to avoid social situations instead.
Shyness is often seen as a hindrance to people and their development. The cause of shyness is often disputed but it is found that fear is positively related to shyness, suggesting that fearful children are much more likely to develop being shy as opposed to children less fearful. Shyness can also be seen on a biological level as a result of an excess of cortisol. When cortisol is present in greater quantities it is known to suppress an individual’s immune system, making them more susceptible to illness and disease. The genetics of shyness is a relatively small area of research that has been receiving an even smaller amount of attention, although papers on the biological bases of shyness date back to 1988. Some research has indicated that shyness and aggression are related—through long and short forms of the gene DRD4, though considerably more research on this is needed. Further, it has been suggested that shyness and social phobia (the distinction between the two is becoming ever more blurred) are related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. As with other studies of behavioral genetics, the study of shyness is complicated by the number of genes involved in, and the confusion in defining, the phenotype. Naming the phenotype – and translation of terms between genetics and psychology — also causes problems.
Several genetic links to shyness are current areas of research. One is the serotonin transporter promoter region polymorphism (5-HTTLPR), the long form of which has been shown to be modestly correlated with shyness in grade school children. Previous studies had shown a connection between this form of the gene and both obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism. Mouse models have also been used, to derive genes suitable for further study in humans; one such gene, the glutamic acid decarboxylase gene (which encodes an enzyme that functions in GABA synthesis), has so far been shown to have some association with behavioral inhibition.
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity. It can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, motivation, feelings, and sense of well-being. The core symptom of depression is said to be anhedonia, which refers to loss of interest or a loss of feeling of pleasure in certain activities that usually bring joy to people. Depressed mood is a symptom of some mood disorders such as major depressive disorder or dysthymia; it is a normal temporary reaction to life events, such as the loss of a loved one; and it is also a symptom of some physical diseases and a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments. It may feature sadness, difficulty in thinking and concentration and a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping. People experiencing depression may have feelings of dejection, hopelessness and, sometimes, suicidal thoughts. It can either be short term or long term. Adversity in childhood, such as bereavement, neglect, mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or unequal parental treatment of siblings can contribute to depression in adulthood. Childhood physical or sexual abuse in particular significantly correlates with the likelihood of experiencing depression over the victim’s lifetime.
Life events and changes that may influence depressed moods include (but are not limited to): childbirth, menopause, financial difficulties, unemployment, stress (such as from work, education, family, living conditions etc.), a medical diagnosis (cancer, HIV, etc.), bullying, loss of a loved one, natural disasters, social isolation, rape, relationship troubles, jealousy, separation, or catastrophic injury. Adolescents may be especially prone to experiencing a depressed mood following social rejection, peer pressure, or bullying.
Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. The global pandemic of COVID-19 has negatively impacted upon individuals mental health, causing levels of depression to surge, reaching devastating heights. A study conducted by the University of Surrey in Autumn 2019 and May/June 2020 looked into the impact of COVID-19 upon young peoples mental health. This study is published in the Journal of Psychiatry Research Report. The study showed a significant rise in depression symptoms and a reduction in overall wellbeing during lockdown (May/June 2020) compared to the previous Autumn (2019). Levels of clinical depression in those surveyed in the study were found to have more than doubled, rising from 14.9 per cent in Autumn 2019 to 34.7 per cent in May/June 2020. This study further emphasises the correlation that certain life events have with developing depression.
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 8653 Autumn 2021
- Discuss the nature of social development. Also explain the role of schools in social development.
Adolescents continue to refine their sense of self as they relate to others. Erikson referred to the task of the adolescent as one of identity versus role confusion. Thus, in Erikson’s view, an adolescent’s main questions are “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?” Some adolescents adopt the values and roles that their parents expect for them. Other teens develop identities that are in opposition to their parents but align with a peer group. This is common as peer relationships become a central focus in adolescents’ lives.
As adolescents work to form their identities, they pull away from their parents, and the peer group becomes very important (Shanahan, McHale, Osgood, & Crouter, 2007). Despite spending less time with their parents, most teens report positive feelings toward them (Moore, Guzman, Hair, Lippman, & Garrett, 2004). Warm and healthy parent-child relationships have been associated with positive child outcomes, such as better grades and fewer school behavior problems, in the United States as well as in other countries (Hair et al., 2005).
It appears that most teens don’t experience adolescent storm and stress to the degree once famously suggested by G. Stanley Hall, a pioneer in the study of adolescent development. Only small numbers of teens have major conflicts with their parents (Steinberg & Morris, 2001), and most disagreements are minor. For example, in a study of over 1,800 parents of adolescents from various cultural and ethnic groups, Barber (1994) found that conflicts occurred over day-to-day issues such as homework, money, curfews, clothing, chores, and friends. These types of arguments tend to decrease as teens develop (Galambos & Almeida, 1992).
Parents. Although peers take on greater importance during adolescence, family relationships remain important too. One of the key changes during adolescence involves a renegotiation of parent–child relationships. As adolescents strive for more independence and autonomy during this time, different aspects of parenting become more salient. For example, parents’ distal supervision and monitoring become more important as adolescents spend more time away from parents and in the presence of peers. Parental monitoring encompasses a wide range of behaviors such as parents’ attempts to set rules and know their adolescents’ friends, activities, and whereabouts, in addition to adolescents’ willingness to disclose information to their parents (Stattin & Kerr, 2000). Psychological control, which involves manipulation and intrusion into adolescents’ emotional and cognitive world through invalidating adolescents’ feelings and pressuring them to think in particular ways (Barber, 1996), is another aspect of parenting that becomes more salient during adolescence and is related to more problematic adolescent adjustment.
As children become adolescents, they usually begin spending more time with their peers and less time with their families, and these peer interactions are increasingly unsupervised by adults. Children’s notions of friendship often focus on shared activities, whereas adolescents’ notions of friendship increasingly focus on intimate exchanges of thoughts and feelings. During adolescence, peer groups evolve from primarily single-sex to mixed-sex. Adolescents within a peer group tend to be similar to one another in behavior and attitudes, which has been explained as being a function of homophily (adolescents who are similar to one another choose to spend time together in a “birds of a feather flock together” way) and influence (adolescents who spend time together shape each other’s behavior and attitudes). One of the most widely studied aspects of adolescent peer influence is known as deviant peer contagion (Dishion & Tipsord, 2011), which is the process by which peers reinforce problem behavior by laughing or showing other signs of approval that then increase the likelihood of future problem behavior.
Peers can serve both positive and negative functions during adolescence. Negative peer pressure can lead adolescents to make riskier decisions or engage in more problematic behavior than they would alone or in the presence of their family. For example, adolescents are much more likely to drink alcohol, use drugs, and commit crimes when they are with their friends than when they are alone or with their family. However, peers also serve as an important source of social support and companionship during adolescence, and adolescents with positive peer relationships are happier and better adjusted than those who are socially isolated or have conflictual peer relationships.
Crowds are an emerging level of peer relationships in adolescence. In contrast to friendships (which are reciprocal dyadic relationships) and cliques (which refer to groups of individuals who interact frequently), crowds are characterized more by shared reputations or images than actual interactions (Brown & Larson, 2009). These crowds reflect different prototypic identities (such as jocks or brains) and are often linked with adolescents’ social status and peers’ perceptions of their values or behaviors.
Adolescence is the developmental period during which romantic relationships typically first emerge. Initially, same-sex peer groups that were common during childhood expand into mixed-sex peer groups that are more characteristic of adolescence. Romantic relationships often form in the context of these mixed-sex peer groups (Connolly, Furman, & Konarski, 2000). Although romantic relationships during adolescence are often short-lived rather than long-term committed partnerships, their importance should not be minimized. Adolescents spend a great deal of time focused on romantic relationships, and their positive and negative emotions are more tied to romantic relationships (or lack thereof) than to friendships, family relationships, or school (Furman & Shaffer, 2003). Romantic relationships contribute to adolescents’ identity formation, changes in family and peer relationships, and adolescents’ emotional and behavioral adjustment.
Furthermore, romantic relationships are centrally connected to adolescents’ emerging sexuality. Parents, policymakers, and researchers have devoted a great deal of attention to adolescents’ sexuality, in large part because of concerns related to sexual intercourse, contraception, and preventing teen pregnancies. However, sexuality involves more than this narrow focus. For example, adolescence is often when individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender come to perceive themselves as such (Russell, Clarke, & Clary, 2009). Thus, romantic relationships are a domain in which adolescents experiment with new behaviors and identities.
Theories of adolescent development often focus on identity formation as a central issue. For example, in Erikson’s (1968) classic theory of developmental stages, identity formation was highlighted as the primary indicator of successful development during adolescence (in contrast to role confusion, which would be an indicator of not successfully meeting the task of adolescence). Marcia (1966) described identify formation during adolescence as involving both decision points and commitments with respect to ideologies (e.g., religion, politics) and occupations. He described four identity statuses: foreclosure, identity diffusion, moratorium, and identity achievement. Foreclosure occurs when an individual commits to an identity without exploring options. Identity diffusion occurs when adolescents neither explore nor commit to any identities. Moratorium is a state in which adolescents are actively exploring options but have not yet made commitments. Identity achievement occurs when individuals have explored different options and then made identity commitments. Building on this work, other researchers have investigated more specific aspects of identity. For example, Phinney (1989) proposed a model of ethnic identity development that included stages of unexplored ethnic identity, ethnic identity search, and achieved ethnic identity.
Several major theories of the development of antisocial behavior treat adolescence as an important period. Patterson’s (1982) early versus late starter model of the development of aggressive and antisocial behavior distinguishes youths whose antisocial behavior begins during childhood (early starters) versus adolescence (late starters). According to the theory, early starters are at greater risk for long-term antisocial behavior that extends into adulthood than are late starters. Late starters who become antisocial during adolescence are theorized to experience poor parental monitoring and supervision, aspects of parenting that become more salient during adolescence. Poor monitoring and lack of supervision contribute to increasing involvement with deviant peers, which in turn promotes adolescents’ own antisocial behavior. Late starters desist from antisocial behavior when changes in the environment make other options more appealing. Similarly, Moffitt’s (1993) life-course persistent versus adolescent-limited model distinguishes between antisocial behavior that begins in childhood versus adolescence. Moffitt regards adolescent-limited antisocial behavior as resulting from a “maturity gap” between adolescents’ dependence on and control by adults and their desire to demonstrate their freedom from adult constraint. However, as they continue to develop, and legitimate adult roles and privileges become available to them, there are fewer incentives to engage in antisocial behavior, leading to desistance in these antisocial behaviors.
Anxiety and depression
Developmental models of anxiety and depression also treat adolescence as an important period, especially in terms of the emergence of gender differences in prevalence rates that persist through adulthood (Rudolph, 2009). Starting in early adolescence, compared with males, females have rates of anxiety that are about twice as high and rates of depression that are 1.5 to 3 times as high (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Although the rates vary across specific anxiety and depression diagnoses, rates for some disorders are markedly higher in adolescence than in childhood or adulthood. For example, prevalence rates for specific phobias are about 5% in children and 3%–5% in adults but 16% in adolescents. Anxiety and depression are particularly concerning because suicide is one of the leading causes of death during adolescence. Developmental models focus on interpersonal contexts in both childhood and adolescence that foster depression and anxiety (e.g., Rudolph, 2009). Family adversity, such as abuse and parental psychopathology, during childhood sets the stage for social and behavioral problems during adolescence. Adolescents with such problems generate stress in their relationships (e.g., by resolving conflict poorly and excessively seeking reassurance) and select into more maladaptive social contexts (e.g., “misery loves company” scenarios in which depressed youths select other depressed youths as friends and then frequently co-ruminate as they discuss their problems, exacerbating negative affect and stress). These processes are intensified for girls compared with boys because girls have more relationship-oriented goals related to intimacy and social approval, leaving them more vulnerable to disruption in these relationships. Anxiety and depression then exacerbate problems in social relationships, which in turn contribute to the stability of anxiety and depression over time.
Adolescents spend more waking time in school than in any other context (Eccles & Roeser, 2011). Academic achievement during adolescence is predicted by interpersonal (e.g., parental engagement in adolescents’ education), intrapersonal (e.g., intrinsic motivation), and institutional (e.g., school quality) factors. Academic achievement is important in its own right as a marker of positive adjustment during adolescence but also because academic achievement sets the stage for future educational and occupational opportunities. The most serious consequence of school failure, particularly dropping out of school, is the high risk of unemployment or underemployment in adulthood that follows. High achievement can set the stage for college or future vocational training and opportunities.
Adolescent development does not necessarily follow the same pathway for all individuals. Certain features of adolescence, particularly with respect to biological changes associated with puberty and cognitive changes associated with brain development, are relatively universal. But other features of adolescence depend largely on circumstances that are more environmentally variable. For example, adolescents growing up in one country might have different opportunities for risk taking than adolescents in a different country, and supports and sanctions for different behaviors in adolescence depend on laws and values that might be specific to where adolescents live. Likewise, different cultural norms regarding family and peer relationships shape adolescents’ experiences in these domains. For example, in some countries, adolescents’ parents are expected to retain control over major decisions, whereas in other countries, adolescents are expected to begin sharing in or taking control of decision making.
Even within the same country, adolescents’ gender, ethnicity, immigrant status, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and personality can shape both how adolescents behave and how others respond to them, creating diverse developmental contexts for different adolescents. For example, early puberty (that occurs before most other peers have experienced puberty) appears to be associated with worse outcomes for girls than boys, likely in part because girls who enter puberty early tend to associate with older boys, which in turn is associated with early sexual behavior and substance use. For adolescents who are ethnic or sexual minorities, discrimination sometimes presents a set of challenges that nonminorities do not face.
Finally, genetic variations contribute an additional source of diversity in adolescence. Current approaches emphasize gene X environment interactions, which often follow a differential susceptibility model (Belsky & Pluess, 2009). That is, particular genetic variations are considered riskier than others, but genetic variations also can make adolescents more or less susceptible to environmental factors. For example, the association between the CHRM2genotype and adolescent externalizing behavior (aggression and delinquency)has been found in adolescents whose parents are low in monitoring behaviors (Dick et al., 2011). Thus, it is important to bear in mind that individual differences play an important role in adolescent development.
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