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UGA / Psychology / PSYC 4220 / At what age in males begins the enlargement of testes?

At what age in males begins the enlargement of testes?

At what age in males begins the enlargement of testes?


School: University of Georgia
Department: Psychology
Course: Developmental Psychology
Professor: Kacy welsh
Term: Summer 2015
Cost: 50
Name: Exam #4 Study Guide
Description: Here is the study guide for the final exam in the class covering chapters 13 to 16 powerpoint notes as well as book notes. Enjoy!
Uploaded: 12/10/2015
34 Pages 203 Views 4 Unlocks

PSYC4220 Exam #4 Study Guide: PowerPoint  Notes, Lecture Notes and Book Notes  PowerPoint and Lecture Notes:

At what age in males begins the enlargement of testes?

Chapter 13: Social and Personality Development in  Middle Childhood

Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages

• Industry vs. Inferiority (6-12)

o Industry

▪ Developing a sense of competence at skills and social rules  

important in your culture  

• Includes social norms and cues as well as gender roles

• A lot of social growth happening

• Skills in industrialized countries learned through school

• Mainly successful; learn competence

o Inferiority

▪ Child is unable to master most of important skills

▪ Pessimism and lack of confidence in own ability to do things  well

Is moral reasoning related to moral behavior?

o Industry in childhood more closely correlated to adult success than IQ  or background


• Self concept becomes more complex, more abstract across middle childhood o Start giving psychological descriptors

▪ Ex: I am nice when I want to be We also discuss several other topics like What is an open market?

o Begin dividing self-concept in multiple parts If you want to learn more check out Assume that there are only 100 acres of land to be divided between wheat and corn farmers. what will the annual rent per acre be and how much land will be used for corn?

▪ Academic, social, emotional, physical  

o Begin engaging in social comparison

▪ Evaluating one’s appearance, abilities, opinions, behavior in  relation to others

▪ May engage in downward social comparison to protect self


• Compare themselves to people worse than them  

What are william damon’s three distinct stages of a child’s friendship?


• Self-esteem also becomes differentiated

Development of Self-Esteem

• Self esteem increases steadily (does not drop much) during middle  childhood, with slight drop around 23

• Influences on self esteem:

o Cultural:

▪ Children from cultures with emphasis on social comparison  

often have lower self esteem

• Seen in kids in China, Japan and Korea

o Collectivistic cultures value humble and modesty  

and appreciate others for doing weel

o Gender:

▪ US girls higher in language-arts, boys in math, science, and  We also discuss several other topics like What is the ancient greek of eco?

physical ability

▪ Boys and girls overall levels of self esteem very similar in  

middle childhood

o Race/Ethnicity:

▪ In early childhood, African-American and Hispanic Children  

have lower self-esteem than Caucasian children

• But by the end of middle childhood, self-esteem  

increases in both groups, with African American kids  

having the highest self-esteem by age 11

o Parenting Styles:

▪ Authoritative parents = kids with higher self esteem  

▪ Controlling or authoritarian parents = lower self esteem  


▪ Permissive parents = kids with unrealistically high self-esteem,  adjustment problems

▪ In US, self-esteem has risen sharply as achievement has fallen,  anti-social/narcissistic behaviors have increased  

▪ Don’t just praise: urge kids to set goals and achieve them

• Want kids to grow up believing they can get better at  


Attribution If you want to learn more check out What is the equation to calculate the residence time of water?

• Stability Dimension: unstable vs. stable cause

o Unstable = effort/mood/fatigue

o Stable = ability/intelligence

• Internal – External Dimension

Influences of Self-Esteem:

• Achievement attributions:

o Mastery-oriented attributions: credit success to high ability, failure to  insufficient effort

▪ Good for academics Don't forget about the age old question of What is the symbol for gold?

• Able to fix when fail

▪ Leads to high self-esteem and willingness to approach  

challenging tasks

o Learned helplessness: credit success to external factors (like luck),  failure to low ability

▪ Leads to low self esteem, anxiety in face of challenges, giving  up  

Relationship With Peers Don't forget about the age old question of What california forest that has 220’ tall and 7-8’ in diameter?

• During middle childhood, children start spending more time with their peers  and less with adults

• Peer relationships are highly important

o Allow children to learn to argue because peers are on the same level ▪ So, children learn how to compromise and deal with arguments • During middle childhood, friendships evolve, but can be long lasting if they  are high quality

o Stage 1: Basing Friendship on Other’s Behavior’s (4-7 y.o.)

▪ Friends are who you have fun with  

▪ Friends because they like me and I like them – they are fun

▪ Friend is who they are playing with at the time

▪ Share toys

• Friendships can end easily

• Friendships can also be easily made  

▪ Do treat friends differently than strangers

o Stage 2: Basing Friendship on Trust (8-10 y.o.)

▪ Friends are people who are similar to you and friends trust  

each other

• By academic level, same race, same social level

▪ Trust: friend is kind, does not bully, does not violate trust

• Important to kids at this age

▪ Selective at choosing friends

▪ More enduring

• Arguments

▪ Kids who are kind with friends, promote good behaviors in  

friends and same with opposite  

o Stage 3: Basing Friendship on Psychological Closeness (11 and up) ▪ Friends are people you share intimate thoughts with and  

friends are loyal

• Share deeper thoughts and feelings

• Friends provide support and are there for you when  

you need  

Relationships With Peers Continued

• Peer Groups: social units who generate values, standards for behavior and a  social hierarchy

o In beginning, develop with kids in same class then based on  similarities

o Membership stable for short periods of time but changes from year to  year as kids change classrooms  

o Kids that stay in same class = 50-70% of groups stable

• When looking at in-group, positive outlook

o Out-group negative and all out-group people are seen the same  • Kids start excluding other kids

• View excluding kids wrong, less likely to do so for superficial reasons as they  age

o Are okay with excluding due to the kids always disrupting group  (disrupt group function)

▪ Kick kid out of group if no one in group respects/likes them  anymore

o Excluded kids turn to other low status (excluded) kids or withdraw  from peers

▪ Group with lack of social skills = chances to improve social  

skills decreases

• Peer Acceptance: extent to which a child is viewed by a group of peers as a  worthy social partner

o Researchers use sociometric techniques to determine peer acceptance ▪ Kids rate other kids in classroom on Likert type scales  

Categories of Peer Acceptance

• Popular: often liked, rarely disliked

o Socially and academically skilled, cooperative, helpful, low level of  intense negative emotions

▪ Socially skilled enough to join convo or game

▪ Do not get upset very easily

• Rejected: rarely liked, often disliked

o Rejected-aggressive:

▪ Hostile, disruptive, lacking social skills and see other people  that way too; become more disliked over time  

o Rejected-withdrawn:

▪ Socially anxious, passive, often bullied

o Both types may lead to academic problems, depressions, loneliness ▪ Hard for kids to come out of these categories

• Neglected: neither liked nor disliked

o Ignored by peers

o Shy, withdrawn, but good social skills

▪ Happy with peer relationships even with fewer friends; easy to  move out of category

• Controversial: liked by many, disliked by many

o Aggressive, disruptive but also socially skilled, leaders

o Often in popular group, but bullies and class clowns

• Average: some like, some dislike, in the middle  

Gender Differences in Friendships

• Become more flexible about gender during middle childhood • But gender segregation continues, intensifies

o Border Work: briefly interacting with the opposite gender group to  help define boundaries between groups; kind of romantic

▪ Both groups enjoy games mostly

• Boys’ friendships = larger groups, clear dominance hierarchy  o Attempt to maintain, improve status = competitive interactions o More accepting of new comers  

o Play outside, cover large areas  

• Girls’ friendships = 1-2 best friends, equality in status

o More cooperation, compromising

o More self-disclosure, social support

o Play inside, or in smaller areas closer to school/home

Chapter 14: Physical Development in Adolescence  (puberty to 18 years old)

Physical Development

• Adolescent growth spurt: period of rapid growth hen body takes on adult  proportions

o Females:  

▪ Start at 10.5 years

• Fastest for height age 12, weight 12.5 years

• Finish: 16 years; when most girls will reach adult height

▪ Develop more fat in breasts, hips; hips widen

o Males:

▪ Starts at 13 years

• Fastest for height at age 13.5 years, weight 14 years

• Finish: 18-20 years

▪ Develop more muscle mass, broader shoulders

o Cephalocaudal Principle reverses

▪ Kids grow from the feet up

• Feet ???? legs ???? hands ???? torso

o Face also takes on adult shape

• Puberty: biological change resulting in sexual, reproductive maturity o Females:

▪ Starts at 9-11 years: development of breast buds

▪ Menarche (first menstruation): average in US = 12.5 years

▪ Other changes:

• Hair growth

• Widening of hips, rounding of body

• Maturation of reproductive organs  

• Changes to primary and secondary characteristics

o Male:

▪ Begins at 11-12 years with enlargement of testes

• Scrotum thickens, testes fully descend

▪ Spermarche (initial ejaculation): average age of 13 year old

• May not have live sperm or be fertile at this time though

▪ Sperm production: average age 14 years

▪ Other changes:

• Increase in muscle mass

• Hair growth: pubic hair then leg hair

• Voice changes

• Sexual organs mature

Reactions to Puberty

• Both positive and negative reactions

o More positive if prepared

▪ Girls likely to tell mom/friends(s)

▪ Boys likely to tell no one

• Gender differences in reactions to body image:

o Girls more negative: do not like weight gain, hair growth,  


▪ Very few with positive body image, regardless of body shape ▪ Focus on fat, leads to dieting  

o Boys more positive: like increase in muscle, like hair

▪ Negative body image if too skinny, overweight

• Focus on muscle, leads to exercise, supplements

o Teens with very negative body image at risk for depression, anxiety,  eating disorders, low self-esteem

Timing of Puberty

• Mostly studied in girls

o Affected by:

▪ Body weight, nutrition, exercise

▪ Heredity: identical twins start near the same time as the other  • Environmental factors:

o High levels of stress, harsh parenting, parental separation associated  with earlier start of menarche

• Secular trend: shift in pattern of characteristic overtime

o Secular trend in puberty: industrialized nations = earlier maturation  over time

▪ 7-8 y.o. = Precocious puberty

▪ None of the following at the following ages is considered late: • 13: breast

• 14: pubic hair

• 16: menstruation

• If not testicular growth by 14 and no pubic hair by 15,  

considered delayed

o The better the nutrition, the earlier the puberty

• Early vs on time vs late

o Boys:

▪ Early maturation mostly advantageous

• More socially competent, confident, athletic, leaders

• Adults see earlier maturing boys are more competent  

and responsible

o Parents fight with them less  

• More stress, depression, problem behaviors because of  

how adults are treating them

▪ Late maturation disadvantageous

• More anxious, less athletic

• Lower scores on academic tests lower educational  


• Girls:

o Early maturation disadvantageous

▪ Less popular, less focused on academics

▪ Higher risk of depression, anxiety, problem behaviors

o Later maturation advantageous  

▪ More popular and academic  

• Impact of timing fades somewhat but may still have effects into early  adulthood

Brain Development

• Continued pruning of unused synapses

• Growth and myelination of stimulated neurons speeds up

• Connections between areas of the brain strengthen

o Mostly in corpus callosum, prefrontal cortex, amygdala

o More control of impulses

o Higher level thinking better

• Maturation of the limbic system happens before maturation of the prefrontal  cortex

o Emotional control not fully developed until early adulthood

▪ Risk can be governed by emotion

• Neurons become more responsive to excitatory neurotransmitters o More sensitive to stressful, pleasurable and/or novel stimuli o More sensitive to Oxytocin; may help explain self-consciousness,  desire to please peers

Brain Development: Changing States of Arousal

• Circadian rhythm shifts: get sleepy later, want to wake up later o Want to get to bed later

• Still need ~9 hours of sleep, but often do not get that  

o If sleep-deprived:

▪ Perform worse on cognitive tasks in the AM

▪ Academic difficulties

▪ Depression, emotional outbursts

▪ More high risk behaviors, auto accidents  

• Delaying start of school can help, but not completely

o If delay school an hour, then problem with extracurricular activities Motor Development

• Boys and girls are equal in improvements until puberty

o Then boys continue to increase in strength, skill, speed; girls often  level off or decline

o Why?

▪ Biological differences

▪ Gender role socialization

o Girls who participate in sports during childhood and adolescence: ▪ Increase in positive body image, perceptions of physical  

competence, positive “masculine” traits (used to be seen as  

masculine but now neutral: aggressive, leader)

▪ Correlated with higher self-esteem

Chapter 15: Cognitive Development in Adolescence  Stages of Cognitive Development: Formal Operations (12 and older) • Can mentally manipulate abstract objects/concepts

o Develop hypotheticodeductive reasoning: can make hypothesis  about objects/events that are not real

▪ Thinking about what could be  

• Ex: if no one had a thumb, the world would change

o Develop inductive reasoning: ability to go from specific observations  to broad generalization

▪ Ex: burnt cookies: think and test out variables to make the  

cookies again and not burnt; test out one variable at a time

o Pendulum Problem: older kids understand weight or length of string  could be the problem and can test one variable at a time and younger  kids cannot understand how to test one variable at a time and will test  multiple at one time which will disenable them to figure out the  problem

Implications of Formal Operations

• Ability to think abstractly + increases in metacognition = broader changes: o Richer understanding of people

o Ability to form an identity

▪ Can you imagine yourself as a number of different thing

o Increased complexity of though

▪ There can be different solutions for a problem and imagine a  different future

o Ability to imagine hypothetical versions of reality

▪ Can lead to confusion, rebellion against “illogical rules”,  

idealism because able to imagine an ideal world versus the  

world now (reality) which can lead to anger

• Adolescent Egocentrism: state of self-absorption in which the world is  viewed from one’s own point of view

o Imaginary Audience: belief that everyone around is as interested in  their thoughts and behaviors as they are

o Personal Fable: part of adolescent egocentrism that involves feeling  special, unique and invincible

▪ Wouldn’t happen to me because I am special and unique  

Formal Operations

• Research indicates that not all adults reach formal operations • More schooling = more able to reach formal operations

o Most likely to show abstract thinking on areas that are interesting,  relevant to your life (such as your major)

o All adults likely have the ability to use formal operations, but may  have to learn to do so through experience

Post Formal Though: Emerging Adulthood and Beyond

• Ways of thinking that are more complex than formal operational thinking o Relativistic Thinking: realizing knowledge is subjective and relative

▪ Teens are absolutists: there is only one truth, correct solution ▪ Adults may be relativists

▪ Students get more relativistic during college years – there is  not one absolute truth so everyone is right but by end of  

college, pick opinions that make more sense with evidence to  

support it  

Moral Development

• Moral Reasoning: thinking process that occurs when we decide what is right  or wrong

• Kohlberg tested people by asking how they would respond to moral  dilemmas

o Actual decision is not as important as reasons why they made the  decision

▪ Reason is what determines stage

• Developed stage theory of moral development

o Cannot skip a stage or go back  

• 3 Levels:

o Level 1: Preconventional Morality

▪ Rules are external rather than internalized

▪ What is right is what you can get away with, what is personally  satisfying

• Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment Orientation

o What is moral to kids has to do with punishment

o Punishment if doing something wrong

o Characterized by desire to avoid punishment

o Intentions are ignored: does not matter if  

reasons are good or bad

▪ Only punishment matters

• Stage 2: Instrumental Hedonism

o What is right gets you the most reward

o Characterized by desire to gain rewards or  

satisfy needs

o Reward more important than punishment

o Level 2: Conventional Morality

▪ Guided by internalized morals

• Societal norms are internal

▪ Punishments, rewards become more abstract

• Ex: are other people going to see me as a good or bad  

person; society continues to function normally

▪ Typically reached in early adolescence

• Most adults stayed at this level

• Stage 3: “Good Boy” or “Good Girl” Morality

o What is right pleases others

▪ “Meaning well”, being nice is valued

o Intention now considered

o Seeking approval, avoiding disapproval now  

reinforcing factor

• Stage 4: Authority and Social Order Maintaining Morality

o Morality associated with following “will of  

society”, reflected in laws, social norms

o Rigid sense of right and wrong based on law  


o Conforms to rules of authority (laws), concerned  

with upholding social order and doing one’s duty

o Going against law causes chaos

o Level 3: Postconventional Morality

▪ Develop broadly defined ethical principles not set by authority • Recognizes laws are not always moral

• Looks beyond authority to take perspective of all,  

instead of one social group

o Challenge the law

o Understanding legality and morality sometimes  

does not match

• Stage 5: Social Contract Orientation

o One’s conduct is defined according to a “social  

contract”: should be linked to common good, not  

just focusing on benefit to self

o People have basic rights that we must prove it

▪ Try to change law to benefit all people

o Laws should be democratic, maximize welfare of  


o If laws compromise basic human rights, have  

moral obligation to challenge law

• Stage 6: Morality of Individual Principles of Conscience

o “Right” and “wrong” based on self-generated  


o Principles adhered to regardless of consequence  

to individual

▪ Value principles more than their own  


o So rare and hard to determine, Kohlberg stopped  

looking it

Is Moral Reasoning Related to Moral Behavior?

• Not in early childhood

o Even if know something is wrong, will still do it

• Moderately related after early childhood

o Kohlberg used dilemmas to determine level of morality of students ▪ Then tempted them to cheat

• Preconventional morals: 70% cheated

• Conventional morals: 55% cheated

• Postconventional: 15% cheated

Criticisms of Kohlberg’s Theory

• Western theory bias

o Democratic laws important ???? very much of a western bias

• A gender biased model towards men

o Logic, rights, abstract thinking: ways men think

o Women will get stuck at level 3

▪ Despite what he thought though, women could get to all levels Chapter 16: Social & Personality Development in Adolescence Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory

• Identity vs. Role Confusion (teens – early 20s)

o Identity: mature self-definition, sense of who one is, where one is  going, how one fits into society

o Identity Crisis: a time of uncertainty, anxiety about identity

o Unsuccessful at developing identity = aimless, directionless, may  adopt socially unacceptable behavior

▪ End up with people who do not know what they want in life

▪ Easier time with this stage if successful in earlier stages

Identity Development

• James Marcia identified 4 identity states based on 4 criteria: (For different  parts of identity such as one for politics, one for dating, etc.)

o Level of commitment to a particular aspect of identity

o Time spent exploring options regarding that aspect of identity • Marcia’s Identity Statuses


Have not Experience Crisis (Haven’t explored options)

Experienced Crisis

(Explored options)

Not Committed

Identity Confusion: do not  care about aspect of  


Ex: do not care about  

religion so never think  about it


Moratorium: do not  know identity, but  exploring to figure it  out


Identity Foreclosure:  commit to aspect of  

identity without exploring  options


Achievement: figure  out the aspect

Was Erikson Correct About Identity Development?

• Timing

o Believed “identity crisis” resolved by end of HS (ages 15-18)

o Research does not support this:

▪ Males aged 12-18: most in foreclosure or diffusion

▪ 21 and up: most in moratorium or achievement

▪ Women similar, but place more emphasis on gender roles,  

sexuality and balancing career/kids

o May go back into moratorium or other stages after

o Development is uneven: may be in different stages for different  aspects of identity

• Is development crisis-like?

o Erikson believed teens would experience anxiety, confusion, pain o Research does not support this:

▪ Teens in moratorium are happier, more helpful than those in  diffusion or foreclosure

o But Erikson was correct that having an Achieved Identity is healthy: ▪ Achievement = closer relationships, higher self esteem,  

achievement motivation and moral reasoning

▪ Diffusion = increased depression, low self esteem, academic  

problems, anti-social acts, drug abuse

▪ Foreclosure = happy, but greater need for social approval,  

dogmatic/inflexible thinking style (not open to hearing other  

points of view) – closed off

Factors Influence Identity Development

• Cognitive Development:

o Mastery of formal operations

• Relationships with parents:

o Long term diffusion correlated with being neglected or rejected o Long term foreclosure correlated with very close, rigid and controlling  parents

▪ Want acceptance of parents so do what parents want and like o Reaching achievement quickly correlated with affection, feelings of  unconditional support (authoritative parenting)

• Scholastic Influence:

o Attending college:  

▪ Faster achievement of occupational identity

▪ Slower achievement of political and spiritual identity

• Broader social and historical context: culture plays role in formation of  identity

o Marcia’s model = western view of identity


• Becomes even less concrete, more abstract

• More self aware: see self from own and others’ perspective

• More multifaceted: have different “selves” for different situations o 13, 15, 17 year olds asked what they were like in different situations ▪ 13: had inconsistencies, did not notice and were not bothered ▪ 15: had inconsistencies, noticed, were bothered, especially if  engaging in false self behavior: goes against what you think  

you are – to please people

▪ 17: had inconsistencies, noticed, were not bothered


• Further differentiate self-esteem, evaluating different aspects of self  separately

o Relational self worth: self-esteem in particular relationship contexts ▪ Girls: being liked and accepted by friends

▪ Boys: having influence over friends, attracting romantic  


• Self esteem may show temporary declines during transitional periods, but  generally increases over time of adolescent years

o Much individual variation, however

▪ More likely to show decline if undergoing many transitions at  once

• Early adolescent girls – slightly lower, more fragile self-esteem (easier to  show decline)

o More concerned with appearance, more negative body image after  puberty  

o Concern with social success can conflict with concern about academic  success

• Higher SES = higher self-esteem

• For racial/ethnic minorities, strong/positive racial identity = higher self esteem

o African Americans and Latinos highest, then Caucasians, then Asian  Americans

Gender Development

• During early adolescence: Gender Intensification

o Increased stereotyping about gender, movement toward more  traditional gender identity

o Declines by mid late adolescence

Relationship with Parents

• Teens strive for independence and autonomy

o Shift focus from family to peers

o Cognitive development + older appearance = more freedom,  responsibilities

o Teens de-idealize parents

▪ Good to start to see parents as people and can make mistakes ▪ Can cause problems: stop doing what parents say  

Relationship with Parents

• At/after puberty, parent-child conflict increases in # and intensity o Typical arguments are over everyday issues

o More tension between daughters and parents, than with son

▪ Girls start puberty earlier so push for independence at younger  age

▪ Parents give greater freedom, less restrictions to sons

o Parents own development adds tension

▪ Parents also going through changes

• Menopause, retiring

• Hard to let go

• Realize child is about to leave so want to spend a lot of  

time with them

▪ ~20% of families have very rough time during children’s  


• Good parent-child relationship, extremely important for teens o Most consistent predictor of teen mental health

o Must balance warmth, control and increasing independence

▪ Be supportive and accepting to create good parent-child  


▪ Monitor activities with teen’s willing participation

▪ Democratic decision making, discipline with explanation

▪ Provide needed info, remain open/honest

o Coercive, controlling parents = more likely to have negative outcomes • Some conflict normal, adaptive

o Conflict helps teenagers distance themselves from parents and create  autonomy

o Conflict reminds parents of how too controlling they can be

• Parents and their children agree on most issues; more on big issues such as  religion

• By mid-late adolescence, conflict declines

Peer Groups: Cliques

• By early adolescence, form cliques: a small group of friends who interact  regularly

o Usually same-sex groups with 2-12 members

▪ Boys’ cliques tend to be larger than girls’

• By mid-teens, cliques reform to include both genders

• Children in cliques similar to each other

• Over teen years, kids begin belonging to more than one clique o Membership becomes more stable by the 10th grade

o During late adolescence: importance of being in popular clique,  conforming to social norms lessens  

▪ More independent, spend more time on individual friendships,  dating

Peer Groups: Crowds

• Large groups of peers who have similar stereotyped reputations, values,  attitudes, behaviors, ways of expressing themselves

o Crowd often decided by consensus of peers

o Can influence reputation, treatment

▪ Kids in high-status crowds tend to have higher self-esteem

o Can also influence identity development  

Book Notes:

Chapter 13: Social and Personality Development in  Middle Childhood

Stages of Friendship: Changing Views of Friends

• William Damon’s 3 Distinct Stages of a Child’s Friendship

o Stage 1: Basing Friendship on Others’ Behaviors (4-7 years)

▪ Children see friends as others who like them and with whom  they share toys and activities

▪ Friends are the children they spend the most time with

▪ Do not take others’ personal qualities into consideration

• Do not see friendship based on their friends unique and  

positive personal traits

• Use concrete approach that is based on others’ behavior

o Like those that they can share with who share  


o Do not like those who hit, do not share and do  

not play with them

▪ In sum: friends viewed as people who present opportunities  for pleasant interactions

o Stage 2: Basing Friendship on Trust (8-10 years)

▪ Take others’ personal qualities and traits and the rewards they  provide into consideration

▪ Centerpiece of friendship: mutual trust

• Friends seen as those who can be counted on to help  

when needed  

• Violations of trust are taken very seriously

o If there is a violation of trust, there is an  

expectation for a formal explanation and apology  

for the friendship to be reestablished

o Stage 3: Basing Friendship on Psychological Closeness (11-15 years) ▪ Begin to develop the view of friendship that is held during  


▪ Friendship characterized by feelings of closeness brought on  by sharing personal thoughts and feelings  

▪ Friendships are also exclusive

• Seek friends who will be loyal  

▪ View friendships in terms of the psychological benefits that  

friendship brings

▪ Children develop clear ideas about which behaviors they seek  in their friends  

The Family  

Families: The Changing Home Environment

• One of biggest challenges facing children and their parents is the increasing  independence that characterizes children’s behavior in middle childhood o Children move from being almost completely controlled by parents to  increasingly controlling their own destinies  

• Middle childhood is a period of coregulation: a period in which parents and  children jointly control children’s behavior

o Children have control over their everyday behavior

o Parents provide broad, general guidelines for conduct

▪ Ex: parents may tell child to buy nutritious meal at lunch but  child’s decision to buy pizza is her own  

Family Life  

• During middle years of childhood, children spend less time with parents than  in earlier years

• Still, parents remain the major influence in their children’s lives o Provide essential assistance, advice and direction

• Siblings also have good and bad influences on children during middle  childhood

o Brothers and sisters can provide support, companionship, and a sense  of security but can also be a source of strife or trouble

• Sibling rivalry: can occur with siblings competing or quarreling with one  another  

o Can be most intense when siblings are similar in age and are of the  same sex

o Parents may intensify this rivalry by favoring one child over the other  ▪ May not be accurate

• Ex: older sibling may be permitted more freedom which  

the younger sibling may misinterpret as favoritism

o Can also damage the self-esteem of one of the siblings  

• Children with no siblings do not have the opportunity to experience sibling  rivalry but may miss benefits that siblings can bring  

o These children are still as well adjusted as children who have brothers  and sisters

o Only children are better-adjusted, have higher self-esteems and have  stronger motivation to succeed and achieve  

▪ Good news for parents in China where a strict one-child policy  in in effect  

▪ Chinese only children outperform children with siblings  


When Both Parents Works Outside the Home: How Do Children Fare? • Children whose both parents work outside of the home fare quite well • Good adjustment of children whose mothers and fathers both work relates to  psychological adjustment of the parents, especially the mother

o Women who are satisfied with their lives tend to be more nurturing  with their children

▪ Women are more psychologically supportive of their children  o What matters is the choices that the mother has made  

• Children spend as much time with family as children in families where one  parents stays at home  

• What are children doing during the day?

o Activities that take the most time are sleeping and school

o Next, most frequent activities are watching TV and playing followed  by personal care and eating

o This has changed:

▪ Children go from having 40% of their day in free time to 25%  of their day in free time that is unscheduled

Home and Alone: What Do Children Do?

• Self-care children: children who let themselves into their homes after  school and wait alone until their caretakers return from work; previously  known as latchkey children

o 12-14% of middle childhood children spend some time alone after  school without adult supervision

• Old view of self care children was that they were sad, pathetic and neglected  children

• New view of self-care children emerging

o According to sociologist Sandra Hofferth, a few hours alone provides a  period of decompression and provides opportunity for the children to  develop a greater sense of autonomy

• Even though some children report negative experiences when being home  alone, such as loneliness, this does not emotionally damage them • Also, kids who stay home by them selves instead of hanging out unsupervised  with friends may avoid the child from getting involved in unwanted activities  • Being a self care child is not harmful and children may develop sense of  independence and competence  

o Children with employed parents may have higher self esteem because  feel they are contributing to the household in significant ways  


• Half of children in US spend their entire childhood living in same household  with both parents

• How do children react to divorce?

o Depends on how long after the divorce that you ask

o Immediately after, both children and parents may show several types  of psychological maladjustment for a period from 6 months to even 2  years

▪ Children can be anxious, experience depression, or show sleep  disturbances and phobias  

o Most children live with mother after divorce

▪ Even then, mother-child relationship declines mostly because  children see themselves caught in the middle between mother  

and father  

• In early middle childhood, children will blame themselves for breakup o By 10, feel pressure to choose sides and experience divided loyalty  • Some studies found that there are minimal long term consequences for  children after divorce

o Others found that children need more psychological counseling and  children of divorcees are at greater risk for experiencing divorce later  in life themselves  

• How kids react to divorce may depend on:

o Economic standing of family

▪ Divorce brings a decline in both parents’ standard of living and  children may be thrown into poverty

• Negative consequences of divorce are less severe because the divorce  reduces the hostility and anger in the home

o The calm of post divorce may be beneficial to children  

• For some children, divorce is an improvement other than living with parents  who are together but are unhappy and high in conflict

o In 70% of divorces, predivorce level of conflict is not high and these  children may have a difficult time adjusting to divorce  

Single-Parent Families

• About ¼ of children under 18 years old live with one parent  o If trend continues, will become ¾ of children  

o For minority children, % higher:

▪ African American: 60%

▪ Hispanic: 35%  

• Rarely is death the case for single parenthood

• More frequently, no spouse was ever present, the spouses divorced, or  spouse is absent  

• Usually the single parent is the mother

• What are consequences for children living in homes with just one parent? o Single parent families less well-off financially than two parent families  and living in relative poverty has negative impact on children

Multigenerational Families

• Households with several generations: children, parents and grandparents • This is a rich experience for children but can also have potential for conflict  because several adults are acting as disciplinarians without coordinating • Prevalence of multigenerational families is greater among African Americans  than Caucasians

• African American parents often rely substantially on help of grandparents in  everyday childcare

o Cultural norms tend to be highly supportive of grandparents taking an  active role

Blended Families

• Blended family: a remarried couple that gas at least one step-child living  with them

• 17% of children in US live in blended families

• Living in blended family is challenging for the children involved  o Often there is role ambiguity: roles and expectations are unclear  ▪ May not be sure how to behave towards step parents and step  siblings, not sure what responsibilities are

▪ Also have issues with listening to biological parent versus step  parent and not knowing who to spend the holidays with  

• School age children so well

o They adjust relatively smoothly to blended arrangements

o Financial situation improves after parent remarries

o There are more people also to share the burden of household chores  with  

o More people in family, more social interaction

• Not all children adjust well

o Some find this disruption difficult

▪ Child may find it hard to adjust to their mother giving a  

stepchild attention too and not just to them

• Most successful blending of families occurs when:

o Parents create an environment that supports children’s self esteem  and creates a climate in which all family members feel a sense of  togetherness

o The younger the children, the easier the transition

Race and Family Life

• African American families often have particularly strong sense of family o Members of families are often willing to offer welcome and support to  extended family members in their homes

o There is relatively high level of female-headed households, economic  support of extended family is critical

▪ Many households are also headed by grandparents  

• Hispanic families stress the importance of family life as well as community  and religious organizations

o Children taught to value ties to families and see themselves as central  part of an extended family  

o Sense of who they are becomes tied to the family  

o These families are also larger than most

Poverty and Family Life

• Regardless of race, children living with families who are economically  disadvantaged experience hardships

• Poor families have fewer every day resources and more disruptions in child’s  life  

o Parents may be forced to look for less expensive housing or to move  the house for work

▪ Results in parents who are less responsive to children and  

provide less social support

• Economically disadvantaged children are at risk for poorer academic  performance, higher rates of aggression, and conduct problems

• Declines in economic well being linked to mental health problems Group Care: Orphanages in the 21st Century

• Group Homes or Residential Treatment Centers are new names for orphanages  and typically house a relatively small number of children and used for  children whose parents are no longer are able to care for them adequately

o Typically funded by combination of federal, state, and local aid • A quarter of children in group care are victims of neglect and abuse  o Each year, 300,000 moved from homes and most of them can be  returned to their families following intervention with their families by  social service agencies  

▪ But remaining ¼ are so psychologically damaged due to abuse  or other causes that they are likely to remain there throughout  


• Children who have developed sever problems such as high levels of  aggression or anger have difficulty finding adoptive families and it is difficult  to find temporary foster families that are able to cope with children’s  emotional and behavioral problems

Chapter 14: Physical Development in Adolescence Physical Maturation

• Western cultures do have rites of passage into adolescence such as: o Bar and Bat Mitzvahs for Jewish people

o Confirmation ceremonies for many Christian denominations

• Underlying purpose for rite of passage similar for every culture: o It symbolically celebrates the onset of the physical changes that turn a  child’s body into an adult body capable of reproduction

o Exits childhood and arrives at doorstep of adulthood

Growth During Adolescence: The Rapid Pace of Physical and Sexual Maturation • Adolescents can grow quite a few inches in several months and require a new  wardrobe

• Adolescent growth spurt: a period of very rapid growth in height and  weight during adolescence  

o On average:

▪ Boys grow 4.1 inches in a year

▪ Girls grow 3.5 inches in a year

▪ Some even grow 5 inches in a year

o Growth spurts:

▪ Boys = age 12

▪ Girls = age 10

▪ For 2 years starting 11, girls are taller than boys then by 13,  

boys are taller than girls and that persists throughout the life  


Puberty: The Start of Sexual Maturation

• Puberty: the period of maturation during which the sexual organs mature o Begins when pituitary gland in the brain signals other glands in  children’s bodies to begin producing sex hormones at adult levels: ▪ Androgens: male hormones

▪ Estrogens: female hormones

▪ Both hormones are produce by both sexes but males produce  more androgens and females more estrogen

o The pituitary gland also signals the body to increase production of  growth hormones that interact with the sex hormones to cause the  growth spurt and puberty

▪ The hormone leptin plays a role in the start of puberty

o Puberty begins earlier for girls than boys

▪ Girls start at 11-12

▪ Boys start at 13-14

▪ The are wide variations

• Some girls start as early as 7 or as late at 16

Puberty in Girls

• Environmental and cultural factors play a role in time of puberty • Menarche: the onset of menstruation

o Most obvious signal of puberty in girls

o In poorer, developing countries, begins later than it does in more  economically advantaged countries

o Even with wealthier countries, more affluent girls being to menstruate  earlier than less affluent  

o Girls who are better nourished and healthier are more apt to start  menstruation at an earlier age then those who are malnutritious or  suffer from disease  

o Weight or proportion of fat to muscle in body plays crucial role in  timing of menarche

▪ In US, athletes with a low % of body fat may start menstruating  later than less active girls

▪ Obesity, which results in the secretion of leptin, leads to earlier  puberty

o Environmental stress due to parental divorce or high levels of family  conflict can bring about an early onset of menarche

o Puberty has been starting earlier and earlier

• The earlier start of puberty is an example of a significant secular trend: a  pattern of change occurring over several generations

o Occur when a physical characteristic changes over the course of  several generations, such as earlier onset of menstruation or  

increased height that has occurred as a result of better nutrition over  the centuries

• Primary sex characteristics: characteristics associated with the  development of the organs and structures of the body that directly relate to  reproduction

o In girls, changes in vagina and uterus

• Secondary sex characteristics: the visible signs of sexual maturity that do  not involve sex organs directly

o In girls, development of breasts and pubic hair

▪ Breasts begin at 10

▪ Pubic hair begins at age 11

• Underarm hair appears two years later

• Girls can have early indications of puberty by 8 years old  

Puberty in Boys

• The penis and scrotum being to grow at 12 and reach adults size 3-4 years  later  

• As the penis enlarges, other primary sex characteristics do too such as  enlargement of prostate gland and seminal vesicles which produce semen • Spermarche: a boy’s first ejaculation; occurs around 13 years old o At first, semen contains little sperm but it increases with age • Secondary characteristics developing:

o Pubic hair grows at 12 followed by underarm hair and facial hair o Their voices deepen as the vocal cords become longer and larynx  becomes larger

• Surge of production of hormones that triggers adolescence leads to rapid  swings in mood

o Boys may have feelings of anger and annoyance

o In girls, emotions produced by hormone production are somewhat  different: higher levels of hormones associated with anger and  


Body Image: Reactions to Physical Changes in Adolescence

• Society’s view of menstruation is more positive than before because  menstruation has been demystified and is discussed more openly  o Menarche is accompanied by increase in self-esteem, rise in status,  and greater self-awareness

• Girls tell their mothers about their first menstruation but boys rarely  mention their first ejaculation to parents or friends

o Girls need tampons or pads so must tell parents

o Boys see first ejaculation as indication of their budding sexuality  which is an area where they are quite uncertain

• Teens entering puberty are frequently embarrassed by the changes that are  occurring

o Girls are often unhappy with their new bodies

▪ Puberty brings increase in fatty tissue and enlargement of hips  and buttocks and is far from the societal favoritism of  


The Timing of Puberty: Consequences of Early and Late Maturation Early Maturation

• For boys, large plus

o More successful in athletics because of larger sixe and more popular  and have more positive self-concept

o Does have a downside though

▪ More apt to have difficulties in school and more likely to  

become involved in delinquency and substance abuse

• Their larger size makes in more likely that they will  

seek the company of older boys who may involve them  

in activities that are inappropriate for their age  

o Early maturers are more cooperative and responsible later in life but  are more conforming and lacking in humor  

• For girls, they may feel uncomfortable and different from their peers  o Early maturing girls may have to endure ridicule from their less  mature classmates

• Early maturation is not completely negative for girls

o These girls tend to be sought after more as potential dates and their  popularity may enhance their self-concepts

▪ This may be psychologically challenging for them though  

• Cultural norms and standards regarding how women should look play a big  role in how girls experience early maturation

o Female sexuality promoted in media but frowned upon socially  o In cultures that have a more open view of sex, early maturing girls  have higher self esteem than do such girls in the United States  

Late Maturation

• Boys fare worse than girls in this case

o Boys who are smaller and lighter than their more physically mature  peers tend to be viewed as less attractive  

o Disadvantaged at sports because of smaller size  

o Boys also expected to be bigger than their dates  

o Coping with challenges of late maturation may actually help males in  some ways

▪ Grow up to have several positive qualities such as  

assertiveness and insightfulness and are more creatively  


• Picture of late-maturing girls quite positive

o Late maturing girls satisfaction with themselves and their bodies may  be greater than that of early maturers  

o May end up with fewer emotional problems  

Nutrition, Food, and Eating Disorders: Fueling the Growth of Adolescence  • Rapid physical growth of adolescence is fueled by an increase in food  consumption

o On average:

▪ Girls require 2,200 calories a day

▪ Boys require 2,800 calories a day  

• Several key nutrients are essential including calcium and iron  o Calcium helps bone growth and may prevent osteoporosis which  affects 25% of women later in their lives  

o Iron is necessary to prevent iron-deficiency anemia

• In most adolescents, major nutritional issue is ensuring the consumption of  sufficient balance of appropriate foods

o Two extremes of nutrition can be a real threat to health: obesity and  eating disorders

▪ Obesity: most common nutritional concern

• One in 5 of adolescents is overweight and 1 in 20 is  


• Proportion of obese women increases over adolescence  

• Obesity taxes the circulatory system, increasing the  

likelihood of high blood pressure and diabetes

• Obese adolescents stand an 80 percent chance of  

becoming obese adults

o Lack of exercise is major culprit

o The older they are, the less exercise females  

engage in  

o Why do adolescent women get so little exercise?

▪ Reflects a lack of organized sports of good  

athletic facilities for women  

▪ May be result of lingering cultural norms  

suggesting that athletic participation is  

more the realm of boys than girls  

• More reasons for obesity in adolescence:

o The availability of fast foods

o Many adolescents spend significant proportion  

of their leisure time inside their homes watching  

television, playing video games and surfing the  

web and are accompanied by snacks

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia

• Anorexia Nervosa: a severe and potentially life-threatening eating disorder  in which individuals refuse to eat while denying that their behavior or  skeletal appearance is out of the ordinary  

o Afflicts women between ages 12 to 40

o The most susceptible are intelligent, successful, and attractive White  adolescents from affluent homes

o Also more a problem for boys now

▪ 10% of victims are male  

• This is increasing and is associated with steroids  

o Focus on food and get cookbooks and cook huge meals for others and  even though really thin, still think they look fat  

• Bulimia: an eating disorder that primarily afflicts adolescent girls and young  women, characterized by binges on large quantities of food followed by  purges of the food through vomiting or the use of laxatives  

o Will eat entire gallon of ice cream or whole package of tortilla chips  and then feel guilt and depression and intentionally rid themselves of  the food by throwing up  

o The weight of the person remains fairly normal

o The vomiting and diarrhea can produce chemical imbalance that can  lead to heart failure  

• Girls who mature earlier are more susceptible also clinically depression  individuals  

• Researchers say there are genetic components to the disorders  • Anorexia only found in cultures that idealize slender female bodies  o Not prevalent outside of US

• Anorexia nonexistent in all of Asia with two exceptions:

o Upper class of Japan and Hong Kong where Western influence is  greatest  

• Anorexia is a recent disorder  

• Treatment for both:

o Psychological therapy and dietary modifications and in more extreme  cases, hospitalization is necessary  

Threats to Adolescents’ Well-Being

• Adolescence is one of the healthiest periods of life and substance use and  abuse is one of the several threats to health during adolescence

Illegal Drugs  

• Illegal drug use is very common in adolescence  

• Adolescents have a variety of reasons for using drugs:

o For pleasurable experience

o To escape pressures from every day life

o Try drugs for thrill of doing something illegal  

o Peer pressure plays a role: adolescents are susceptible to perceived  standards of their group

• Addictive Drugs: drugs that produce a biological or psychological  dependence in users, leading to increasingly powerful cravings for them  o When drugs produce a biological addiction, their presence in the body  becomes so common that the body in unable to function in their  absence

o Addiction causes actual physical changes in the nervous system; drugs  may be necessary to simply maintain the perception of everyday  normalcy  

Alcohol: Use and Abuse

• Binge drinking is a particular problem on college campuses  

o For men, it is defined as drinking 5 or more drinks in one sitting o For women, who tend to weight less and bodies absorb alcohol less  efficiently, it is defined as 4 drinks in one sitting

• Bing drinking affects even those who do not drink or drink a little  • Adolescents start to drink for many reasons

o Drinking is seen as a way of proving they can drink as much as any  body, especially for male athletes whose rate of drinking is higher  than the general adolescent population

o Also drink to release inhibitions, tension and reduce stress

o Many drink because of the false consensus effect: thinking that  everyone else is doing it (drinking heavily)

• For some adolescents, alcohol use becomes a habit that cannot be controlled  and become alcoholics: people who have learned to depend on alcohol and  are unable to control their drinking

o Also become increasingly able to tolerate alcohol and need to drink  more to bring about the positive effects that they crave  

o Reasons for alcoholism is not full known but genetics play a role  because it can run in the family but not all alcoholics have family  members with alcohol problems  

Tobacco: The Dangers of Smoking  

• Many adolescents are aware of the dangers of smoking but still indulge in it o A smaller proportion of adolescents are smoking but are increasing  within certain groups  

• Smoking is on the rise among girls and in several countries such as Austria,  Norway, and Sweden and the proportion of girls who smoke is higher than  boys

• The are also racial differences in smoking:

o White children and children in lower SES houses are more likely to  experiment with cigarettes and to start smoking earlier than African  American children and children living in higher SES houses

o Also more White males in H.S. than African American males in H.S.  smoke  

• However, smoking is becoming harder to maintain because more places are  becoming smoke free yet people still smoke and still start  

o For some adolescents, smoking is seen as a rite of passage, a sign of  growing up  

o Also seeing influential people smoke increases the changes

o Cigarettes are also very addictive because nicotine can produce  biological and psychological dependency very quickly  

Sexually Transmitted Infections


• Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS): one of the leadings causes of  death among young people across the globe  

o Has no cure but is treatable with a cocktail of drugs  

o It is a sexually transmitted infection (STI): a disease that is spread  through sexual contact

o Even though AIDS started as homosexual disease, it had spread to  other populations including heterosexuals and intravenous drug users ▪ Minorities have been hard it

• African Americans and Hispanics account for almost  

half of the cases

AIDS and Adolescent Behavior

• AIDS is transmitted through exchange of bodily fluids, including semen and  blood

• The use of safe sex practices is far from universal  

o Teens are prone to feeling invulnerable and are therefore more likely  to engage in risky behavior  

Other Sexually Transmitted Infections

• AIDS is the deadliest of sexually transmitted infections

• Most common STI is human papilloma virus (HPV)

o It can be transmitted through genital contact without intercourse ▪ Can produce genital warts and lead to cervical cancer

▪ There is a vaccine to protect against some kinds of HPV

• Another common STI is trichomoniasis, an infection in the vagina or penis  that is caused by a parasite  

• Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and initially has symptoms but later causes  burning urination and discharge and can lead to pelvic inflammation and  even to sterility but can be treated with antibiotics

• Genital herpes a virus not unlike cold sores that sometimes appear around  the mouth  

o First symptoms are small blisters around genitals and can go away  and reappear and when is back is infectious

• Gonorrhea and syphilis are the STIs that have been recognized for the longest  time  

o Both can be treated quite effectively  

Chapter 15: Cognitive Development in Adolescence Schooling and Cognitive Development

The Transition From Elementary School to Middle School

• Middle school: grades 6 to 8  

o Adolescents going through puberty and coming to grips with changes  in their body

o Thinking is more sophisticated and relationships with friends and  family are more complicated  

o Classes are not one half day, classes now changes frequently and  friends are not in each class

o Since youngest, at bottom of hierarchy

o United States middle schoolers do pretty poorly compared other  countries

Socioeconomic Status and School Performance

• Middle and high SES earn higher grades, score higher on standardized tests,  and complete more years of schooling than do students from lower SES  homes  

• Why do students from middle and high SES do better in academics? o Children in poverty have less advantages

o Nutrition and health less adequate  

o In crowded conditions often so less places to do homework

o Homes may lack books and computers

o Most likely to continue to lag in academics

Ethnic and Racial Differences in School Achievement

• African American and Hispanic students tend to perform at lower levels,  receive lower grades and score lower on standardized tests than Caucasians  • Asian Americans receive higher grade then Caucasian  

• Suggests that minority groups perceive school success as relatively  unimportant

o May believe societal prejudice in the workplace will dictate that they  will not succeed and that hard work will not pay off

• Members of minority that enter new culture voluntarily more likely to be  successful than those who entered against their will  

Part-Time Work: Students on the Job

• Many pluses such as learning responsibility but has drawbacks  o May prevent students from participating in extracurricular activities  • School performance is negatively related to the number of hours a student  works  

o More hours, lower a students grades  

• Primary Orientation Model: students who work a greater number of hours are  more psychologically invested in their work than in high school  • Pseudomaturity: unusually early entry to adult roles before adolescent is  ready to developmentally assume them  

o Working can help them escape from other life aspects

Dropping Out of School

• Reasons for leaving:

o Pregnancy or problems with English language or for economic  reasons to support themselves or family  

• Males more likely to drop out Hispanics and African American students more  likely to drop out then non-Hispanic White students  

• Asians drop out at lower rate then Caucasians  

• Students from lower income households are 3 times more likely to drop out  then middle or higher SES

College: Pursuing Higher Education

Who Goes to College?

• U.S. college students are primarily White and middle class

• The overall proportion of minority population that enters college has  decreased  

Gender and College

• Education and social sciences has larger proportion of women than men • Engineering, physical sciences and mathematics have more men than women • Not as many female faculty

o The more prestigious the institution, the fewer women  

• Professors call on men more frequently in class and make more eye contact  with them

o Males more likely to receive extra help and receive more positive  reinforcement

Academic Performance and Stereotype Threat

• Academic Disidentification: a lack of personal identification with an academic  domain  

o For women, it is specific to math and science  

o Produce stereotype threat: members of the group fear that their  behavior will indeed confirm the stereotype

Depression and Suicide: Psychological Difficulties in Adolescence • Two of the most serious psychological problems in adolescence are  depression and suicide

Adolescent Depression

• Major Depression: a full blow psychological disorder in which depression is  severe and lingers for long periods; experienced by a small minority, 3% • Adolescent girls experience depression more often than boys  • African Americans and Native Americans have high rates of depression • An adolescent who experiences death of a loved one or grows up with  alcoholic or depressed parents is at higher risk of depression

• Why is it higher among girls than boys?

o Stress is more pronounced for girls because of traditional gender  roles such as being popular and highly academic

o Girls internalize the stress and boys externalize it

Adolescent Suicide

• 3rd most common death in the 15-24 year old age group after accidents and  homicide

o Highest rate is found in period of late adulthood though

• Rate of suicide is higher for boys than girls  

o Girls attempt suicide more frequently than boys do though  

o More successful in boys because they use more violent means such as  guns while girls use more peaceful ones such as overdose

• One explanation for suicide is the stress that the teenagers feel  o Also the more depressed, the more the risk

o Also, social inhibition, perfectionism, and high stress and anxiety  produce a greater risk as well as the easy availability of guns

o Family conflicts or relationship and school difficulties contribute • Cluster Suicide: one suicide leads to attempts by others to kill themselves o Suicides appear to be caused by this

Relationships: Family and Friends

Family Ties: Changing Relations with Relations

The Quest for Autonomy  

• Autonomy: having independence and a sense of control over one’s life o Adolescents seek autonomy  

o A parent’s refusal is seen as a lack of trust or confidence in the  adolescent

• The more autonomy the adolescent has, the more they view their parents in  less idealized terms and see them more as a person in their own right

o May start to see parents not as nagging but will see their emphasis on  excelling in school as evidence of parent regrets about their own lack  of education and wish for their child to have more options in life

• At the beginning of adolescence, the relationship is asymmetrical with  parents having more power but at the end of adolescence it is a more  symmetrical relationship  

Culture and Autonomy

• In Western societies, adolescents seek autonomy at early stage of  adolescence

• In contrast, Asian societies are collectivistic and the adolescent’s aspirations  to achieve autonomy are less pronounced

o These societies have greater obligation to family and push for  autonomy is less strong

o This is not provide any negative consequences

▪ What matters is that the development of autonomy matches  the cultural expectations

• Gender plays a role in autonomy

o Males permitted more autonomy at earlier age

• Generation Gap: a divide between parents and adolescents in attitudes,  values, aspirations, and world views

o We assume parents and their kids do not often see things the same  way

o But the generation gap is quite narrow and parents and kids usually  see eye-to-eye

▪ Agree with major issues such as politics, religion, etc.  

• Most adolescents and their parents get along quite well

Conflicts With Parents

• Parents and adolescents have different opinions about personal taste usually  • Conflict is greater at early adolescence, why?

o One reason is the differing rationales in what constitutes appropriate  and inappropriate conduct

o The argumentativeness and assertiveness of early adolescence at first  may lead to increased conflict but these qualities play important role  in evolution of parent-child relationships  

▪ Eventually parents realize they can trust their children and  

they have compelling reasons for opinions and combativeness  


Cultural Differences in Parent-Child Conflicts During Adolescence  • There is less conflict in “traditional”, preindustrial cultures

o They experience less mood swings and instances of risky behavior  than teens in industrialized countries

▪ In industrialized countries, value of individualism is high and  independence is expected and parents and children must  

negotiate amount and timing of the adolescent’s independence  

which leads to strife

▪ In traditional societies, individualism not valued as highly and  adolescents are less inclined to seek independence  

Relationships with Peers: The Importance of Belonging

• Adolescents spend more time with peers and importance of peer  relationships grows  

Social Comparison  

• Peers provide each other with the opportunity to compare and evaluate  opinions, abilities, and physical changes

o Turn to others to share

Reference Groups

• Groups of people with whom one compares oneself

• Teenagers compare themselves to others who are similar to them • Reference groups present a set of norms: standards

• Do not to belong to a group for it to serve as a reference group o Unpopular compare themselves to popular kids

Cliques and Crowds: Belonging to a Group

• Two types of groups: cliques and crowds

o Cliques: groups from 2 to 12 people whose members have frequent  social interactions with one another  

o Crowds: larger, comprising of individuals who share particular  characteristics but may not interact with one another

▪ Ex: nerds and jocks

o Membership is determined by degree of similarity  

▪ Choose friends who use alcohol and drugs to the same level  

they do

▪ More attracted to have aggressive friends  

o Only realize differences of cliques in crowds in mid-adolescence Gender Relations

• Sex Cleavage: sex segregation in which boys interact mostly with boys and  girls with girls  

o Happens from transition from middle childhood to early adolescence o Changes once they enter puberty

• As move into adolescence, boys and girls cliques converge  

o Attend boy and girl dance parties

• At the end of adolescence, crowds and cliques become less influential and  dissolve

Race Segregation: The Great Divide of Adolescence

• People of different ethnicities and races interact very little  

• In elementary and early adolescence, there is a fair amount of integration but  by middle and late adolescence, the segregation is striking  

o Reasons for this:

▪ Minority students may actively seek support from others who  share their minority status  

▪ May be due to academic achievement

• If minority group members experience less academic  

achievement, may find themselves in classes with  

proportionally fewer majority group members  

▪ Also may be due to prejudice

Juvenile Delinquency: The Crimes of Adolescence

• Adolescents and young adults are more likely to commit crimes than are any  other age group

• Undersocialized delinquents: adolescent delinquents who are raised with  little discipline or with harsh, uncaring parental supervision  

o Have not been taught standards of conduct to regulate their own  behavior  

o Begin crimes at early age

o Tend to be aggressive and violent and more likely to have been  diagnosed with ADD and are less intelligent  

o Suffer psychological difficulties and as adults have antisocial  personality disorder  

• Socialized delinquents: adolescent delinquents who know and subscribe to  the norms of society and who are fairly normal psychologically

o Only pass through period during adolescence of engaging in petty  crimes such as shoplifting which does not continue to adulthood o Highly influenced by their peers  

Dating, Sexual Behavior and Teenage Pregnancy

Dating: Close Relationships in the 21st Century

• Dating is now more seen as hooking up and is appropriate

The Functions of Dating

• Dating is a way to learn how to establish intimacy with another individual  • It can provide entertainment and prestige

• Can be used to develop a sense of one’s own identity

• Dating in early and middle adolescence is not terribly successful at  facilitating intimacy  

o Often a superficial activity

• True intimacy more common during later adolescence  

o Dating relationship may be taken more seriously by both participants  and may be way to select a mate and as potential prelude to marriage • Homosexuals find difficulties, may date other sex to fit in or if openly date  may be harassed  

Dating, Race, and Ethnicity

• Parents may try to control child’s dating behavior to preserve culture’s  traditional values  

Sexual Relationships

• Sexual behavior and thoughts are among the central concerns of adolescents  and sex is though about often


• Masturbation: sexual self stimulation; first type of sex

o Frequency higher in males in early teens then declines and lower in  females initially then increases  

o African American men and women masturbate less than Whites o Even though widespread, still produces feelings of shame and guilt  because was viewed negatively  

o Today, this behavior is normal and healthy and is useful way to learn  about own sexuality

Sexual Intercourse

• A major milestone

• Average age of first sexual intercourse is 17

• African Americans have sex for the firs time earlier than Puerto Ricans who  have sex earlier than Whites  

• Double Standard: premarital sex was considered permissible for males but  not for females  

• Permissiveness With Affection: premarital intercourse is now viewed as  permissible for both men and women if it occurs in the context of a longer  tem, committed or loving relationship

• The double standard is still seen today and the demise is far from complete Sexual Orientation: Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, and Bisexuality • Gender Identity: the gender a person believes he or she is psychologically o Sexual orientation and gender identity are not necessarily related to  one another: a man can have a strong masculine identity and still be  attracted to other men  

What Determines Sexual Orientation?

• Evidence suggests genetic and biological factors may play an important role  o Studies of twins shows that identical twins are more likely to both be  homosexual  

o Difference structures of the brain and hormone production seems to  be linked to sexual orientation

• Family or peer environmental factors play a role

o Freud argued that homosexuality was result of inappropriate  identification with opposite-sex parent

• No complete explanation  

• Homosexual teens have more difficult time

o May be rejected by family  

• Risk for depression and suicide is higher for homosexual adolescents  Teenage Pregnancies

• The number of teenage pregnancies is declining

• Birth to African American teenagers has show the steepest decline The Challenges of Teenage Pregnancy

• Even though rate has declined, it is still 2 to 10 times higher than other  industrialized countries  

• Teen mothers are less likely to be married today

• In most cases, mothers care for child without help of father

o May have to abandon education and work in unskilled and low paying  jobs and may need to rely on welfare  

• Children of teen mothers have poorer health and show poorer school  performance and are likely to become teenage parents themselves  Virginity Pledges

• This has not led to a reduction of teenage pregnancies

• More effective if younger, 16 and 17 and not if 18 and older and more  effective if small minority took pledge

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