What is adolescence?
A very fluid concept.. can be defined with:
- Neuroscience definition
- Cultural definition (independence in western culture vs. role transition into marriage/parenthood in non-western culture)
- Roles and responsibilities
What percentage of adolescents go through angst/significant turmoil?
Still, it is a time of great transition for everyone
Physical changes during adolescence?
Hormonal changes in adolescence?
- Increase in pulsatile secretion of GnRH from the hypothalamus
- Causes increased release of LH/FSH/ testosterone/estradiol
- Changes how adolescent think and is driven
Hormonal changes in adolescents coincide with which Freud period?
Which of Piaget's stages is set during adolescence?
- Ability to abstract
- Deductive and inductive reasoning (much cognitive development)
Three main areas of development/abilities in adolescents (broadly)?
- Increased cognitive ability
- Increased interest in abstract concepts
- Identity starts to shift
Signs of increased cognitive ability?
- Logical reasoning from hypotheses
- Better sense of time, finality and death
- Negotiate demands of parents, school, peers
- Make more independent choices
- Intellectual activity, creativity
- Complex interpersonal relationships (social order/contracts) [pair up with people who are psychologically similar; mutual respect]
Signs of increased interest in abstract concepts?
- Humanitarian issues
- Complex moral reasoning
- Diversity (relativity of moral codes)
- Ideologies (e.g. world without thumbs)
Why/how is identity shifting in adolescence?
- New cognitive ability allows a different perspective of self
- Body changes forces one to reconcile "inside" and "outside"
- Emergence of a new identity
Sense of "self" through the ages: 9 years old
- Physical attributes
- Identifies preferences
- Identifies relationships (peer relationships)
"My name is Bruce C. I have brown eyes. I have brown hair. I love sports. I have 7 people in my family. I have great eye sight. I have lots of friends"
Sense of "self" through the ages: 11.5 years old
- Dispositional traits
- Not all favorable
- Increasingly compare self to others and acknowledge dimensions where fall short
"My name is A. I’m a human being… a girl…a truthful person…I’m not pretty. I do so-so in my studies. I am a very good cellist. I’m a little tall for my age. I like several boys… I am old fashioned. I am a very good swimmer. Mostly I am good, but I lose my temper. I’m not well-liked by some girls and boys"
Sense of "self" through the ages: 17 years old
- Broader sense of values or ideological categorization
- Doesn't know who she is
"I am a human being…a girl… an individual…I am a Pisces. I am a moody person…an indecisive person…an ambitious person. I am a big curious person… I am lonely. I am an American(God help me). I am a Democrat. I am a liberal person. I am a radical. I am conservative. I am an Atheist. I am not a classifiable person."
What factors play into identity development?
- Self-continuity: incorporates past and current experiences
- Understanding one's own unique thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and how they manifest across different ages/settings
- Often use peer group identification to help to protect from uncertainty in early adolescence
- New demands and roles create challenges
- Use environmental cues, opinions, observations, and reactions from others (social referencing)
- "Looking glass self" to help understand ourselves
- Shift who is most important for feedback from family to peers
What factors are encompassed by identity?
- Physical characteristics
- Vocational and academic decisions
- Sexual identity
- Personal characteristics
- Philosophy of life
- Leisure time activities
What is the conflict identified by Erickson during adolescence? Details?
Identity vs. Role confusion (which coincides with a resurgence of sexuality after a period of latency)
- Developing a sense of self and personal identity
- Answers the question "Who am I"
- Active process in the midst of physiological, cognitive, and emotional changes
- Yields ability to be authentic
When does identity formation vs. role confusion typically occur (age range)?
12 - 18 yo (may be older now with extended adolescence)
What does failure of identity formation result in?
Absence of identity; cannot see clearly who they are or how to relate positively to the world
What are James Marcia's identity statuses?
Used to understand the process of identity formation:
Describe the foreclosure identity status?
Made commitment without exploration; blindly accept value system from family
- high levels of conformity
- high levels of aspiration to change with low anxiety
- defensive narcissism
Dependent strategies for decision making
External locus of control
Use a normative orientation for constructing sense of identity
Families often discourage expression of opinion
More anxious attachment style
Describe the diffusion identity status?
Not made a commitment; appears to have given up attempt to make clear commitment; no real progress
- Low levels of autonomy, self-esteem, and identity
- "Go where the wind blows"
- Difficulty dealing with transition away from home
- Shy, easily influenced by peers
- Dependent or intuitive styles of decision making
- Report distant or rejecting caretakers and low levels of attachment
Describe the moratorium identity status?
Actively exploring but have not yet made a commitment; a state of experimentation
- Anxiety as searching for identity defining commitments
- Cognitively skeptical about ever knowing anything with certainty
- Experientially oriented
- Reflective and analytical
- Preintimate relationships- close and intimate relationships but have not yet committed themselves to a partner
- Parents have emphasized independence in child rearing patterns
Describe the achievement identity status?
Made a commitment through exploration
- High levels of achievement, motivation and self esteem, low neuroticism, high conscientious, highly extroverted, internal locus of control, lowest use of defense mechanisms
- Function well under stress and able to continue to use more logical, rational, and planned decision making
- Highest levels of intimacy- close friends and a partner
- Secure patterns of attachments
1/2 of adolescents have _____ or ____ identity status?
1/2 of adolescents have foreclosed or diffuse identity status?
Goals of adolescence?
- Identity formation/sense of self continuity
----Independence from family of origin
- Able to control one self and environment
- Gain sense of morality and purpose in life
- Develop capacity to adapt to inevitable change
How do the influences of others change in adolescence? (2 main)?
- Begin to move away from family of origin
- Peer groups become more important
What does beginning to move away from family of origin look like?
Begin to move away from family of origin
- Begin to test limits
- Seek autonomy and control
- Renegotiate roles and balance of power
- Most teenagers values align with family of origin
- Only 20% of adolescents struggle through adolescence
What do peer groups becoming more important look like?
Peer groups become more important
- In middle childhood peer groups were same sexed and those that went between gender groups were outcasts
- In adolescence the older one gets the increasing of mixed gender peer groups
- Peer groups tend to group together into crowds which are a large reputational based peer group made up of individuals and cliques to that share similar norms, interests and values
- Functions of crowds: help adolescents form identities away from families and bring genders together
Importance of peer groups?
- Source of emotional support
- Place for experimentation
- Setting for independence from parents
- Place to form intimate relationships
- Influence of peer group can be positive or negative
___ of teens have dated by age 15. Average relationship lasted ____
90% of teens have dated by age 15.
Average relationship lasted about 4 months
By age 15, __% of males and __% of females have been in intimate relationships By age 19: __% of males and __% of females have been in intimate relationships
By age 15, 33% of males and 25% of females have been in intimate relationships
By age 19: 86% of males and 80% of females have been in intimate relationships
Reasons for early sexual activity?
- Peer pressure
- Sexual feelings and desires
- Coercion (date rape)
Neuroscience of adolescents? (gray matter changes at start/during puberty and then in adolescence/early adulthood)
Gray matter volume peaks at the beginning of puberty then has a plateau during puberty and declines throughout adolescence and early adult hood.
- Likely secondary to pruning that leads to a refinement of excessive synapses and results in a decline of gray matter
Brain is not fully developed until ___. Results?
Brain is not fully developed until mid 20s
- Lag behind frontal lobe (brakes and executive function)
- Some difficulty controlling impulses, feeling invincible, difficulty seeing one's self in the future
- Adolescence marked by a time of increased potential for reckless behavior
Neuroscience of adolescents? (hormones, maturing cortices)
- Surge of gonadal hormones at puberty causes a change within the limbic system that alters the emotional attributes applied to social stimuli
- More gradual maturing of the prefrontal cortex that helps with increasing complex and controlled responses to social information
Social cognition in adolescents: 2 theories?
Adolescence is a time when relationships become much more complex
- Theory of mind
- Mirror neurons/stimulation theory
What is the theory of mind?
Ability to understand other (and self) minds by attributing mental states such as beliefs, desires, emotions, and intentions to other (and self) people
What is the mirror neurons/stimulation theory?
Neuropsychological studies have demonstrated that common brain areas are activated both when we execute an action and when observe another person perform the same action
Rise in egocentrism due to what?
Perception of imaginary audience
- There are gaps in social cognition (feel like everyone is critiquing you, but most people are focused on selves)
In terms of impulse control and planning via fMRI studies, what did adults and adolescents show during go/no go tasks involving inhibiting a response when a certain stimulus is shown?
- Adults: more activity in ventral region of prefrontal cortex (orbital frontal)
- Adolescents: more activity in dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex region (same pattern in children)
Those people that performed best on the task (lowest error rates) had the greatest activation in the orbital frontal region and the least dorsolateral prefrontal
What about adoelscent vs. adult response to risky behaviors (e.g. good idea to swim with sharks?)
- Adults: “not good” greater activation in the insula and right fusiform area compared to adolescents
---- adults use relatively efficient responses driven by mental images of possible outcomes and visceral responses to those possible outcomes
- Adolescents: Adolescents took longer than adults on the “not good idea scenarios” relative to “good idea” scenarios; had greater activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and had longer reaction times
----adolescents rely more on reasoning capacities and activated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hence the relatively effortful responses compared to adults
Which gender is affected more by anxiety/depression?
Due to what?
Hormonal influence on anxiety and depression
Suicide is the __ leading cause of death among 10-14 year olds and the __ leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds?
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 10-14 year olds and the 2nd leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds?
What psychopathologies may present more in adolescence?
- Psychotic and bipolar disorders
- Eating disorders
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