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Chapter 13

Socioemotional Development in Adolescence

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"In case you're worried about what's going to become of the younger generation, it's going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation." - Roger Allen Contemporary American Writer

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Learning Goals

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Discuss changes in self-esteem and identity in adolescence. Describe the changes that take place in adolescents' relationships with their parents. Characterize the changes that occur in peer relations during adolescence. Explain how culture influences adolescent development. Identify adolescent problems in socioemotional development and strategies for helping adolescents with problems.

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Socioemotional Development in Adolescence Culture and Adolescent Development

Self-Esteem and Identity

Families

Peers

Adolescent Problems

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Self-Esteem

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Self-Esteem

· The extent to which self-esteem changes during adolescence and whether there are gender differences in self-esteem are controversial issues among psychologists. · In one recent study the self-esteem of both boys and girls dropped considerably during adolescence. · Conversely, another study found that while girls' self-esteem dropped, boys increased.

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Self-Esteem (cont.)

· Adolescent self-esteem in adolescence is related to positive family relationships. · The decrease in self-esteem in girls involves the decline in their body image as pubertal changes occur and their interest in social relationships that is not adequately rewarded by society. · Critics charge argue that developmental changes and gender differences in self-esteem have been exaggerated.

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Identity Contemporary Views of Identity Identity Statuses and Development Family Influences on Identity Culture, and Ethnic Aspects of Identity

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Identity

· Erikson termed the period of adolescence a psychological moratorium, a gap between the security of childhood and autonomy of adulthood. · His fifth stage of development is characterized by the dilemma of identity versus identity confusion. · Adolescents experiment with the numerous roles and identities they draw from the surrounding culture. · Either they successfully cope with conflicting identities or they don't resolve their identity crisis.

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The Elements of Identity

· · · · · · · · · · Vocational/Career Identity Political Identity Religious Identity Relationship Identity Achievement/Intellectual Identity Sexual Identity Cultural/Ethnic Identity Interests Personality Physical Identity

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Contemporary Views of Identity

· Identity development is a lengthy process. · Identity development is extraordinarily complex. · Resolution of the identity issue at adolescence does not mean that identity will be stable through the remainder of one's life.

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Identity Development is a Lengthy Process

· Identity formation neither begins nor ends with adolescence. · The importance of adolescence is that it marks the first time physical, cognitive, and social development advance to the point where the individual can sort through childhood identities to construct a pathway to adult maturity. · Resolution of the identity issue at adolescence doesn't mean that identity will remain stable throughout life.

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Identity Development is Complex

· Synthesizing the identity components can be a long, drawn-out process. · It involves many negations and affirmations of various roles and faces. · Identities are developed in bits and pieces. · Decisions are not made once and for all, but have to be made again and again. · Over the years of adolescence, the decisions begin to form a core of what the individual is all about as a person--what is called " identity."

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Identity Statuses and Development

· James Marcia concluded that four identity statuses, or modes of resolution, appear in Erikson's theory. · The extent of an adolescent's commitment and crisis is used to classify him or her according to one of the four statuses.

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Crisis and Commitment

· Crisis - a period of identity development during which the adolescent is choosing among meaningful alternatives · Commitment - the part of identity development in which adolescents show a personal investment in what they are going to do

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Marcia's Identity Statuses

· · · · Identity Diffusion Identity Foreclosure Identity Moratorium Identity Achievement

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The Development of Identity

· Young adolescents are primarily in identity diffusion, foreclosure, or moratorium status. · Three fundamental aspects of young adolescents' development with regard to identity formation are: ­ confidence in parental support ­ a sense of industry ­ a self-reflective perspective on the future · Some researchers believe the most important identity changes take place during college. · MAMA cycles are common to individuals who develop positive identities.

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Family Influences on Identity

· Democratic parents, who encourage adolescents to participate in family decision making, foster identity achievement. · Autocratic parents, who control the adolescents' behavior, encourage identity foreclosure. · Permissive parents, who provide little guidance to adolescents and allow them to make their own decisions, promote identity diffusion. · The presence of a family atmosphere that promotes both individuality and connectedness is important in adolescents' identity development.

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Individuality and Connectedness

· Individuality consists of two dimensions: selfassertion, the ability to have and communicate a point of view, and separateness, the use of communication patterns to express how one is different from others. · Connectedness also consists of two dimensions: mutuality, sensitivity to and respect for others' views, and permeability, openness to others' views.

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Culture and Ethnicity

· Most ethnic minority individuals consciously confront their ethnicity for the first time in adolescence. · For adolescents from ethnic minority groups, the process of identity formation has an added dimension due to exposure to alternative sources of identification. · Ethnic identity increases with age. · Higher levels of ethnic identity are linked with more positive attitudes toward both one's own group and members of other ethnic groups.

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Ethnic Identity

· Ethnic identity is an enduring, basic aspect of the self that includes a sense of membership in an ethnic group and the attitudes and feelings related to that membership.

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Gender and Identity Development

· Erikson asserted that males' aspirations were mainly oriented toward career and ideological commitments. · He asserted that females' aspirations were centered around marriage and child bearing. · Researchers in the 1960s and 1970s found support for these gender differences. · In the past 20 years, females have developed stronger vocational interests and thus the differences are turning into similarities.

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Stage Reversal and Gender Differences

· Some researchers believe that the order of stages Erikson proposed is different for females and males. · Some have proposed that for males, identity formation precedes the stage of intimacy, while for females, intimacy precedes identity. · This is consistent with the belief that relationships and emotional bonds are more important concerns of females, while autonomy and achievement are more important concerns of males.

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Families

Autonomy and Attachment

ParentAdolescent Conflict

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Autonomy

· The ability to attain autonomy and gain control over one's behavior in adolescence is acquired through appropriate adult reactions to the adolescent's desire for control. · As the adolescent pushes for autonomy, the wise adult relinquishes control in those areas in which the adolescent can make reasonable decisions but continues to guide them. · Gradually, adolescents acquire the ability to make mature decisions on their own.

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Autonomy (cont.)

· Gender differences characterize autonomy granting in adolescence with boys being given more independence than girls. · In one study, U.S. adolescents sought autonomy earlier than Japanese adolescents. · In the transition to adulthood, Japanese youth are less likely to live outside the home than Americans.

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Attachment

· Researchers have found that securely attached adolescents were less likely than those who were insecurely attached to engage in problem behaviors, such as juvenile delinquency and drug abuse. · Other research has shown securely attached adolescents had better peer relations than their insecurely attached counterparts.

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Parent-Adolescent Conflict

· Parents often expect their adolescents to become mature adults overnight, instead of understanding that the journey takes 10-15 years. · Conflicts primarily involve the everyday events of family life, rather than major dilemmas like drugs. · It is estimated that one in five families engage in prolonged, intense, repeated, unhealthy conflict. · This kind of conflict is associated with a number of adolescent problems. · Conflict varies by culture.

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The Positive Side of Conflict

· The everyday conflicts that characterize parentadolescent relationships may actually serve a positive developmental function. · Minor disputes and negotiations facilitate the adolescent's transition from being dependent on parents to becoming an autonomous individual. · One study reported that adolescents who expressed disagreement with their parents explored identity development more actively.

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Parental Characteristics for Positive Adolescent Development

· Parents should: ­ show their teens warmth and mutual respect. ­ demonstrate sustained interest in their teens' lives. ­ recognize and adapt to teens' cognitive and socioemotional development. ­ communicate expectations for high standards of conduct and achievement. ­ display constructive ways of dealing with problems and conflict.

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Peers Dating and Romantic Relationships

Friendships

Peer Groups

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Friendships

· Harry Stack Sullivan's Perspective · Findings on Friendship

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Harry Stack Sullivan's Perspective

· Sullivan believed that all people have a number of basic social needs that must be fulfilled for our emotional well-being. · Developmentally, friends become increasingly depended on to satisfy these needs during adolescence. · The need for intimacy intensifies during early adolescence, motivating teenagers to seek out close friends. · If teens fail to forge such close friendships, they experience painful feelings of loneliness, and reduced sense of self-worth.

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Findings on Friendship

· Research supports many of Sullivan's ideas. · Adolescents report disclosing intimate and personal information to their friends more often than younger children. · Adolescents say they depend more on friends than on parents to satisfy their needs for intimacy, companionship, and reassurance of worth. · The quality of friendship is more strongly linked to feelings of well-being during adolescence than during childhood.

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Peer Groups

· Cliques and Crowds · Adolescent Groups Versus Children Groups

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Cliques and Crowds

· Allegiance to cliques can exert powerful control over the lives of adolescents. · Group identity often overrides personal identity. · Clique leaders may place members in positions of considerable moral conflict by asking teens to choose between their "code" and that of their parents. · Adolescents are usually part of a crowd based on reputation and may or may not spend much time together.

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Adolescent Groups Versus Children Groups

· Children groups are usually made up of friends or neighborhood acquaintances. · Adolescent groups tend to include a broader array of members. · Adolescent groups are more likely to have a mixture of individuals from different ethnic groups than are peer groups in childhood. · Children groups are not as formalized as many adolescent groups.

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Dating and Romantic Relationships

· Types of Dating and Developmental Changes · Dating Scripts · Emotion and Romantic Relationships · Sociocultural Contexts and Dating

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Types of Dating and Developmental Changes

· Early romantic relationships serve as a context for adolescents to explore: ­ how attractive they are ­ how they should romantically interact with someone ­ how it all looks to the peer group · After they have acquired the basic competencies in interacting with romantic partners, teens then begin to focus their relationships on fulfillment of attachment and sexual needs.

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The Progression of Dating

· In early exploration of romantic relationships, adolescents find comfort in numbers and begin hanging out together in heterosexual groups. · A special concern is early dating and " going with" someone, as it is associated with adolescent pregnancy and problems at home and school. · Cyberdating is a new phenomenon in which adolescents " date" over the Internet. · By the time teens are in high school and can drive, dating becomes a more real-life venture.

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Dating Scripts

· Dating scripts are the cognitive models that guide individuals' dating interactions. · One study showed that first dates are highly scripted along gender lines. · Males were found to follow a proactive dating script, while females followed a reactive one. · Another study showed males and females bring different motivations to the dating experience. · Girls were more likely to describe romance in terms of interpersonal qualities, while boys described it in terms of physical attraction.

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Emotion and Romantic Relationships

· Romantic relationships often are involved in an adolescents' emotional experience. · Ninth- to twelfth-grade girls reported relationships as the explanation for more than one-third of their strong emotions and boys gave this reason for onefourth of their strong emotions. · The strong emotions of adolescent romance can have both disruptive effects and provide a source for possible mastery and growth. · Learning to manage the strong emotions can give adolescents a sense of competence.

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Sociocultural Contexts and Dating

· Values and religious beliefs of people in various cultures often dictate: ­ the age at which dating begins ­ how much freedom in dating is allowed ­ whether dates must be chaperoned ­ the roles of males and females in dating · Dating may be a source of cultural conflict for immigrants and their families

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Culture and Adolescent Development Cross-Cultural Comparisons

Ethnicity

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Cross-Cultural Comparisons

· Cross-cultural studies involve the comparison of a culture with one or more other cultures. · This provides information about the degree to which development is similar, or universal, across cultures, or the degree to which it is culturespecific. · The study of adolescence has emerged in the context of Western industrialized society, with the practical needs and social norms of this culture dominating thinking about all adolescents.

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Rites of Passage

· A rite of passage is a ceremony or ritual that marks an individual's transition from one status to another. · Most rites of passage focus on the transition to adult status. · In many cultures, rites of passage often involve dramatic practices and are the avenue through which adolescents gain access to sacred adult practices, knowledge, and sexuality.

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Rites of Passage in the U.S.

· In the U.S. we do not have universal formal ceremonies that mark the passage from adolescence to adulthood. · Certain religious and social groups have initiation ceremonies that indicate an advance in maturity has been reached. · School graduation ceremonies come the closest to being culture-wide rites of passage in the U.S.

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Ethnicity

· Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status · Differences and Diversity · Value Conflicts, Assimilation, and Pluralism

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Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status

· Much of the research on ethnic minority adolescents has failed to tease apart the influences of ethnicity and socioeconomic status. · Poverty contributes to the stressful life experiences of many ethnic minority adolescents. · Not all ethnic minorities are poor, however. · Middle-income ethnic minority youth still encounter much of the prejudice, discrimination, and bias associated with being a minority.

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Differences and Diversity

· There are legitimate differences between various ethnic minority groups, as well as between ethnic minority groups and the majority White group. · Historical, economic, and social experiences produce differences in ethnic groups. · Ethnic minority groups are not homogeneous; they have different social, historical, and economic backgrounds. · Recognizing and respecting these differences are important aspects of getting along with others in a multicultural world.

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Value Conflicts, Assimilation, and Pluralism

· Assimilation - the absorption of ethnic minority groups into the dominant group. · This often means the loss of some or virtually all of the behavior and values of the minority group. · Pluralism - the coexistence of distinct ethnic and cultural groups in the same society. · Individuals who adopt a pluralistic stance usually advocate that cultural differences be maintained and appreciated.

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Adolescent Problems

Juvenile Delinquency

Depression and Suicide

The Interrelation of Problems and Successful Prevention/ Intervention Programs

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Juvenile Delinquency

· Juvenile delinquent - an adolescent who breaks the law or engages in behavior that is considered illegal. · It is a broad concept, including everything from littering to murder. · Arrest of adolescent males for delinquency is much higher than for females. · Delinquency rates among African American, other minority groups, and low SES youth are proportionally higher than for the general population.

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Causes of Delinquency

· Erikson's View · The Role of SES · Parenting

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Erikson's View

· For Erikson, delinquency is an attempt to establish an identity, although a negative one. · He believes adolescents whose development has restricted them from acceptable social roles or has made them feel they cannot measure up to demands placed on them may choose a negative identity. · Those with a negative identity may find support for their delinquent image among their peers, thus reinforcing it.

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The Role of SES

· Some characteristics of the lower-class culture may promote delinquency. · The norms of many lower-SES peer groups and gangs are antisocial relative to the goals and norms of society at large. · Adolescents from low-income backgrounds may sense that they can gain attention and status by performing antisocial actions. · Being " tough" and " masculine" are high-status traits for lower SES boys, and these traits are often measured by the adolescent' s success in performing delinquent acts.

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Parenting

· Family support is associated with delinquency. · Parents of delinquents are less skilled in discouraging antisocial behavior and in encouraging skilled behavior. · Parental monitoring of adolescents is especially important in determining whether an adolescent becomes a delinquent. · Family discord and inconsistent and inappropriate discipline are also associated with delinquency.

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Youth Violence

· Violent youth are overwhelmingly male. · Many are driven by feelings of powerlessness. · Youth violence is rampant in poverty-infested areas of inner cities. · Many urban youth who live in poverty also lack adequate parent involvement and supervision. · Interviews with a number of youth killers indicate that a lack of a spiritual center and emotional emptiness may lead to such violent acts.

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Depression and Suicide

· Depression is more likely to occur in adolescence than in childhood. · Adolescent girls have higher rates of depression:

­ ­ ­ ­ Females tend to ruminate in their depressed mood. Females' self-images are more negative than males. Females face more discrimination than males. Puberty occurs earlier for girls than boys and as a result girls experience a piling up of changes and life experiences in the middle school years, which can increase depression

· Family factors can create a risk for depression. · Poor peer relations are associated with depression.

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Suicide

· Suicide is now the third leading cause of death in 13-19 year olds. · Males are about three times as likely to commit suicide. · Females attempt suicide more frequently. · The gender difference is thought to be due to the fact that boys tend to use more active methods, while girls resort to passive methods. · Homosexual adolescents are only slightly more likely than heterosexuals adolescents to attempt suicide.

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Adolescents Who Commit Suicide

· Suicidal adolescents often have depressive symptoms. · They experience a sense of hopelessness. · They suffer from low self-esteem. · They frequently blame themselves for any number of things.

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The Interrelation of Problems

· The most at -risk adolescents have more than one problem. · As many as 10% of all adolescents in the U.S. have serious multiple-problem behaviors. · These high-risk youth often engage in two- or three-problem behaviors, such as: ­ substance abuse ­ early sexual activity ­ lower grades ­ dropping out of school

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Successful Prevention/ Intervention Programs

· Intensive individualized attention · Community-wide multiagency collaborative approaches · Early identification

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