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Adolescence by Mind Map: Adolescence

1. Adolescence can be studied from numerous perspectives, including biological, psychological, etc.

2. No single accepted definition of adolesence

3. there is some agreements about 3 periods of adolesence: early (10-13), middle (14-17) and late.

4. 3 major features of adolesence are changes in 1) biological, 2)cognitive and 3) social

4.1. Context is important to understand these changes.

4.2. There is immediate context, and then there is broader context, such as the community or society as a whole

4.3. Cognitive Transitions

4.3.1. An important milestone in adolescent thought is the ability to consider things that do not exist, or hypothetical situations. This results in enhancements in deductive reasoning and logic, not present in pre-adolescents. They also demonstrate ability to think about abstract concepts and questioning certainity itself.

4.3.2. Two dominant theories of adolescent thought patterns are Piaget and the information processing perspective PIAGET - theory that thinging during adolescence is qualitatively different from childhood thinking, and adolescence is a period characterized by the stage of formal operations INFORMATION PROCESSING - Focus on specific areas of thinking, and whether they improve during the adolescent period. By approximiately age 15, thinking in young people is relatively comparable to the level of older adults.

4.3.3. New imaging techinques like fMRI (functional MRI) has given us data as to how the brain physically changes during adolescence. One of the most major changes that takes place is synaptic prucing, which is the removal of unneccessary synapses. This has primarily in the prefontal cortex. Another major change is the increased amount of myelination of the brain. This is the encasement of nerons in a fatty tissue, which acts as an insulation, enabling more efficient phyiscal transmission of data in the neuron. It is theorized that this leads to enhacements in thinking abilities. Two important physical changes occur in the brain during adolescence. prefontal cortex gets more heightened activity, and other irrelevant areas of the brain decline in activity. In addition, changes in neurotransmitter levels in the limbic system suggest an increase in sensation seeking and emotional arousal Brain formation and environment is a two way street. While many changes occur due to biological predisposition, Environment also plays a key role in brain formation and function as well.

4.3.4. IQ tests measure a specific kind of intelligence predictive of success in school, but according to some, there are other types of intelligence that is not captured on conventional IQ tests that are important to success in life. Differences between gender in intellectual abilities have largely disappeared. Important to look at intelligence with context... does an athlete, famous comedian or supermodel need the same level of intelligence as a mathematician to be successful in their field?

4.3.5. Cogitive studies are important, but it is also very important to study the impact of cognitive changes in everyday life. Think about social capital, which is the byproduct of social cognition. Adolescence is a time of increased understanding of the utility of social capital - the means to obtain and levereage this capital. It is noted that higher incidents of risk taking is not the product of lacking in cogitive abilities, but more likely the result of value differences, contexts of adolescences and the adults in their lives and psychosocial factors. In this sense, social cognition plays a very important role in the everyday life of an adolescent.

4.4. Biological Transitions

4.4.1. Puberty - 3 physical manifestations: Growth acceleration, development of primary sex characteristics, and development of secondary sec characteristics Puberty is triggered by both genetics and environmental signals Puberty is regulated by a feedback loop of hormones, Sexual mauration is measured by the Tanner stages, which is a guide to the development of secondary sex characteristics. Changes in puberty occur from organizational processes, which happen much earlier in life, and activational, which is the byproduct of horomal changes during puberty. Physical Manifestations: There is an Adolescenct growth spurt, which is a rapid increase in height and weight Puberty changes the ratio of muscle to fat, and other body composition changes, especially between genders. The timing of puberty is influences again by genetic and environmental factors.Health and nutrition generally can trigger the onset of in adolescents before their less nourished peers. There is also some evidence that females growing up in single parent families, step families, or families in which there is a high level of conflict can begin puberty at a younger age. The age at which puberty occurs is on a downward trend, and this is refered to as the secular trend. It is stronger among females than males in the US. Its attributed to improved nutrition, better sanitation, and medical advances. While puberty is a period during which adolescents are moodier than previous, environmental triggers are still the dominant source of stress. Due to the emergence of delayed phase preference, after puberty, adolescents are more likely to say up late and sleep in. Among Males, early maturation is associated with higher self esteem and confidence, popularity, but also incidents of problem behavior Among females, early onset of puberty and maturation is associated with higher rates of promlem behavior with psrchological distress. These can frequently include eating disorders Obesity is the most common eating disorder Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that do not appear until adolescence and are much more likely to be found in females than males. The most important physical health problems of adolescents are behaviorial in origin, not natural. The most common cause of dealth of adolescents is unintentional accidents Many suggest that it is most important to address changing these damaging behaviors early on in life, to prevent unhealthy behaviors and encourage healthy ones during and after the most critical stages of puberty.

4.5. Social Transitions

4.5.1. All cultures have a way of recognizing that the individuals responsibilities and rights have have changed once they become adults. These changes in how society views the individual are referred to as changes in "Social Definition." Changes in the individual's "Social Definition" typically involve changes in status. In America, there is inconsistency with the Social Definiton of adults. For example, an individual is old enough to join the military, vote and smoke at 18, yet cannot drink alcohol until 21. Social Definition also effects the controversial issue of when to try juveniles as adults. There are common themes to Social Transitions among many different cultures. These include: seperation of young from their parents, passing on information deemed inportant for adulthood, and accentuation of differences between males and females.

4.5.2. Length of adolescence is increasing, since puberty begins earlier, and the delays of formal education, which delays the social transition into adulthood.

4.5.3. Many observers believe the transition into adulthood is has become less defined, to the detriment of adolescents, especially for those who forgo formal education. Inventionists argue that adolescence is entirely a social invention. Regardless, it is not debatable that social environment has tremendous influence. In America today, adolescence is a product of the Industrial Revolution Some suggest there is a new stage called emerging adulthood. There is no conclusive evidence as of yet.

4.5.4. In traditional societies, ceremonies marked the transition of an adoleescent into adulthood, such as a Bar Mitzfa. This no longer occurs in contemporary society.

4.5.5. Societies today vary between a continuous and discontinuous passage into adulthood. In a discontinuous passage, the youth is thrust into adulthood abruptly, with little prior preparation. There are 3 distinct paths into adulthood in America today. One for the haves, one for the have nots, and one for those who are somewhere in between. The discontinuous passage into adulthood proves especially problematic for poor minority youth. While mentoring programs are helpful for at risk youth, its typically not sufficient enough. Its generally accepted that a comprehensive approach is required, that addresses their employment, educational and interpersonal needs. Neighborhoods impact adolescences through 3 interrelated processes: 1) establishing a set of norms, 2) establishing interpersonal relationships and 3) access (or lack) to economic and institutional resources.

5. 5 main psychological issues are important in adolesence: 1) Self Identity 2) Automony or Independence 3)Intimacy with others 4) Sexuality expression and 5)Achievement

6. Many perspectives on the influences of Adolesence

6.1. Biological theorists: Adolesence is the culmination of changes occurring around puberty

6.2. Organismic theorists: development is the product of environment and biology

6.3. Learning theorists view development as the result of exposure to forces that either reward or punish behavior

6.4. Social Theorists: Consider groups of individuals, and their role in society, as opposed to individuals

6.5. Historical Theorists: Look at adolesence through the lens of history, and compares the period by periods in time.

6.6. Anthropological Theorists: Similar to historical, but more considered about the differences in cultures than just the differences in historical periods, and their impact on adolesence

7. Adolescents are often stereotyped, and often in a negative light

7.1. Like most things in the media, these stereotypes are blown out of proportion, and do not reflect reality

7.2. The reality is that Adolescents are not inherently negative, but should be looked at objectively. Negative traits and behaviors due exist, but should be considered on a case by case basis, and have not been proven to be inherently related to the developmental period.

8. Contexts of adolescents

8.1. Family Context

8.1.1. Genetic has a wide degree of influence on development, development is proven to be the interaction between genetics and environment. Research has shown two types of environmental influence: 1) shared influence - which makes adolescents in the same environment similar, and 2) nonshared environmental influences - which makes them differenc 4 demographic trends have impacted the environment of adolescent development. They are 1) Divorce Rates, 2) SIngle parenthood, 3) Remarriage and 4) Poverty Divorce - Research indicates the period immediately following the event is the most difficult for the adolescent. The relationship between the divorced parents has more impact than the parent child relationship. Research indicates poverty is a challenge for adolescents due to the negative impact it has on the parents mental health and relationships. Because each change event causes some mental health sufferring, adolescents in stepfamilies are more at risk than those in single parent, divorced homes.

8.1.2. No factor seems to influence adolescent adjustment as much as relationships at home. Even after reaching adolescence, young people still need love, support and guidance of adults to develop properly.

8.1.3. The generational gap being very wide between adults and adolescents is generally a myth. When parents and teens do disagree its usually over mundane things, and not anything major. Often, what adults see as right and wrong, teens see as a matter of choice. Also, conflict can arise when teens begin to change their perspectives on what types of legitimate authority parents have. Adolescence is a period in a family where the adolescent gets increasingly more power and becoming more assertive. Many of these changes effect the parents as well as the teenager. In some cases the transition can be more difficult for the teenager than the adult. 4 basic styles of parenting: 1) Authoritarive (responsive and demanding 2) Authoritarian (demanding but not responsive 3)indulgent (responsive but not demanding and 4)indifferent (neither responsive or demanding Generally, authoritaritive homes fare best while indifferent homes fare worst. Studies also show that adolescents that fare best are allowed autonomy while remaining connected. Studies also show that sibling relationship quality is correlated to quality of parent child relationship. Similarly, an adolescents peer relationships and mental health are correlated to the parent child relationship.

8.2. Peer Group Context

8.2.1. Adolescents spend much more time with age mates in todays society, than they did previously due to more widespread age segregation. As such, there is much greater peer influence than ever before. Social Scientists are still debating whether this increased peer influence is a good or bad thing Some have suggested this rise in peer groups has contributed to a seperate youth culture hostile towards traditional adult values, while other suggest that the additional educational role beign played is beneficial to modern society. Peer groups are especially important in societies governed by universalistic norms, where individuals are educated mainly outside of their families. Crowds and cliques - Cliques are small groups of friends, Crowds are larger groups vaguely defined, and based on reputation. Cliques - begin as same sex groups, grow into larger mixed sex groups, and in late adolescence these groups break down as the members lives begin to revolve more around couple based activities. Crowds peak in importance during mid adolescence, and become more differentiated and permeable during high school. Two types of popularity - sociometric - how well liked someone is, and perceived - how much status they have. Sociometric popularity is the result of how much social skill they have, and perceived is the result of variable inputs at different times. Unpopular adolescents can be agressive, withdrawn, or sometimes both. In general, adolescents who are rejected by their peers are at risk for a wide variety of psychological problems. Problematic peer relationships are associated with a range of problems in both adolescence and adulthood. Rather than being competing with the family context, peer context mainly provides contrast. Therefore peers play an important role in identity, autonomy, intimacy, sexuality abd achievement in adolescence.

8.3. School Group Context

8.3.1. Schools are becoming important for development, due to their high participation rates, and large amounts of time spent during the day Industirialization, immigration and urbanization all contributed to the rise in compulsory education. High Schools as we know it today came about during the 20's. Calls for reforms in education and enforcement of academic standards are growing as the American public becomes worried about the competitiveness of American students in the international economy. There is broad consensus that to reform inner city public schools that mainly serve the disadvantage, a transformation of the entire context where these youth live needs to be implemented.

8.3.2. Generalls, smaller schools are more effectice than larger ones, though not always smaller classes. Transitioning from elementary school to secondary school can be difficult for some students, especially those who already have issues. Some researchers believe there is a mismatch between the rigidity of school cirrculum and the interpersonal developmental needs of adolescents. Reseach indicates academically rich get richer, and poor get poorer. But, as a rule, what takes place in a school is more important that how they are funded or organized.

8.3.3. The climate of the school is more influential than its organization or structure Effective teaches are like authoritative parents - firm, fair, warm and have high expectations Students perform better when their parents are involved in their education and their peers value it Many Americans students find school boring. Thus, some researchers have suggested that we seek ways to better understand anad enhance student engagement Some schools have zero tolerance policies against bad behavior. This has been proven to have unintended and harmful consequences

8.3.4. Although almost 2/3rds of high school graduates go directly to college, only about 60% of those graduate within 6 years High school is very poorly structured to serve the non college bound. Thus, 1/3 of graduates are ill prepared to enter the working world Some believe improvements can be made by improving the link between the worlds of school and work during high school

8.3.5. Good schools have 5 characteristics: 1)Emphasize intellectual activities, 2) committed teachers with autonomy, 3)lots of student activity, 4) they are well integrated into the community, 5) their teachers have specialized training in teaching adolescents While evidence suggests that high schools to contribute to intellectual development, critics note that their rigid structure does not promote psychosocial development The ways adolescents are affected by school depends on the characteristics of the schools they attend. Students in more advanced tracks have much difference experiences than those in the lower tracks

8.4. Work, Leisure and Media Context

8.4.1. Leisure American adolescents spend about half their time in leisure activites, far more than peers in other countries. Lots of variety in free time; some spend it in structured extra cirricular activites, and other in much less structured ways In most countries, adolescents have more leisure time than all other categories combined. Adolescents moods are better when they are engaged in structued leisure activities than at any other time. Alternatively, having large amounts of unstructured leisure time is generally bad for adolescents. The greatest risk is found among teenagers who live in unsafe neighborhoods, spend time in unsupervised activity with peers, and are poorly monitored by parents. Leisure time plays an important role in helping young people develop a sense of themselves, explore relationship with each other and learn about the society around them. Many misconceptions about free time abound. Some activities viewed by adults as productive such as work are probably harmful, whereas some activities viewed as harmful such as video games probably aren't really.

8.4.2. Work Majority of America teenagers have part time jobs, which is very uncommon in the rest of the world. Many adolescents work in retail or servic industries, and although the work they do is uninteresting and routine, the adolescents generally view their jobs as favorable. Working has little impact on development, however working long hours can negative effect academics, and also increase deliquency and drug usage. High youth unemployment combined with high dropout rates is a major problem for youth. Suggestions to combat this include community service, better counseling and career services for high school students, and encouraging youth to stay in school.

8.4.3. Media Todays youth are bombarded by the media, with exposure reaching 8 to 9 hours a day. In recent years, the adoption of the computer and smart phones have led to an increase in usage among youth of digital games, email and social networking Theories of media influence center around 3 factors: 1)influence on attitude, knowledge and behavior 2) the fact that young people choose the media they are exposed to and 3) the fact that adolescents interpret the media they are exposed to. Observers have noted that prolonged exposure to negative media about sex, violence and drug use can contribute to unhealthy behaviors. Although internet usage has skyrocketed among adolescents, there is little scentific data to suggest that this is a negative trend. Adolescents have enormous power as consumers as they have lots of discretionary income, and also they yeild influence over how their families spend.