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Mendola, PhD
Touro College 1
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Chapter 1: Introduction
Outline
• The Historical Perspective
– Early History
– The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
– Stereotyping of Adolescents
– A Positive View of Adolescence
• Today’s Adolescents in the United States and Around the
World
– Adolescents in the United States
– The Global Perspective

2
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Chapter 1: Introduction
Outline

• The Nature of Development


– Processes and Periods
– Developmental Transitions
– Developmental Issues

• The Science of Adolescent Development


– Science and the Scientific Method
– Theories in Adolescent Development
– Research in Adolescent Development
3
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Preview

• Adolescence, 14th edition, is a window into the nature of


adolescent development – your own and that of every
other adolescent
• In this first chapter, you will read about the history of the
field, the characteristics of today’s adolescents, both in
the United States and the rest of the world, and the way
in which adolescents develop

4
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The Historical Perspective

• Early History
• The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
– G. Stanley Hall’s Storm-and-Stress View
– Margaret Mead’s Sociocultural View of Adolescence
– The Inventionist View
– Further Changes in the Twentieth Century and the Twenty-
First Century
– Millennials

5
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The Historical Perspective

• Stereotyping of Adolescents
• A Positive View of Adolescence
– Generational Perceptions and Misperceptions
– Positive Youth Development

6
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Early History

• In early Greece, the philosophers Plato and Aristotle (4th


century BCE) commented about the nature of youth
• In the Middle Ages, children and adolescents were
viewed as miniature adults and were subject to harsh
discipline
• In the 18th Century, the French philosopher Jean-Jacques
Rousseau restored the belief that being a child or an
adolescent is not the same as being an adult
• Not until the beginning of the 20th century did the
scientific exploration of adolescence begin

7
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The Twentieth and Twenty-First
Centuries
• The end of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th
century saw the invention of the concept we now call
adolescence
• G. Stanley Hall’s Storm-and-Stress View
– Storm-and-stress view: Adolescence is a turbulent time
charged with conflict and mood swings
• Margaret Mead’s Sociocultural View
– The basic nature of adolescence is not biological, as Hall
envisioned, but rather sociocultural
– In cultures that provide a smooth, gradual transition from
childhood to adulthood, she found little storm and stress
associated with the period 8
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The Twentieth and Twenty-First
Centuries
• The Inventionist View
– Schools, work, and economics are important dimensions of
this view
– Some scholars argue that the concept of adolescence was
invented mainly as a by-product of the movement to create
a system of compulsory public education
– Historians now call the period between 1890 and 1920 the
“age of adolescence”

9
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The Twentieth and Twenty-First
Centuries
• Further Changes in the 20th and 21st Centuries
– Cohort: A group of people who are born at a similar point
in history and share similar experiences as a result
– Cohort effects: Effects due to a person’s time of birth, era,
or generation, but not to actual chronological age (Schaie,
2011a, 2011b)

10
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The Twentieth and Twenty-First
Centuries
– By 1950, the developmental period referred to as
adolescence had come of age
• It had not only physical and social identities but a legal identity as
well
• Every state had developed special laws for youth between the ages
of 16 and 18 to 20
– 1950s to 1970s: Ethnic conflicts, political protests,
increased concern for upward mobility, the women’s
movement

11
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The Twentieth and Twenty-First
Centuries
• Millennials: The generation born after 1980
– Two characteristics stand out:
• As their ethnic diversity has increased over prior
generations, many Millennial adolescents and emerging
adults are more tolerant and open-minded than their
counterparts in previous generations
• Another major change in Millennials involves the dramatic
increase in their use of media and technology (Roberts,
Henriksen, & Foehr, 2009)

12
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The Twentieth and Twenty-First
Centuries
– There are likely both positive and negative aspects to how
the technology revolution is affecting youth
– Damon (2008) argues that many American adults have
become effective at finding short-term solutions to various
tasks and problems to get through their lives, and they are
instilling the same desire for immediate gratification and
shortsighted thinking in their children and adolescents

13
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Stereotyping of Adolescents

• Stereotype: A generalization that reflects our impressions


and beliefs about a broad category of people
• Stereotypes of adolescents are plentiful
– “They are all lazy”
– “All they think about sex”
– “They are so self-centered”
• Adolescent generalization gap: Refers to
generalizations that are based on information about a
limited, often highly visible group of adolescents
(Adelson, 1979)

14
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A Positive View of Adolescence

• The negative stereotyping of adolescents is overdrawn


(Lerner & others, 2011; Lewin-Bizan, Bowers, & Lerner,
2011; O’Connor & others, 2010)
• For much of the last century in the U.S. and other
Western cultures, adolescence was perceived as a
problematic period of the human life span in line with
Hall’s (1904) storm-and-stress portrayal
• Adults’ perceptions of adolescents emerge from a
combination of personal experiences and media
portrayals, neither of which produces an objective picture
of how typical adolescents develop (Feldman & Elliot,
1990) 15
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A Positive View of Adolescence

• In matters of taste and manners, the youth of every


generation have seemed radical, unnerving, and different
from adults
– Acting out and boundary testing are time-honored ways in
which adolescents move toward accepting, rather than
rejecting, parental values
• What has been called positive youth development (PYD)
in adolescence reflects the positive psychology approach
– Emphasizes the strengths of youth and the positive
qualities and developmental trajectories that are desired for
youth (Benson & Scales, 2009, 2011; Larson, 2011;
Larson & Angus, 2011; Sullivan & Larson, 2010)
16
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A Positive View of Adolescence

• The “Five Cs” of PYD (Lerner & others, 2009):


– Competence
– Confidence
– Connection
– Character
– Caring/compassion
– To develop these characteristics, youth need access to
positive social contexts – such as youth development
programs and organized youth activities – and competent
people – such as caring teachers, community leaders, and
mentors
17
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Adolescents in the United States

• Growing up has never been easy


– The developmental tasks today’s adolescents face are no
different from those of adolescents 50 years ago
– For a large majority of youth, adolescence is not a time of
rebellion, crisis, pathology, and deviance
– Rather it is a time of evaluation, decision making,
commitment, and finding a place in the world
• Most adolescents successfully negotiate the lengthy path
to adult maturity, but a large minority do not (McLoyd &
others, 2009)

18
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Adolescents in the United States

• Social Contexts
– Contexts: Settings in which development occurs; they are
influenced by historical, economic, social, and cultural
factors
– Each adolescent’s development occurs against a cultural
backdrop of contexts that includes family, peers, school,
religion, neighborhood, community, region, and nation,
each with its cultural legacies (Fung, 2011; Schlegel &
Hewitt, 2011)
– The cultural context for U.S. adolescents is changing with
the dramatic increase in the number of adolescents
immigrating from Latino and Asian countries (Cheah &
Yeung, 2011; Hall, 2010) 19
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Figure 1.1

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Figure 1.2

21
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Adolescents in the United States

• Social Policy and Adolescents’ Development


– Social policy is the course of action designed by the
national government to influence the welfare of its citizens
– Benson and colleagues (Benson, 2010; Benson & Scales,
2009, 2011; Benson & others, 2006; Scales, Benson, &
Roehlkepartain, 2011) argue that the U.S. has a
fragmented social policy for youth that too often has
focused only on the negative developmental deficits of
adolescents

22
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Adolescents in the United States

• Children and adolescents who grow up in poverty


represent a special concern (Huston & Bentley, 2010)
– In 2008, 19% of U.S. children and adolescents were living
in families below the poverty line (Childstats.gov, 2010), a
figure much higher than in other industrialized nations

23
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The Global Perspective

• The way adolescence is presented in this text is based


largely on writing and research of scholars in the
Western world, especially Europe and North American
– Some experts argue that adolescence is typically thought
of in a “Eurocentric” way (Nsamenang, 2002)
• Depending on the culture being observed, adolescence
may involve many different experiences (Cheah &
Yeung, 2011; Patton & others, 2011)
• Around the world, adolescents’ experiences may differ
depending on their gender, families, schools, peers, and
religion
24
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The Nature of Development

• Processes and Periods


– Biological, Cognitive, and Socioemotional Processes

– Periods of Development

• Developmental Transitions
– Childhood to Adolescence

– Adolescence to Adulthood

25
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The Nature of Development

• Developmental Issues
– Nature and Nurture

– Continuity and Discontinuity

– Early and Later Experience

– Evaluating the Developmental Issues

26
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The Nature of Development

• In certain ways, each of us develops like all other


individuals; in other ways, each of us is unique
• Development: The pattern of change that begins at
conception and continues through the life span
– Most development involves growth, although it also
includes decay

27
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Processes and Periods

• Biological processes: Physical changes in an


individual’s body
• Cognitive processes: Changes in an individual’s
thinking and intelligence
• Socioemotional processes: Changes in an individual’s
emotions, personality, relationships with others, and
social contexts
– Biological, cognitive, and socioemotional processes are
intricately interwoven

28
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Figure 1.3

29
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Processes and Periods

• Childhood
– Prenatal period: The time from conception to birth
– Infancy: Birth to 18 or 24 months of age
– Early childhood: The end of infancy to about 5 or 6 years
of age
– Middle and late childhood: From age of about 6 to 10 or
11 years of age

30
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Processes and Periods

• Adolescence: The period of transition between childhood


and adulthood that involves biological, cognitive, and
socioemotional changes
– A key task is preparation for adulthood
– In the U.S. and most other cultures today adolescence
begins at approximately 10 to 13 years of age and ends in
the late teens

31
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Processes and Periods

• Early adolescence: Corresponds roughly to the middle school or


junior high school years and includes most pubertal change
• Late adolescence: Refers approximately to the latter half of the
second decade of life
– Today, developmentalists do not believe that change ends
with adolescence (Park, 2011; Schaie, 2011; Schaie &
Willis, 2011)

32
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Processes and Periods

• Adulthood
– Like childhood and adolescence, adulthood is not a
homogeneous period of development
– Early adulthood: Begins in the late teens or early 20s and
lasts through the 30s
– Middle adulthood: Begins at approximately 35 to 45
years of age and ends at some point between
approximately 55 and 65 years of age
– Late adulthood: Lasts from approximately 60 or 70 years
of age until death

33
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Figure 1.4

34
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Developmental Transitions

• Developmental transitions are often important junctures


in people’s lives
• Childhood to adolescence
– This transition involves a number of biological, cognitive,
and socioemotional changes including puberty, increases
in abstract, idealistic, and logical thinking, and a quest for
independence

35
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Developmental Transitions

• Adolescence to adulthood
– Adolescence begins in biology and ends in culture
– The transition from childhood to adolescence begins with
the onset of pubertal maturation, whereas the transition
from adolescence to adulthood is determined by cultural
standards and experiences

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Developmental Transitions

– Recently, the transition from adolescence to adulthood has


been referred to as emerging adulthood, approximately
18 to 25 years of age
– Five key features characterize emerging adulthood (Arnett,
2006): identity exploration; instability; self-focused;
feeling in-between; and the age of possibilities, a time
when individuals have an opportunity to transform their
lives
– Although emerging adulthood does not characterize
development in all cultures, it does appear to occur in
those in which assuming adult roles and responsibilities is
postponed (Kins & Beyers, 2010)
37
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Figure 1.5

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Figure 1.6

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Developmental Transitions

• Becoming an adult
– Determining just when an individual becomes an adult is
difficult
– In the U.S., the most widely recognized marker of entry
into adulthood is holding a more or less permanent, full-
time job
– Economic independence is one marker of adult status but
achieving it is often a long process

40
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Developmental Transitions

• A longitudinal study found extensive variability in the individual


trajectories of adult roles across ten years from 17 to 27 years of
age; many of the participants moved back and forth between
increasing and decreasing economic dependency (Cohen & others,
2003)
– Other studies show that taking responsibility for oneself is
likely an important marker of adult status for many

41
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Developmental Transitions

– In developing countries, marriage is often a more


significant marker for entry into adulthood than in the
U.S., and it usually occurs much earlier than in the U.S.
(Arnett, 2007; Eccles, Brown, & Templeton, 2008)
– Contextual variations in emerging adulthood also may
occur in cultures within a country (Arnett & Brody, 2008)
– Three types of assets are especially important in making a
competent transition through adolescence and emerging
adulthood (Eccles, Brown, & Templeton, 2008; Eccles &
Gootman, 2002):
• Intellectual
• Psychological/emotional
• Social 42
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Figure 1.7

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Developmental Transitions

• Resilience: Adapting positively and achieving successful


outcomes in the face of significant risks and adverse
circumstances
– In Project Competence, Masten and colleagues (Masten,
2009; Masten, Obradovic, & Burt, 2006; Masten &
Wright, 2009) found that adults who experienced
considerable adversity while growing up – but became
competent young adults – were characterized by certain
individual and contextual factors:
• More intelligent
• Experienced higher parenting quality
• Were less likely to have grown up in poverty or low-income
circumstances 44
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Developmental Issues

• Nature and nurture


– The nature-nurture issue involves the debate about
whether development is primarily influenced by nature
(biological inheritance) or nurture (environmental
experiences)
– The nature approach argues that the genetic blueprint
produces commonalities in growth and development
(Goldsmith, 2011; Mader, 2011)
– Other psychologists emphasize the importance of
environmental experiences in development (Grusec, 2011;
Phillips & Lowenstein, 2011)
• Experiences run the gamut from the individual’s biological
environment to the social environment 45
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Developmental Issues

• Continuity and discontinuity


– The continuity-discontinuity issue focuses on the extent
to which development involves gradual, cumulative
change (continuity) or distinct stages (discontinuity)
– For the most part, developmentalists who emphasize
experience have described development as a gradual,
continuous process
– Those who emphasize nature have described development
as a series of distinct stages

46
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Figure 1.8

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Developmental Issues

• Early and later experience


– The early-later experience issue focuses on the degree to
which early experiences (especially early in childhood) or
later experiences are the key determinants of development
(Schaie, 2011; Smith & Hart, 2011)
– The emphasis on the importance of early experience rests
on the belief that each life is an unbroken trail on which a
psychological quality can be traced back to it origin
– The later-experience advocates argue that children and
adolescents are malleable throughout development
(Antonucci & others, 2010)
– Too little attention has been given to later experiences in
development (Almeida, 2011; Staudinger, 2011) 48
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Developmental Issues

• Evaluating the developmental issues


– Most developmentalists consider it unwise to take an
extreme position on these developmental issues
– Nature and nurture, continuity and discontinuity, and early
and later experience all affect our development throughout
the human life span
– This consensus has not meant the absence of spirited
debate about how strongly development is determined by
these factors (Kagan, 2010; Schaie, 2011)

49
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The Science of Adolescent Development

• Science and the Scientific Method


• Theories of Adolescent Development
– Psychoanalytic Theories
– Cognitive Theories
– Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories
– Ecological Theory
– An Eclectic Theoretical Orientation

50
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The Science of Adolescent Development

• Research in Adolescent Development


– Methods for Collecting Data
– Research Designs
– Time Span of Research
– Conducting Ethical Research
– Minimizing Bias

51
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Science and the Scientific Method

• Science is not defined by what it investigates but by how


it investigates
• Scientific method
– Conceptualize a process or problem to be studied
– Collect research information (data)
– Analyze data
– Draw conclusions
• Theory: An interrelated, coherent set of ideas that helps
to explain phenomena and make predictions
• Hypothesis: A specific assertion or prediction that can be
tested
52
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Theories of Adolescent Development

• Four theoretical orientations to development


– Psychoanalytic
– Cognitive
– Behavioral and Social Cognitive
– Ecological
• Each theoretical orientation contributes an important
piece to the adolescent developmental puzzle
• Although the theories disagree about certain aspects of
development, many of their ideas are complementary
rather than contradictory

53
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Psychoanalytic Theories

• Psychoanalytic theories
– Describe development as primarily unconscious and
heavily colored by emotion
– Emphasize that behavior is merely a surface characteristic
and that a true understanding of development requires
analyzing the symbolic meanings of behavior and the deep
inner workings of the mind
– Stress that early experiences with parents extensively
shape development

54
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Psychoanalytic Theories

• Freud’s Psychosexual Theory


– Five stages of psychosexual development
– Adult personality is determined by the way we resolve
conflicts between sources of pleasure at each stage and the
demands of reality (Freud, 1917)
– Personality is divided into three structures: id, ego, and
superego

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Psychoanalytic Theories

– Most of our personality exists below our level of


awareness
– Defense mechanisms: Unconscious methods of distorting
reality that the ego uses to protect itself from the anxiety
produced by the conflicting demands of the three
personality structures

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Figure 1.9

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Psychoanalytic Theories

• Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory


– Erikson recognized Freud’s contributions but argued that
Freud misjudged some important dimensions of human
development
• We develop in psychosocial stages rather than in psychosexual
stages (Erikson, 1950, 1968)
• The primary motivation for human behavior is social and reflects a
desire to affiliate with other people, rather than sexual
• Developmental change occurs throughout the life span, as opposed
to Freud’s view that basic personality is shaped in the first five
years of life

58
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Psychoanalytic Theories

– Eight stages of development unfold as we go through life


• At each stage, a unique developmental task confronts individuals
with a crisis that must be resolved
• The more successfully an individual resolves the crises, the
healthier development will be (Hopkins, 2000)

59
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Figure 1.10

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Psychoanalytic Theories

• Contributions
– An emphasis on a developmental framework, family
relationships, and unconscious aspects of the mind
• Criticisms
– A lack of scientific support
– Too much emphasis on sexual underpinnings
– An image of people that is too negative

61
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Cognitive Theories

• Whereas psychoanalytic theories stress the importance of


the unconscious, cognitive theories emphasize conscious
thoughts
• Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory
– Individuals actively construct their understanding of the
world and go through four stages of cognitive development
– To make sense of our world (Miller, 2011):
• Adolescents organize their experiences
• Adolescents adapt, adjusting to new environmental demands

62
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Cognitive Theories

– Each stage is age-related and consists of a distinctive way


of thinking (Piaget, 1954)
• Cognition is qualitatively different in one stage compared with
another

63
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Figure 1.11

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Cognitive Theories

• Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Cognitive Theory


– Like Piaget, Russian developmentalist Lev Vygotsky
emphasized that individuals actively construct their
knowledge
– However, Vygotsky (1962) gave social interaction and
culture far more important roles in cognitive development
than Piaget
– Vygotsky portrayed development as inseparable from
social and cultural activities (Daniels, 2011)
• Children’s and adolescents’ social interaction with more-skilled
adults and peers is indispensable to their cognitive development
(Gauvain & Parke, 2010)
65
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Cognitive Theories

• Information-Processing Theory
– Emphasizes that individuals manipulate information,
monitor it, and strategize about it
– Unlike Piaget’s theory, but like Vygotsky’s theory,
information-processing theory does not describe
development as stage-like
– Individuals develop a gradually increasing capacity for
processing information, which allows them to acquire
increasingly complex knowledge and skills (Halford &
Andrews, 2011; Sternberg, 2012)

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Cognitive Theories

• Contributions
– A positive view of development
– Emphasis on the active construction of understanding
• Criticisms
– Skepticism about the pureness of Piaget’s stages
– Too little attention to individual variations

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Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories

• Behaviorism essentially holds that we can study


scientifically only what we can directly observe and
measure
• Out of this tradition grew the belief that development is
observable behavior that can be learned through
experience with the environment (Spiegler &
Guevremont, 2010)
• These theories emphasize continuity in development

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Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories

• Skinner’s Operant Conditioning


– Through operant conditioning, the consequences of a
behavior produce changes in the probability of the
behavior’s occurrence
• A behavior followed by a rewarding stimulus is more likely to
recur
• A behavior followed by a punishing stimulus is less likely to recur
– In Skinner’s (1938) view, such rewards and punishments
shape development

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Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories

• Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory


– Some psychologists agree with the behaviorists’ notion
that development is learned and is influenced strongly by
environmental interactions
– Unlike Skinner, they argue that cognition is also important
in understanding development
– Social cognitive theory holds that behavior, environment,
and cognition are the key factors in development
– Albert Bandura is the leading architect of social cognitive
theory (Bandura, 1986, 2001, 2004, 2009, 2010a, 2010b)
– Bandura’s (2007, 2009, 2010a, 2010b) most recent model
includes three elements: behavior, the person/cognition,
and the environment 70
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Figure 1.12

71
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Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories

• Contributions
– An emphasis on scientific research
– An emphasis on environmental determinants of behavior
• Criticisms
– Too little emphasis on cognition in Skinner’s views
– Giving inadequate attention to developmental changes

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Ecological Theory

• Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory (1986, 2004;


Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998, 2006): holds that
development reflects the influence of five environmental
systems:
– Microsystem: The setting in which the adolescent lives
– Mesosystem: Relations between microsystems or
connections between contexts
– Exosystem: Links between a social setting in which the
adolescent does not have an active role and the
individual’s immediate context

73
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Ecological Theory

– Macrosystem: The culture in which adolescents live


– Chronosystem: The patterning of environmental events and
transitions over the life course, as well as sociohistorical
circumstances

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Cognitive Theories

• Whereas psychoanalytic theories stress the importance of


the unconscious, cognitive theories emphasize conscious
thoughts
• Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory
– Individuals actively construct their understanding of the
world and go through four stages of cognitive development
– To make sense of our world (Miller, 2011):
• Adolescents organize their experiences
• Adolescents adapt, adjusting to new environmental demands
– Each stage is age-related and consists of a distinctive way
of thinking (Piaget, 1954)
• Cognition is qualitatively different in one stage compared with
another 75
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Figure 1.13

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Ecological Theory

• Bronfenbrenner (2004; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006)


has added biological influences to his theory and
describes the newer version as bioecological theory
• Contributions
– A systematic examination of macro and micro dimensions
of environmental systems
– Attention to connections between environmental systems
• Criticisms
– Inadequate attention to biological and cognitive factors

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An Eclectic Theoretical Orientation

• No single theory can explain entirely the rich complexity


of adolescent development
• Each has contributed to our understanding of
development
• Although theories are helpful guides, relying on a single
theory to explain adolescent development is probably a
mistake
• Eclectic theoretical orientation: Does not follow any
one theoretical approach but rather selects from each
theory whatever is considered its best features

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Research in Adolescent Development

• Generally, research in adolescent development is


designed to test hypotheses, which in some cases are
derived from the theories just described
– Through research, theories are modified to reflect new data
and occasionally new theories arise
• In the 21st century, research on adolescent and emerging
adult development has expanded a great deal (Russell,
Card, & Susman, 2011)
– Research has increasingly examined applications to the
real worlds of adolescents (Brown, 2012; Lerner &
Steinberg, 2009)

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Methods for Collecting Data

• Observation
– To be effective, observations have to be systematic
(Stangor, 2011)
– When we observe scientifically, we often need to control
certain factors that determine behavior but are not the
focus of our inquiry (Gravetter & Forzano, 2012;
Langston, 2011)
– For this reason, some research is conducted in a
laboratory, a controlled setting with many of the complex
factors of the “real world” removed

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Methods for Collecting Data

– Drawbacks
• Almost impossible to conduct research without the participants’
knowing they are being studied
• The laboratory setting is unnatural and can cause participants to
behave unnaturally
• People who are willing to come to a university laboratory may not
fairly represent groups from diverse cultural backgrounds
– Naturalistic observation provides insights that we
sometimes cannot achieve in the laboratory (Jackson,
2011)
• Naturalistic observation: Observing behavior in real-world
settings, making no effort to manipulate or control the situation

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Methods for Collecting Data

• Survey and interview


– Sometimes the best and quickest way to get information
from adolescents is to ask them
– The survey (or questionnaire) is especially useful when
information from many people is needed (Babbie, 2011)
– Surveys and interviews can be used to study a wide range
of topics
– One problem is the tendency of participants to answer
questions in a way they think is socially acceptable or
desirable rather than telling what they truly think or feel
(Leedy & Ormrod, 2010)

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Methods for Collecting Data

• Standardized test
– A standardized test has uniform procedures for
administration and scoring
– Many standardized test provide information about
individual differences among people, because they allow a
person’s performance to be compared with the
performance of others (Drummond & Jones, 2010)
– One criticism is that they assume a person’s behavior is
consistent and stable, yet personality and intelligence –
two primary targets of standardized testing – can vary with
the situation

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Methods for Collecting Data

• Physiological measures
– One type involves as assessment of hormones in the
bloodstream
– Body composition also is a focus of physiological
assessment
– Until recently, little research had focused on the brain
activity of adolescents
• The development of neuroimaging techniques has led to a flurry of
research studies

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Figure 1.14

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Methods for Collecting Data

• Experience sampling
– In the experience sampling method (ESM), participants in
a study are given electronic pagers
– Researchers “beep” them at random times
– When beeped, participants report on various aspects on
their immediate situation, including where they are, what
they are doing, whom they are with, and how they are
feeling

86
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Figure 1.15

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Methods for Collecting Data

• Case study
– A case study is an in-depth look at a single individual
• Case studies are performed mainly by mental health professionals,
when for practical or ethical reasons the unique aspects of an
individual’s life cannot be duplicated and tested in other
individuals
– Although case histories provide dramatic, in-depth
portrayals of people’s lives, we must be cautious in
generalizing from them
• The subject of a case study is unique, with a genetic makeup and
personal history that no one else shares
• Case studies involve judgments of unknown reliability
• Psychologists who conduct case studies rarely check to see
whether other psychologists agree with their observations
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Figure 1.16

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Research Designs

• Descriptive research
– Descriptive research aims to observe and record behavior
• All of the data-collection methods discussed above can be used in
descriptive research
– By itself, descriptive research cannot prove what causes
some phenomena (Babbie, 2011)
• Correlational research
– Goes beyond describing phenomena to provide
information that will help us to predict how people will
behave (Heiman, 2012)
– The more strongly two events or characteristics are
correlated, the more effectively we can predict one event
from the other 90
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Research Designs

– Correlation coefficient: A number based on a statistical


analysis that is used to describe the degree of association
between two variables
– The correlation coefficient ranges from -1.00 to +1.00
• A negative number means an inverse relation
• A positive number means a direct relation
– The higher the correlation coefficient (whether positive or
negative), the stronger the association between the two
variables
• A correlation of 0 means there is no correlation
– Correlation does not equal causation (Spatz, 2010)

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Figure 1.17

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Research Designs

• Experimental research
– To study causality, researchers turn to the experiment: A
carefully regulated procedure in which one or more factors
believed to influence the behavior being studied are
manipulated, while all other factors are held constant
(Gravetter & Forzano, 2012)
– Nonexperimental research methods (descriptive and
correlational) cannot establish cause and effect because
they do not involve manipulating factors in a controlled
way (Stangor, 2011)

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Research Designs

– Independent variable: The factor that is manipulated


– Dependent variable: The factor that is measured
– Researchers manipulate the independent variable by giving
different experiences to one or more experimental groups
and one or more control groups
• Experimental group: A group whose experience is manipulated
• Control group: A group that is treated like the experimental group
in every other way except for the manipulated factor
– An important principle is random assignment: assigning
participants to experimental and control groups by chance
(Gravetter & Forzano, 2012)
• Reduces the likelihood that the results will be affected by
preexisting differences between the groups
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Figure 1.18

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Time Span of Research

• A special concern of developmentalists is the time span


of a research investigation (Schaie, 2011; Schaie &
Willis, 2011
– Studies that focus on the relation of age to some other
variable are common

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Time Span of Research

• Cross-sectional research: Involves studying people all


at one time
– Advantages
• Researchers do not have to wait for the individuals to grow older
– Drawbacks
• Gives no information about how individuals change or about the
stability of their characteristics
• The increases and decreases of development can become obscured

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Time Span of Research

• Longitudinal research: Involves studying the same


individuals over a period of time
– Advantages
• Provide a wealth of information about such important issues as
stability and change in development and the importance of early
experiences for later development (Little & others, 2009)
– Drawbacks
• Expensive and time-consuming
• The longer the study lasts, the more participants drop out
• Participants can bias the outcome of a study, because those who
remain may be dissimilar to those who drop out

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Conducting Ethical Research

• Ethics in research pertain to the rights of the participant


and the responsibilities of researchers to assure that these
rights are safeguarded
• Proposed research at colleges and universities must pass
the scrutiny of a research ethics committee
• The American Psychological Association has developed
ethics guidelines, which instruct psychologists to protect
their participants from mental and physical harm, and
address four important issues:
– Informed consent
– Confidentiality
– Debriefing
– Deception 99
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Minimizing Bias

• Studies of adolescent development are most useful when


they are conducted without bias or prejudice toward any
particular group of people
• Gender bias: A preconceived notion about the abilities
of females and males that prevents individuals from
pursuing their own interests and achieving their potential
– Too often researchers have drawn conclusions about
females’ attitudes and behaviors from research conducted
with males as the only participants
– When gender differences are found, they sometimes are
unduly magnified (Matlin, 2012)

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Minimizing Bias

• Cultural and ethnic bias


– The realization that research needs to include more people
from diverse ethnic groups has also been building (Cheah
& Yeung, 2011)
– Historically, members of ethnic minority groups have been
discounted from most research in the U.S. and simply
thought of as variations from the norm or average
– Thus, we might reasonably conclude that adolescents’ real
lives are perhaps more varied than research data have
indicated in the past

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E-LEARNING TOOLS

To help you master the material in this chapter,


visit the Online Learning Center for
Adolescence, 14th edition at:

http://www.mhhe.com/santrocka14e

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Appendix: Careers in Adolescent
Development

• Education/Research
– College/University Professor
– Researcher
– Secondary School Teacher
– Exceptional Children (Special Education) Teacher
– Family and Consumer Science Educator
– Educational Psychologist
– School Psychologist

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Appendix: Careers in Adolescent
Development

• Clinical/Counseling/Medical
– Clinical Psychologist
– Psychiatrist
– Psychiatric Nurse
– Counseling Psychologist
– School Counselor
– Career Counselor
– Social Worker
– Drug Counselor
– Health Psychologist
– Adolescent Medicine Specialist
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Appendix: Careers in Adolescent
Development

• Families/Relationships
– Marriage and Family Therapist

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