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PSY 375 Middle Childhood and Adolescence


PSY 375 Middle Childhood and Adolescence fin571

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PSY 375 Middle Childhood and Adolescence
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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Tuesday November 10, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to fin571 at Kaplan University taught by in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 29 views.

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Date Created: 11/10/15
Running Head: THE ADOLESCENT BATTLEFIELD 1 *Please be sure to use this tutorial as a guide only. Do not plagiarize and do not resell as your own work. If you have any questions or problems with the tutorial please get a hold of me before leaving any negative feedback and I will resolve the issue. If you have trouble opening or viewing the files please contact me and I will fix the problem as soon as I can. Sometimes instructors change the syllabus so if the material does not match your syllabus please let me know. If I do not respond right away please be patient, I do have a full-time job and I try to check my messages once a day. Thanks and good luck!!! :-) The Adolescent Battlefield Names Psy 375 January 23, 2011 Teacher 2 The Adolescent Battlefield Adolescence is undoubtedly the most unstable part of an individual’s life span  development.  It is during this time that individuals are transitioning from childhood to  adulthood. This period of transition varies slightly with each individual; however, all adolescents go through a myriad of developmental changes during the ages of ten to fourteen. These  developmental changes happen rapidly and intensely to the physical, cognitive, social, and  emotional growth of the adolescent. Physical Changes Physical changes include puberty, which is a period of sexual maturation.  Puberty in  adolescent females and males differ in extreme ways, except that it prepares both sexes for  adulthood and reproduction.  In females, the first sign of puberty is the development of the  breasts with other signs including the growth of hair in pubic areas and armpits as well as the  widening of the hips and finally the first menstrual period, which is called menarche.  In males  the first sign of puberty is an increase in the size of the penis and testicles followed by the  growth of hair in pubic areas and armpits. These signs are followed by muscle growth, deepening of the voice, and the first ejaculation of the seminal fluid called the spermarche.  Hormonal and Social Changes Adolescents also experience emotional moodiness because of hormonal influences.  Frequent emotional changes and sexual desires lead adolescents to try to find their own  3 individuality through a variety of means that can include suddenly acting out of character. Social  changes occur when an adolescent tries to bond with his or her peers. This is when they  experience peer pressure and do things they would not normally do.  Adolescents experience  almost uncontrollable hormonal behavior that often times come in sudden bursts and this  sometimes drives them to seek sexual pleasure or rebel against authority figures they once had  more respect for.  Dramatic changes in behavior occur because adolescents are acting on new  and powerful impulses in a changing body. Berger (2008) stated, to understand any single adolescent of any age, keep variability in  mind: Although egocentrism is typically evident at the beginning of adolescence, intuition in the  middle, and logic at the end, any one of these forms of cognition may appear in any adolescent at any time. (p 391)     Peer Relationships Peer relationships tend to change and evolve rapidly between middle childhood and  adolescence.  The majority of these changes are attributed to the school environments in which  children become accustomed.  Children and adolescents typically spend between six and eight  hours in school each week day.  These hours are spent surrounded by peers and classmates with  whom they interact with on a regular basis.  Naturally, both children and teenagers seek the  acceptance and friendship of peers, which is why middle childhood and adolescence are  considered to be two major points of change in peer relationships.   In middle childhood, the comprehension of friendship becomes one of the momentous  factors that influence a child’s peer relations.  Friendship is a crucial aspect to the social  4 development of school aged children.  Even school aged children develop a fear of rejection by  peers, which contributes to the need for approval and acceptance.  This aspect of peer relations  remains a factor throughout an individual’s entire lifetime.  During middle childhood deeper  friendships are formed.  Unlike early childhood, friendships during middle childhood become  more meaningful as the child’s social skills begin to develop and evolve.  Children around the  ages of eight to ten begin to develop and increased awareness of others’ feelings and intentions  (Blume & Zembar, 2007).   As middle childhood progresses peer relationships continue to evolve but the primary  characteristics remain the same.  As children near the end of middle childhood they “are capable  of mutual role­taking and collaborative negotiation” (Blume & Zembar, 2007, p.179).  This is the basic extent of peer relationships at this point in a child’s life.  As the child enters the stages of  adolescence his or her peer relationships will continue to transform.   Adolescence is a time of many changes for a teen.  Identity issues, self­esteem, and  hormone fluctuations are just a few of the characteristics that can influence peer relationships  during adolescence.  Teens often face a great deal of peer pressure, which can have either a  positive or negative influence on the teen’s choices.  Social acceptance is at an all­time high  during adolescence.  The need to fit in and have friends is a constant factor in a teen’s life.   During adolescence the teen strives to break away from his or her family unit in an attempt to  become independent.  According to Lowenstein (2010, para.3), “peers are often more accepting  of the feelings, thoughts, and actions associated with the teen's search for self­identity.”  It has  also been suggested that during adolescence teens tend to gravitate toward other teens that have  similar life circumstances or problems.  This creates an environment in which the teen feels  5 comfortable and is more likely to be socially accepted by his or her peers.   Relationship Changes Every individual desires to fit in and experience connection with those who share the  same interests, attitudes, and characteristics similar to their own. Individuals choose associates  who recognize and are fond of them and perceive them in a positive way. Teenagers are no  different and in fact, have a stronger desire to fit in at this stage in their development.  Teens  desire to be with their friends more than their family.  In the course of the teenage years, a young person associates more with his friends devoid of adult regulation.  Young adults feel a closer link to their peers and independence because this  is the time in their lives where they are trying to separate from their parent’s view of whom they  are and cultivate their own individuality.  Parents may have a hard time accepting that the viewpoint of their teenagers friends  frequently hold more influence than their own but this is a hard reality that parents must accept.  Their friends generally pay attention to, agree, and identify with the disappointments, trials, and  anxieties related with the plight of an adolescent.  Finding positive peer pressure has become the challenge and to develop healthy  friendships, children’s self­identity, self­esteem, and self­reliance all come into play. Positive  peers can motivate a teenager for success and in this way they can conform to behaviors that are  healthier.  Adolescents feel the need to be accepted and have a sense of belonging. If a teen thinks  he is being rejected or isolated by family or peers he will be at danger of falling into risky  6 behaviors just to fit in.  In these circumstances, social demands can abate common sense and fuel the fire by moving the young person away from encouraging influences and enticing him into  unsafe behaviors such as drugs.  If teens socialize with those using drugs or exhibiting self­ destructive conduct, he is more likely to do the same. Teens are beginning to experience new  changes in their bodies and the pressures are very strong to date and engage in sexual activities  which can be extremely confusing to them.  According to UpToDate (2010), “Adolescent sexuality is influenced by many factors,  including your gender identity, sexual orientation, the culture you live in, and how your body  develops…..Although it is normal for teens to want to begin to experiment with physical  intimacy, most teens are not able understand the consequences of sexual activity for themselves  and their partner…”(SUMMARY, para.7). Berger, K.S. (2008) says that; “The time between the first onrush of hormones and full  adult physical development lasts between three to five years.  Many more years are required to  achieve psychosocial maturity.” Complexities in the teen years can be overpowering but are  universal. Their body is shifting, hormones are intense, fitting into school, and a chaotic home  life may be part of the changes they may be encountering. This time in an adolescence life is the  greatest transitional period that they will ever experience.   Conclusion Adolescence can be a veritable battlefield of hormones, impulses, strange new hairs,  newly bulging body­parts, dangerous pressures and unreliable self­esteem. Teenagers are  engaging in an epic battle for the quality of their future lives. The mistakes and achievements a  7 teenager lives through will shape much of the way he views the world as an adult especially in  the realm of social and sexual relationships. Teenagers start to feel judged about who they are as  individuals right at the same time their body goes through new and awkward changes that affect  self esteem dramatically and with unreliable self­esteem comes desperate behavior. In order to  find a false sense of security or happiness teenagers may do so by doing drugs with friends just  to fit in or escape the difficult reality of being a teenager. However, those who survive puberty  and hang on to the lessons they learned about social relationships and how to handle fluctuating  emotions will have a solid foundation upon which to build more and more meaningful  relationships as adults. It seems as if evolution designed the hardest part of life toward the  beginning so adults can settle in and relax after they begin to feel comfortable in their own  bodies again, bodies that have gone through difficult trials and tribulations during adolescence  but have come out the other side stronger physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. 8 References Berger, K. S. (2008). The developing person through the life span (7th ed.). New York: Worth                   Publishers. Blume, L., & Zembar, M. (2007). Middle Childhood to Middle Adolescence: Development from  Ages 8 to 18. Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall Lowenstein, D. (2010). Adolescence and Peer Relationships. Retrieved January 22, 2011 from­and­peer­relationships.pdf UpToDate. (2010). Patient information: Adolescent sexuality . Retrieved from  


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