Adolescence Exam 2
Self and Understanding
• Self: all of the characteristics of a person
• Self-understanding: the individual’s cognitive representation of the self, the substance and content of self-conceptions.
• The development of self-understanding
in adolescence is complex and involves a number of aspects of the self
Dimensions in Self Understanding in Adolescence
• Abstraction and idealism: adolescents describe themselves in more abstract and idealistic ways
o Abstraction: “I am a human being. I am indecisive. I don’t know who I am.” o Idealism: “I am naturally sensitive and pretty good looking.”
• Differentiation: adolescents are more likely to note contextual or situational variations in describing themselves
o Adolescents can recognize that they possess several different selves that vary to some degree according to role or context
o E.g., use one set of descriptors in thinking about connections with family, another with friends
• The Fluctuating Self: The “self” changes across time and situations
o E.g., being cheerful one moment, anxious the next moment, and irritable a short time later We also discuss several other topics like What stops the stimulation for muscle contraction?
• Contradictions Within the Self: As adolescents begin to differentiate their self-concept into multiple roles and contexts, they begin to sense contradictions
o “I am moody” AND “I am cheerful If you want to learn more check out How was james ii an absolute monarch?
o Contradictions decline across adolescence
• Real vs. Ideal Self, Healthy or unhealthy?
o Unhealthy: Large discrepancies between ideal and real self indicates
▪ Could produce a sense of failure; lead to self-criticism and may even
o Healthy: Discrepancy allows for consideration of Possible Selves - What individuals might become, what they would like to become, and what they are afraid of becoming
• True vs. False Self
o Present false self to impress others, try out new roles
Notes: adolescents may present their false self and know it so that others accept them
• Social Comparison
o Young adolescents are more likely than children to compare themselves with others
o Often unwilling to admit to comparison because they view it as socially undesirable We also discuss several other topics like How does structure determine function?
o Can be confusing: which reference group to choose?
▪ High achievers, physically attractive teens, athletic teens, etc.
• Looking glass self: An individual’s beliefs about how he or she is viewed by others Notes: Who do I compare myself to? It is a struggle to adolescence.
Looking glass self: understanding of yourself is reflected from others around them
o Adolescents are more likely than children to be self-conscious about their self understanding
o Thus, become self-conscious about observable parts of themselves
o E.g., appearance, speech, mannerisms
o Adolescents turn to friends for support and self-clarification
o Minimizing/denying negative characteristics
Notes: they often do know they have these negative qualities
Self-esteem and Self-concept
• Self-esteem: A global evaluative dimension of the self. If you want to learn more check out What were the cultural exchanges between the native american civilizations and the european settlers?
• Self-concept: Refers to domain-specific evaluations of the self.
• Susan Harter (1989): Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents.
o Assesses eight different domains (i.e., to measure self-concept) and globally assesses self-esteem
o Physical appearance, scholastic competence, athletic competence, social acceptance, behavioral conduct, close friendship, romantic appeal, and job competence
• Some researchers argue that self-esteem and self-concept should be assessed in multiple ways—not solely through self-report
o Because often individuals are biased or lie
• Self-esteem reflects perceptions.
o These perceptions do not always match reality.
• Narcissism refers to a self-centered and self-concerned approach toward others o Notes: Don't forget about the age old question of How do you find the center of mass of two particles?
▪ Typically, unaware of their actual self and how others perceive them. They tend to be excessively self-centered and self -ongratulatory. They
view Their needs and desires to be more important than anyone else’s
▪ Devalue people around them to protect their own self-esteem
▪ Often respond with rage and shame when others don’t admire them or treat them the way the narcissist thinks they should treat them
▪ Combination of high self-esteem and narcissism leads to extreme
Are todays Adolescence and Emerging Adults more Narcissistic?
• Some research supports that adolescents and emerging adults are more narcissistic and self-centered now than in the past
• Does social media fuel these increases in narcissism as they encourage attention-seeking? • Jean: Adolescence are more confident and more satisfied, stellar lovers and parents o Narcissism peaks during adolescence then decreases in adulthood
Changes in Self-esteem
• Self-esteem fluctuates across the life span.
o Often decreases when children make a transition (such as from elementary to middle school)
• Studies often find that adolescent girls have lower self-esteem than adolescent boys do. o Why? Puberty; weight gain, comparing themselves to the “ideal” look We also discuss several other topics like How many pairs of electrons are shared in a single bond?
What domains are more related with Self-esteem?
• Physical appearance
• Scholastic competence
• Social acceptance
• Behavioral conduct
• Athletic competence
Social Contexts linked to Self-Esteem
o Parenting attributes can influence self-esteem
o attribute: how much time the family spends together, the quality of their communication, and the extent that families are involved in making decisions ▪ E.g., One study found that higher levels of family cohesion were linked to higher levels of adolescent self-esteem (Baldwin & Hoffman, 2002)
o Approval of peers influences self-esteem
▪ Approval of the peer group in general (classmates, peers in organizations that an adolescent is involved with, etc.)
Consequences of Low Self-esteem
• For most adolescents, the emotional discomfort of low self-esteem is temporary • In some adolescents, low self-esteem can develop into other problems: o Depression
• Identifying the causes of low self-esteem and the domains of competence important to the self
• Providing emotional support and social approval
• Fostering achievement
• Helping adolescents to cope
• Erikson’s Ideas on Identity
o Who am I?
o What am I all about?
o What am I going to do with my life?
o What is different about me?
o How can I make it on my own?
• Identity vs. Identity Confusion (Erikson’s 5th developmental stage)
o Adolescents experience a psychosocial moratorium—the gap between childhood security and adult autonomy.
• Successful = formation of a new sense of self
• Unsuccessful = identity confusion
• confronting new tasks and goals
• psychosocial moratorium: Idea of role and identity exploration
Personality and Role Experimentation
• During the psychosocial moratorium, adolescents try out different roles and personalities o They might experiment with their personality traits, friends, the way they dress, etc.
• By late adolescence, vocational roles often become the concentration of identity development
• Identity involves many components
• Current Views: identity development is a lengthy process that is often more gradual and less of a “crisis” than Erikson implied
4 statuses of Identity
James Marcia (1980, 1994, 2002)
Stressed that Erikson’s identity development theory could end in four results: identity diffusion, identity foreclosure, identity moratorium and identity achievement
Uses the terms crisis and commitment to classify individuals into four different groups.
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.
• Identity Diffusion
o Adolescents are in this state when they have not yet experienced an identity crisis or made any commitments.
• Identity Foreclosure
o Adolescents are in this state when they have made a commitment but have not experienced an identity crisis.
• Identity Moratorium
o Adolescents are in this state when they are in the midst of an identity crisis, but have not made a clear commitment to an identity.
• Identity Achievement
o Adolescents in this stage have undergone an identity crisis and made a commitment.
• Diffusion: no crisis, no commitment; means they have not explored alternative and often undecided in choices
• Foreclosure: have made a commitment but not crisis. Never experienced crisis because you never questioned and committed to do what parents told you to do.
• Moratorium: yes crisis, no commitment; idk what exactly what I want to be when I grow up but I know my options
• Achievement: yes crisis, yes commitment; crisis is in the past
Developmental changes in Identity
• The key changes in identity are more likely to take place later on in adolescence or in emerging adulthood.
o Have you reached identity achievement?
• The first identity an individual commits to is not necessarily their final. o People can cycle through different stages of identity
Identity and Social Contexts
• Family: family atmospheres that promote both individuality and connectedness are important in helping adolescents develop their identities
• Peer/romantic relationships: friends provide a safe context for exploring identity-related experiences; provide a testing ground
o Romantic attachment also plays a role!
• Cultural/Ethnic Identity: Self-oriented identity exploration may not be the main process through which identity achievement is attained in all cultures.
The Self, Identity, Emotions, and Personality
Emotion: a kind of radar and rapid response system that carries meaning across the flow of experience
• Multiple characteristics of emotion:
o E.g., Valence, Intensity, Persistence
• Connected to self esteem
o Negative emotions (e.g., sadness) are associated with low self-esteem o Positive emotions (e.g., joy) are associated with high self-esteem
• radar and rapid response: environmental; radar picking up what's going on in the environment, rapid response how you react to the environment
Emotion Regulation: Extrinsic and intrinsic processes responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and modifying emotional reactions, especially their intensive and temporal features, to accomplish one’s goals
• Emotional highs and lows occur more frequently in adolescence and can change rapidly in adolescence
• Thus, the ability to effectively manage and control one’s emotions is a kay dimension of positive outcomes in adolescent development
• In adolescence, individuals become more aware of their emotional cycles which may improve their coping abilities
• Become more skillful at presenting emotions to others
o E.g., Covering anger in social relationships
• Increased cognitive abilities and awareness help the majority of adolescents' cope more effectively with stress and emotional fluctuations
• how good you are at regulating emotions
Personality: enduring characteristics of individuals
Encompasses self and identity; often involves emotions!
Big Five Factors of Personality:
O – Openness to experiences: Imaginative or practical; interested in variety or routine; independent or conforming
C – Conscientiousness: Organized or disorganized; careful or careless; disciplined or impulsive
E – Extraversion: Sociable or retiring; fun-loving or somber; affectionate or reserved A – Agreeableness: Softhearted or ruthless; trusting or suspicious; helpful or uncooperative N – Neuroticism: Calm or anxious; secure or insecure; self-satisfied or self-pitying
Interventionists view: both traits and situations need to be taken in to account in understanding personal argument
Chapter 5 Gender
Gender: The characteristics of people as males and females
The sociocultural and psychological dimensions of being male or female
Gender Role: A set of expectations that prescribes how females and males should think, act, and feel.
Gender from an Evolutionary (“Biological”) Psychology Standpoint
Due to differing roles in reproduction, males and females faced different environmental pressures
• Multiple sexual relationships
• Compete with other males
• Natural selection favored males that were aggressive, competitive and took risks Females:
• Goal of acquiring resources for offspring
• Natural selection favored females that devoted effort to parenting and who chose mates that could provide offspring with resources and protection
Where’s the Proof?
Buss & Schmitt (1993): How many sexual partners would you ideally like to have in your lifetime?
Men: 18 partners
Women: 4 or 5 partners
Clark and Hatfield (1989): An attractive stranger approaches and requests sex. How many say yes?
Criticism: Speculation, not evidence
Social Influences on Gender
Social Role Theory: Gender differences mainly result from the contrasting roles of females and males.
In many cultures, females have less power and status and control fewer resources compared to males (UNICEF, 2015)
In Eagly’s view:
*Social hierarchy/division of labor causes gender differences in power assertiveness and nurturing behavior
Note: mainly due to social experience
Parents, by action and example, influence the gender development of their adolescents (Hilliard & Liben, 2012; Leaper, 2015)
Mothers’ socialization strategies
In many cultures, mothers socialize daughters to be more obedient, responsible; restrict daughters’ autonomy
Fathers’ socialization strategies
Pay more attention to and engage in more activities with sons; put forward more effort to promote sons’ intellectual development
Despite a trend toward more equal gender roles in many aspects of society, many mothers and fathers show marked differences in the way they interact with their sons and daughters (Bronstein, 2006; Galambos et al., 2009)
Social Cognitive Theory of Gender
Social Cognitive Theory of Gender – Children’s and adolescents’ gender development is influenced by:
1. Observation and imitation of others’ gender behavior
Parents, other adults, and peers all provide models of masculine and feminine behavior
2. Rewards and punishments they experience for gender-appropriate behavior and gender-inappropriate behavior.
“Samantha, that dress you are wearing makes you look so beautiful”
Ethan, you were so aggressive out there on the field. Way to go!”
• In early adolescence, siblings became more similar to older siblings in gender-role and leisure activity.
o Over a two-year time frame in early adolescence, younger siblings became more similar to their older siblings in terms of gender role and leisure activity (McHale et al., 2001)
• In middle and late childhood, children show a clear preference for spending time with and liking same-sex peers (Maccoby, 1998, 2002)
• In adolescence, adolescents spend increasing amounts of time with peers; peer approval or disapproval is a powerful influence on gender attitudes and behavior.
o Peer groups more likely to be a mix of boys and girls
Bias in School
Bias can go both ways; teachers can be biased to boys and girls. Teachers might not be aware that they are being gender biased
• TV shows for adolescents are often extremely stereotyped when they portray males and females (e.g., Adams, 2012; Starr, 2015)
• Early adolescence is a time of heightened sensitivity to TV messages about gender roles.
• TV has idealized characters with whom adolescents can identify.
o Remember that adolescents tend to think idealistically. They’re more likely to identify with really glamorous, successful characters on TV
• Often targets a male audience
• One study found that MTV videos reinforced stereotypical notions of women as sex objects and females as being subordinate to males (Wallis, 2011)
Cognitive Influences on Gender
Gender Schema Theory: Gender-typing emerges as individuals gradually develop gender schemas of what is gender-appropriate and gender-inappropriate in their culture.
• Schema: A cognitive structure, a network of associations that guides an individual’s perceptions.
• Gender Schema: Organizes the world in terms of female and male.
Individuals are motivated to perceive the world and act in accordance with developing schemas. • Cognitive factors contribute to the way adolescents think and act as males and females Note: gender-typing: process of being aware of one's own gender
Gender Stereotypes and Differences
Gender Stereotypes: General impressions and beliefs about females and males.
• Stereotypes are often general and ambiguous
o E.g., What is “feminine”? What is “masculine”?
• Stereotyping of males and females is pervasive
o Boys’ gender stereotypes are more rigid than girls’ (Blakemore et al., 2009) Gender Similarities and Differences
What is the reality behind gender stereotypes?
Important to keep in mind that:
1. Differences are based on averages and do not apply to all
2. Even when gender differences occur there is often overlap
3. Differences may be due primarily to biological factors, sociocultural factors or both! Physical/Health Similarities and Differences
Physical Similarities and Differences
• Females have about twice the body fat of males
• Males grow to be 10% taller than females
• Males have greater physical strength than females
• Females have longer life expectancy
• Females are less likely to develop mental and physical health problems • Females are more resistant to infection and their blood vessels are more elastic than males
• Males have higher levels of stress hormones
Note: If the males aren't able to show their emotions, they tend to suffer from low health Cognitive Similarities and Differences
• A large-scale study of 7 million students in grades 2-11 revealed no differences in math scores for boys and girls (Hyde et al., 2008)
• Research has fairly consistently found that boys have better visuospatial skills (e.g., Halpern, 2012)
Reading and Writing
• Females outperform males in reading and writing (NAEP, 2014)
Females show greater academic interest and achievement than males in the US • More likely to be engaged and attentive in class, more likely to attend college Socioemotional Similarities and Differences
• Boys are more physically aggressive than girls across cultures
• Some studies suggest girls engage in more relational aggression (involves harming someone by manipulating a relationship).
o Girls engage in more relational aggression than boys in adolescence, but not in childhood (Smith, Rose, & Schwartz-Mette, 2010)
Communication in Relationships (Tannen, 1990)
Rapport Talk: The language of conversation and a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships.
• Females engage in this more often
Report talk: Talk that gives information.
Males engage in this more often
Play (Tannen, 1990)
• Tend to play in large groups with hierarchical structures
• Games have winners and losers
• Often brag about their skills, argue about who is best
• Tend to play in small groups or pairs
• Intimacy is important
• Turn-taking is more characteristic in games
Research suggests that girls are more “people oriented” and boys are more “thing oriented” (Galambos et al., 2009; Su et al., 2009)
• Females engage in more prosocial behavior and empathy than boys (Christov-Moore et al., 2014
• Better at recognizing nonverbal displays of emotion (Thompson & Voyer, 2014) Emotion and Its Regulation
• Females express emotion more readily than do males (Gross, Frederickson, & Levenson, 1994)
• Males report experiencing and expressing more anger than females (Kring, 2000) • Males usually show less self-regulation of their emotions and this low self-control can translate into behavior problems (Pascual et al., 2012)
Controversy continues about the extent of gender differences and what might cause them
David Buss: Gender differences are extensive; caused by adaptive problems the genders have faced across evolutionary history
Alice Eagly: Gender differences are substantial; caused by social conditions resulting in women having less power and controlling fewer resources than men
Janet Shibley Hyde: Gender differences are exaggerated; females and males are similar on most psychological factors
Summarized the results of 44 meta-analyses of gender differences and similarities; gender differences were either non-existent or small
Masculinity, Femininity and Androgyny
In the past…
Masculine = independent, aggressive, powerful
Feminine = dependent, nurturing, uninterested in power
Change in stereotyped gender roles
Androgyny: The presence of a high degree of masculine and feminine characteristics in the same individual
Sex-Role Inventory: Assesses androgyny (Bem, 1977)
Based on the inventory, individuals are classified into four categories:
Masculine: High on masculine traits, low on feminine traits
Feminine: High on feminine traits, low on masculine traits
Androgynous: High on both masculine and feminine traits
Undifferentiated: Low on both masculine and feminine traits
Bem’s Sex Role Inventory
Example Masculine Items:
• Defends open beliefs
• Willing to take risks
Example Feminine Items:
• Does not use harsh language
• Loves children
Context, Culture and Gender Roles
An individual’s gender classification (i.e., feminine, masculine, androgynous, undifferentiated) is a personality trait-like categorization of a person.
• Traits depend on context
o For example: It may be beneficial to have a masculine or androgynous gender role in the workplace but a feminine or androgynous gender role in close relationships • One of the most important contexts to consider is culture
Gender Roles and Culture
More children and adolescents in the US and other countries are being raised to behave in more androgynous ways
Traditional gender roles still predominant in many countries
• “The activities of married women are best confined to home and family”; Men as providers/bread winners
Even in U.S., cultural background of adolescents determine how boys and girls are socialized • E.g., Latino and Latina adolescents are often socialized differently from one another Females still receive less education than males as a whole
• Globally, females receive about 4.4 fewer years of education compared to males by the age of 18
Androgyny and Education
Can and should androgyny be taught to students?
• Easier to teach to girls
• Easier to teach before middle school (Guttentag & Bray, 1976)
Many say traditional sex-typing is harmful for all students
• E.g., may prevent students from having equal educational opportunities, may prevent males from expressing their feelings, etc.
Note: Researchers taught androgyny in school. Used books, class materials. Results: easier to teach girls, 9th graders were least successful to teach
Traditional Masculinity and Problem Behaviors in Adolescent Males
Is there a negative side to traditional masculinity?
• Pollack (1999) theorized that “boy code” exists
o According to Pollack, boy code tells boys that they should have little emotion (if any). Boys are taught to act tough and not be sensitive
• Adolescent boys who adopt a traditionally strong masculine role tend to exhibit more behavior problems:
o Drink alcohol
o Take drugs
o Participate in illegal delinquent activities
Note: high masculinity has been linked to bad behaviors
Gender-Role Transcendence: The view that when an individual’s competence is at issue, it should be conceptualized on a person basis rather than on the basis of masculinity, femininity, or androgyny.
• Argues that parents should raise their children to be competent individuals and not worry so much about gender classification or gender roles
• Is this a feasible goal?
Note: Androgyny may not be the best way to go about it..gender-role transcendence we should think about ourselves and others as people and not as a gender
Early Adolescence and Gender Intensification
Gender Intensification Hypothesis: Psychological and behavioral differences between boys and girls become greater during early adolescence because of increased socialization pressures to conform to traditional masculine and feminine gender roles.
The argument is that once adolescents reach puberty—this signals to others that they should be socialized to exhibit behaviors consistent with their biological sex
Is Early Adolescence a Critical Juncture for Females?
Carol Gilligan: Argued that girls are more sensitive to different rhythms and emotions in relationships
• Adolescence is a critical juncture for females
o Believed that girls might hesitate to share their opinions, be assertive
Criticisms of Gilligan
• Overemphasizes gender differences
• Research strategies: Gilligan rarely includes a comparison group of boys or conducts statistical analyses
• Reinforces stereotypes: Some are concerned that her work reinforces females as being nurturing and self-sacrificing which could undermine equality
Note: girls experience more human interaction; 8-12 year females are aware of the male dominant culture
• girls might be hesitant to share their opinions because of that
• non-scientific approach
How can we guide Adolescents’ gender development?
Many psychologists point out that it is not beneficial (to individuals or society) to assign one set of values and behaviors to one biological sex and another set of values and behaviors to another biological sex
How can we guide gender development?
Encourage: (1) More prosocial behavior; (2) less physical aggression; (3) emotional competence; (4) improved school performance; (5) interest in forming positive, caring relationships
Encourage: (1) Pride in relationship skills; (2) development of self-competencies; (3) achievement; (4) assertiveness
Gender Role: A set of expectations that prescribes how females and males should think, act, and feel
• Behaviors, attitudes, and personality traits that a society in a given historical period designates as “masculine” or “feminine”
o e.g., men: aggressive, strong, dominant, emotionally reserved; women: nurturing, dependent, passive
Gender Identity: An individual’s personal sense of self as male, female, or an alternate gender Gender Expression: How gender identity is communicated to others
• e.g., one’s name, gender pronoun, style of dress, interests, etc.
Many children experiment with gender expression and roles
• Cross-gender play (toys, games); cross-gender dress
Exploring gender is a very normal part of development
Some children exhibit persistent, insistent nonconforming behaviors and expression Gender Identities and Expression
Transgender: When a person’s gender identity does not match their assigned birth sex.
• E.g., self-identifying as a woman, but born biologically male
• Does not imply any specific sexual orientation!
Gender Fluidity: Wider more flexible range of gender expression, with interests and behaviors that may even change from day to day. For some, gender fluidity extends beyond behavior and interest, and serves to specifically define their gender identity.
Genderqueer: People who embrace a fluidity of gender expression that is not limiting. They may not identify as male or female, but as both, neither, or as a blend.
• Not typically used in connection with gender identity in pre-adolescent children Note:
• Transgender does not have to do with sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual) • Fluidity: does not identify as male or female; switch back and forth from make to female • Queer: does not identify as male or female; does not switch back and forth from male to female
More recent estimates (2016):
• Flores et al. used data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to estimate the percentage of adults who identify as transgender nationally and in all 50 stages (N = 151,456)
• Estimated .6% of U.S. adults identify as transgender ~ 1.4 million people! DSM-5: Gender Dysphoria
Gender Dysphoria (GD)
Replaced Gender Identity Disorder (GID) in the DSM-V
Principle criteria: Clinically significant distress resulting from incongruence between one’s assigned and asserted gender
• Gender is not pathological!!
For the majority of pre-pubertal children, GD does not “persist” into adolescence
• In a minority (~15%)*, GD does “persist”
• In contrast to GD in childhood, GD that persists into adolescence is unlikely to subside o For many children, GD intensifies with pubertal changes
• Most adolescents and adults with GD recall having gender nonconforming behavior and identity as children
• Note: unlikely to subside; they will struggle with this for a long time
not a mental disorder
they're experiencing distress from the outside environment because of Gender Dysphoria
Behavioral Health Approaches
Corrective: Align gender identity and expression with sex at birth
Supportive: “Wait and see” how gender identity unfolds
Affirming: Help child and family decipher subjective gender experience and differentiate those with persistent transgender identity from those exploring gender non-conforming expression.
• Recommended approach!
corrective: traditional approach
supportive: kind of leaving the adolescent to struggle on their own. Parents don't do anything Affirmative Approach
• Affirming does not mean pushing gender transition
• Children rejected/not supported are at risk of depressive symptoms, self-harm, isolation, incarceration, etc.
• Family acceptance and support is tied to positive self-esteem, high social support, positive mental health, etc.
Chapter 6 Sexuality
A Normal Aspect of Adolescent Development
The vast majority of adolescents have fairly healthy sexual attitudes
Adolescents are often negatively stereotyped
• Pregnancy; STDs
Different cultures treat teen sexuality in different ways
• Permissive cultures
• Restrictive cultures
o Especially for females
The Sexual Culture in the United States
United States sexual culture is generally permissive
Sex is portrayed in movies, TV shows, lyrics of popular music, on the internet, etc.
• How does this impact adolescents?
A more recent special concern for adolescents has been sexting
Study by the American Pediatric Academy (2013) found that media is increasingly explicit in portraying sex, but there is rarely any information on abstinence, sexual responsibility, and birth control
Developing a Sexual Identity
Strongly influenced by social norms related to sex
• What adolescents think their peers are doing is influential
Developing a sexual identity involves:
• Learning to manage sexual feelings
• Learning the skills to regulate sexual behavior to avoid undesirable consequences • Also involves the development of sexual orientation (e.g., same-sex attraction, other-sex attraction, etc.)
• There is a lot of variation in adolescent’s attitudes about sex!
Difficult due to the nature of the questions
• Who is most likely to respond to sexual surveys?
• Teens may give socially desirable answers
o Common gender differences
New methods are being developed
• Interviews with same-sex interviewer
• Pre-recorded questions
Heterosexual Attitudes and Behaviors
What is the current profile of sexual activity (2013)?
• 64% of 12th graders report having experienced sexual intercourse
o 30% of 9th graders
• By age 20, 77% of US adolescents have had sex
• A recent longitudinal study (n = 12,000) found that the average age of sexual initiation for teens is around age 16
Sexual script: A stereotyped pattern of role prescriptions for how individuals should behave in sexual contexts.
• Females and males socialized to follow different scripts
o Females: Love
o Males: Often first to make sexual advances, peer pressure
A double standard still exists (Tolman, 2002; Lyon et al., 2010)
• Females feel restricted from experiencing or talking about sexual activity • Males typically feel more comfortable with their sexuality
Risk Factors. Youth Assets, and Sexual Problems
Early sexual activity linked to problems
• Drug use, delinquency, school-related problems, poor quality relationships How young is too young for adolescents to engage in sexual intercourse? What factors are linked to engaging in early sexual behaviors in adolescence?
• Alcohol use
• Earlier onset of puberty for adolescent females
• Poor parent-child communication
Contextual Risk Factors for Sexual Problems in Adolescence
Family and Parenting
• Low parental monitoring
• Poor communication between parents/adolescents about sexuality
• Low responsiveness to health needs
• Having sexually active older siblings
• Associating with more deviant peers
• Individual characteristics
o E.g., Low self-regulation, impulsivity
Other Factors to Consider
• Providing teens with information about risky behaviors
• Having teens make public commitments to behave in a prosocial manner o E.g., Use protection, avoid drugs/alcohol while engaging in sexual activity
• Being spiritual, religious, or believing in a higher power is linked with a decreased likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviors
• Adolescents who have religious parents are less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors Sexuality in Emerging Adulthood
• Males have more casual sex partners, females report being more selective
• About 60% of emerging adults have had sex with only one individual in the last year • Emerging adults have more sexual partners than young adults (in late 20’s, 30’s) but engage in sex less frequently
• Casual sex is more common in emerging adulthood than it is in young adulthood • Role of level of education, religiosity
• Gender differences
Note: If highly educated or highly religious, you are less likely to pursue sex Sexual Minority Attitudes and Behaviors
Sexual Minority: Someone who identifies with being lesbian, gay, or bisexual Bisexual: Someone who is attracted to people of both sexes
This text and others do tend to oversimplify sexual orientation
• There’s more complexity to sexual orientation than sticking to the categories proposed in the text
• We will talk about understanding sexual orientation on a continuum in a moment
Most sexual minority (same-sex) individuals experience first same-sex attraction, sexual behavior, and self-labeling as either gay or lesbian in adolescence
Preference for a sexual partner of the same or other sex is not always a fixed decision Term “homosexual” has negative historical connotations and is often an oversimplification
• Removed from the DSM in the 1970s
• Sexuality—is it categorical or does it exist along a continuum?
Note: continuum rather than categorical
Factors Associated with Sexual Minority Behavior
• Not clear what mechanisms are at play in same-sex attraction
• Research suggests some genetic contribution, but we are far from understanding it • Most likely a combination of genetic, cognitive, hormonal, and social factors
Note: We don’t know for sure, still studying
We know what does not cause sexual minority behavior:
• Being raised by sexual minority parents
o Children raised by sexual minority parents are no more likely to be sexual minorities than children raised by heterosexual parents
• Being a gay male is not caused by having a dominant mother and weak father • Being a lesbian is not caused by choosing male role models
Common Question: How does someone know they are a sexual minority?
• Some people say they knew from the time they were very young
• Others do not figure out their sexual orientation until they are adolescents or adults • It can take a while for people to put a label on their feelings; feelings may develop over time
Common Question: Can sexual minorities change their sexual orientation?
• Answer from Kent LGBT Center: No – and efforts to do so aren’t just unnecessary they are damaging
• Studies and campaigns suggesting that LGBT people can change are based on ideological biases and not peer-reviewed solid science
• “No studies show proven long-term changes in gay or transgender people and many reported changes are based solely on behavior and not a person’s actual self-identity”
Gay Male or Lesbian Identity and Disclosure
Establishing a gay or lesbian identity and the coming-out process
• Who are sexual minorities likely to disclose their identity to?
o Parents are rarely the first people told
▪ Mothers often disclosed to before fathers
o Friends are typically disclosed to first
o Around 50-60% of sexual minority teens have told at least one sibling (again not the first told though)
Note: friends know first
Discrimination and Bias
Homophobia: Having irrational negative feelings against individuals who have same-sex attractions
• Involves faulty beliefs
• Most typically leads to avoidance of sexual minority individuals or discrimination (including housing/job discrimination
• In extreme forms, homophobia can lead to ridicule, physical assault, murder • As a result of homophobia, sexual minority teens are more at risk for alcohol abuse, depression, and dying by suicide
Problematic Sexual Outcomes in Adolescence; Sexual Literacy and Sex Education Sexual Rights
• The right not to have sexual intercourse (or contact) when you don’t want to • The right to tell a partner that they are being too rough
• The right to use any form of birth control during intercourse
• Almost 20% of females ages 14-26 believe they did not have the right to make decisions about contraception or to tell their partner they were being too rough (Rickert et al., 2002)
• Every year more than 200,000 females have a child before their 18th birthday • Many become pregnant in early or mid adolescence
• US has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy in developed world (e.g., In comparison to England, Canada, Germany, Japan, France)
• U.S. teen pregnancy rate is 6 times higher than in the Netherlands
Why are pregnancy rates so high in the US?
• Many European countries give a much stronger message to teens that childbearing belongs in adulthood (after education has been finished and one is employed and independent)
• At the same time, other countries are generally more accepting than American adults of teens having sex
o In France and Sweden, teen sexual expression is seen as normal and positive • More comprehensive sexual education in European school systems
• Access to free or low cost contraceptives
States have different restrictions:
• Some say that no parental involvement is required
• Parents (or guardian) must be notified but do not need to provide permission • Parents must give permission or a judge can excuse
Legislation mandating parental consent for an adolescent girl’s abortion has been justified by several assumptions
• Adolescents cannot make adequately informed decisions
• Will benefit from parental involvement
Note: Ohio requires someone in your close family that is over 21 to approve the abortion In 2006, 27% of teen pregnancies ended in abortion
Legal abortion in the US carries few medical risks if performed in the first trimester Psychological Risks
• Studies have shown that abortion does not lead to mental health problems for adolescents (e.g., Warren et al., 2010)
• Not psychologically harmed by abortion experience (e.g., Pope, Adler, & Tschann, 2001; Quinton, Major, & Richards, 2011)
Consequences of Adolescent Pregnancy
Adolescent pregnancy creates health risks for both baby and mother
• Infants more likely to have low birth weight, neurological problems, several and severe childhood illnesses
• Mothers often drop out of school, often attempt to resume education later in life, but generally do not catch up economically in comparison to those who postponed
Not all adolescent mothers live a life of poverty and low achievement—some do well in school and have positive outcomes
Adolescents as Parents
• Only 1 in 5 pregnant adolescent girls receives any prenatal care at all during the critical first three months of pregnancy
• Adolescents mothers are less competent at child-rearing and have less realistic expectations for their infants’ development
• Adolescent fathers are not often involved with their children
o Other associated negative outcomes
Note: Crisis: high risk for adolescent mothers and babies
Reducing Adolescent Pregnancy
Sex education and family planning
• “Baby Think It Over” Dolls
Access to and discussion of contraceptive methods in clinics
The life options approach
• Provide adolescents with opportunities to improve their academic and career related skills; employment opportunities
Broad community involvement and support
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Infections that are contracted through sexual contact. Each year, more than 3 million teens acquire an STI
• 15-24 year olds make up 25% of the sexually active U.S. population, but they acquire 50% of all new STIs
STIs caused by viruses:
• AIDS, genital herpes, genital warts
STIs caused by bacterial infections:
• gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia
HIV and AIDS
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome): A sexually transmitted syndrome caused by the HIV virus, which destroys the body’s immune system.
• According to the CDC, youth 13 to 24 years of age accounted for more than 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. in 2015
• 122 cases of HIIV diagnosed in children younger than 13 years of age in the U.S. in 2016 • Particularly problematic for adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa
• In 2012, 12 million children and adolescents had become orphans because of the deaths of their parents due to AIDS (UNICEF, 2006)
Note: Kenya: 25% girls and only 4 % boys have AIDS
Sexual Literacy and Sources of Information
US citizens tend to have limited knowledge about how our bodies function sexually
Parents often feel uncomfortable discussing sex with adolescents and vice versa (94% of fathers; 76% of mothers have never discussed sexual desire with their teen daughters)
Sex education in schools
• Most studies reveal that parents want schools to provide comprehensive sexual education • Sex education programs that emphasize contraceptive knowledge do not increase the incidence of sexual intercourse (Constantine, 2002; Eisenberg et al, 2008; Hampton, 2008; Hyde & DeLamater, 2014)
▪ Are more likely to reduce the risk of pregnancy and STIs than are
Chapter 7 Moral Development, Values and Religion
Moral Development: Involves thoughts, behaviors, and feelings regarding standards of right and wrong.
• Has two dimensions:
o Intrapersonal: A person’s basic values and sense of self
o Interpersonal: A focus on what people should do in their interactions with other people
We have to consider some basic questions when studying moral development:
• How do adolescents reason, or think, about rules for ethical conduct?
• How do adolescents actually behave in moral circumstances?
• How do adolescents feel about moral matters?
Moral Thought: Kohlberg’s Stages
From the answers individuals gave, they were classified into three levels of moral development Each level is comprised of two stages
An important concept in understanding moral development:
• Internalization the developmental change from behavior that is externally controlled to behavior that is controlled by internal standards and principles
Kohlberg’s Level 1: Preconventional Reasoning
Preconventional Reasoning: The lowest level in Kohlberg’s theory of moral development.
At this level, individuals show no internalization of moral values; moral reasoning is controlled by external rewards and external punishments
Stage 1: Punishment and obedience. Moral thinking is often tied to punishment.
Stage 2: Individualism, instrumental purpose, and exchange. Individuals pursue their own interests but also let others do the same. Emphasis on equal exchange!
o Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours
Kohlberg’s Level 2: Conventional Reasoning
Conventional Reasoning: Second level in Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. At this level, internalization is intermediate.
At this level, individuals abide by certain internal moral standards but they are typically the standards of others (e.g., the law; parents)
Stage 3: Mutual interpersonal expectations, relationships, and interpersonal conformity. Individuals value trust, caring, and loyalty to others as a basis of moral judgments.
Stage 4: Social systems morality. Moral judgments are based on understanding the social order, law, justice, and duty.
• E.g., For a community to work effectively, it needs to be protected by laws that are adhered to by its members
Kohlberg’s Level 3: Postconventional Reasoning
Postconventional Reasoning: The highest level in Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. At this level, morality is more internal and is not based on others’ standards (e.g., parents/the law)
Individual needs to recognize there are several moral courses/options, explore those options, then decide on a personal moral code
Stage 5: Social contract or utility and individual rights. Individuals reason that values, rights, and principles bolster or transcend the law.
Stage 6: Universal ethical principles. The person has developed a moral standard based on universal human rights.
Kohlberg argued that these levels and stages occur in sequence and are age-related
• Before age 9, Kohlberg argued that most children would use preconventional reasoning • By early adolescence, individuals reason in a more conventional way
Is there support for universality across cultures (Snarey, 1987)?
What influences moral development?
Their support for universality in the first four stages.
Suggested that stage 6 should be removed because there's not much difference between stage 5 and 6
Kohlberg’s Stages: Criticisms
Too much emphasis on moral thought, not enough on moral behavior
• People rationalize to escape self-blame.
Moral dilemmas may not be representative of dilemmas faced by most individuals
Some evidence to suggest postconventional moral reasoning has been declining in college students (Narvaez & Gleason, 2013; Thoma & Bebeau, 2008)
• Potentially more focused on personal interests (Thoma & Bebeau, 2008) Note:
• Kohlberg doesn't really explain who is good or not
• Usually, when we think someone is doing something immoral, they won't know that they are doing something immoral
• People don't usually follow the Kohlberg stages
• Not the kids fault, but the parents for their moral reasoning in adolescence Criticisms: Gender and the Care Perspective
Gilligan argues that Kohlberg’s theory does not adequately reflect relationships and concern for others
Justice Perspective: A moral perspective that focuses on the rights of the individual; individuals stand alone and independently make moral decisions.
Care Perspective: A moral perspective that views people in terms of their connectedness with others, and concerns for others.
Research casts doubt on the presence of significant gender differences
• saying Kohlberg was being sexist
• There are not strong differences between male and female in moral reasoning so there's not much backing up Gilligan
Moral Behaviors: Basic Processes
When adolescents are positively reinforced for behavior consistent with laws and social conventions—likely to repeat that behavior
When models are provided who act morally, adolescents are likely to imitate and adopt moral behavior
• What kind of adult moral models are adolescents being exposed to in American Society? Do such models usually do as they say?
When adolescents are punished for immoral behavior—these behaviors are likely to be eliminated
• BUT punishment is then sanctioned and can cause emotional side effects for the adolescent
Social Cognitive Theory of Moral Development
Social Cognitive Theory of Moral Development: Emphasizes a distinction between adolescents’ moral competence (the ability to produce moral behaviors) and moral performance (enacting those behaviors in specific situations)
Moral development is likely best understood as a combination of social and cognitive factors. Self-regulation (rather than abstract reasoning) is key to moral development.
• Self-regulation involves adolescents monitoring their conduct and the conditions under which it occurs, judging it in relation to moral standards, and regulating their actions by the consequences they apply to themselves
Note: Moral competence what adolescence are capable of doing, what they know, and their cognitive ability to construct and plan behaviors
Moral performance: what you actually do in moral situations
self regulation: behavior you do, the reflections of behavior and the changes of behavior going forward depending how they view their actions
Prosocial acts often involve:
• Altruism: An unselfish interest in helping another person.
o Although adolescents are described as selfish, egocentric, they do often engage in altruistic acts
o Adolescents are more likely to be altruistic in situations in which they feel empathy or sympathy for a person in need
Prosocial behavior more likely to occur in adolescence than in childhood.
• Adolescent females slightly more likely to engage in more prosocial behaviors than adolescent males.
Note: Altruism: when you identify or relate with this person
Components of Prosocial Behavior
Forgiveness: An aspect of prosocial behavior that occurs when the injured person releases the injurer from possible behavior retaliation.
• Adolescents are strongly influenced by their peers when it comes to forgiveness o More likely to forgive those they like
o When adolescents dislike a peer and that peer wrongs them in some way this can lead to more hostile thoughts, feelings of anger, and revenge tendencies
Does forgiveness necessitate reconciliation?
Gratitude: A feeling of thankfulness and appreciation, especially in response to someone doing something kind or helpful.
Linked to a number of positive aspects of development:
• Fewer symptoms of depression
• More optimism
• More satisfaction with their family
Moral Feeling: Empathy
Empathy: Reacting to another’s feelings with an emotional response that is similar to that person’s feelings.
Around 10-12 years of age, individuals begin to experience empathy for those less fortunate rather than only having empathy for individuals in directly observed situations
• Has a cognitive component: The ability to discern another’s inner psychological state (I.e., perspective-taking)
Although every adolescent may be capable of responding with empathy, not everyone does
• In older children and adolescents, empathic dysfunctions can contribute to antisocial behavior (E.g., “What do I care? I’m not him/her.”)
Note: There are some personality disorders that can't express empathy
Parental Discipline and Moral Development
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory: Practices that encourage moral development instill the fears of punishment and of losing parental love
• Love Withdrawal: A discipline technique in which a parent removes attention or love from the adolescents.
• Power Assertion: A discipline technique in which a parent attempts to gain control over the adolescent or the adolescent’s resources.
• Induction: A discipline technique in which a parent uses reason and explanation of the consequences for other individuals of the adolescent’s actions.
• Love withdrawal and power assertion likely provoke high levels of arousal • Induction is more likely to generate enough arousal in adolescents
Induction (Hoffman, 1988):
• Is positively related to moral development
• Works better with older children and adolescents
• Focuses attention on consequences for others, not the adolescent’s own inadequacies Schools and Moral Development
Hidden Curriculum: The pervasive moral atmosphere that characterizes every school. • Created through classroom rules, moral orientation of teachers and administrators, etc.
Character Education: A direct approach that involves teaching students a basic moral literacy to prevent them from engaging in immoral behavior and doing harm to themselves and others.
• Examples: Peer tutoring, classroom discussions and role playing, etc.
Values Clarification: Helping people to clarify what is important to them, what is worth working for and what purpose their lives are to serve.
• Students are encouraged to define their own values and understand others’ values. Schools and Moral Learning
Service Learning: A form of education that promotes social responsibility and service to the community.
Teens who participate in service learning improve their grades and self-esteem, have improved sense of being able to make a difference for others, and are more likely to volunteer in the future
• Examples: Tutoring, helping older adults, working in a hospital, assisting at a child-care center, etc.
• Goal: For adolescents to become less self-centered and more strongly motivated to help others (Hart, Matsuba, & Atkins, 2008).
Cheating is a specific moral concern for schools
• E.g., Plagiarism, “cheat sheets”, copying, buying papers, and falsifying lab results 2006 survey results (based on behavior in the past year)
• 60% of secondary school students said they had cheated
• 33% said they had plagiarized information from the internet
Why does cheating occur?
• Pressure to get high grades; time pressures; not interested in subject; know others are cheating; feel they were taught poorly, etc.
What prevents it?
• Making rules and consequences known
Values: Beliefs and attitudes about the way things should be. They involve what is important to us.
• Politics, religion, money, education, relationships, family, friends, careers, etc. • Today’s college freshmen are more motivated by being well-off financially compared to college students 40 years ago than they are motivated to develop a meaningful life philosophy
• Increase over past decade in wanting to volunteer or participate in community service programs
• Researchers feel it is important to encourage adolescent to develop a meaningful life philosophy
Religion and Spirituality
Religion is one source for discovering purpose in life (Damon, 2008)
We can make the following distinctions according to a recent research analysis (King, Ramos, & Clardy, 2013):
Religion: Is an organized set of beliefs, practices, rituals, and symbols that increases an individuals’ connection to a sacred or transcendent other (God, high power, or ultimate truth)
Religiousness: Refers to the degree of affiliation with an organized religion, participation in its prescribed rituals and practices, connection with its beliefs, and involvement in a community of believers
Spirituality: Involves experiencing something beyond oneself in a transcendent manner and living in a way that benefits others and society
Religious issues are important to many adolescents and emerging adults
However, there has been a decrease in religious interest in the 21st century in college students
• A 2012 survey of college students revealed:
o 73% said they attended a religious service frequently or occasionally (vs. 85% in 1997)
o 24% reported that they don’t have a religious preference (vs. 8% in 1978)
Across the first three semesters of college, students are less likely to attend religious services or engage in religious activities
Benefits of Religion:
• Adolescents higher in religiosity less likely to engage in deviant behaviors (Sinha, Cnaan, & Gelles, 2007)
• Spirituality/religiosity positively related to well-being, self-esteem (Yonker et al., 2012) • Church may offer positive role models
• More likely to engage in community service (Youniss, McLellan & Yates, 1999) Developmental Changes
Many adolescents and emerging adults may question what their own religious beliefs truly are Questioning typically happens due to developmental changes:
• Cognitive Changes
▪ Thinking abstractly, idealistically, logically
• Erikson’s Theory
▪ Identity development is a central focus of adolescence
Religious Socialization and Parenting
What is the role of religious socialization?
• Introduce certain beliefs to children
• Ensure that they will carry on a religious tradition Does it work?
What other factors are important?
• The quality of the parent-adolescent relationship