Adolescent Development Chapter 3

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Social Redefinition
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The process through which an individual’s position or status is redefined by society Happens across all societies Adolescence is a period of social transition Individuals become to be recognized as adults The social transition is less explicit in contemporary U.S. society than in traditional cultures
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Social Redefinition and Psychosocial Development: Identity
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Attainment of adult status can cause adolescents to feel more mature and to think more seriously about future work and family roles Changes in self-concept
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Social Redefinition and Psychosocial Development: Autonomy
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Adult status leads to shift in responsibility, independence, and freedom More decisions that have long-term consequences
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Social Redefinition and Psychosocial Development: Intimacy/Sexuality
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Dating, marriage Need for new decisions about sexual activity Age of majority – when adolescents can marry without parents’ permission Laws governing sexual behavior distinguish between individuals with and without adult status Statutory rape Decisions about sexual activity Abortion, contraception
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Social Redefinition and Psychosocial Development: Achievement
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Adult work status When individual can enter labor force as full-time employees Age 15 or 16 in United States Leaving school of their own volition
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The Elongation of Adolescence
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Adolescence lasts longer today than ever before! Start puberty earlier and transition into adult roles later (work, family, etc.) More the case in industrialized societies than in developing societies Implications for how young people See themselves Relate to others Develop psychologically
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Emerging Adulthood
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Characterized by 1. Exploration of possible identities before making enduring choices 2. Unstable work, romantic relationships, and living situations 3. Focus on oneself and independent functioning 4. Subjective feeling of being caught between adolescence and adulthood 5. Subjective feeling that life holds many possibilities
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Is Emerging Adulthood Universal?
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Does not exist in all cultures Large variability among people in mid-20s regarding developmental milestones Tends to be present among more affluent youth whose parents can \”foot the bill\” Economic and social reasons for delaying some aspects of adulthood Changes in the economy in the last decade have resulted in an increase in emerging adults living at home
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Psychological Well-Being in Emerging Adulthood
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Emerging adults experience this period positively, but it depends on CONTEXT
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Changes in Status During Adolescence
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Two-sided alteration in status Increasing privileges and rights Increasing responsibility and expectations Adolescents subject to a new set of laws and treatment by society’s legal institutions
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Changes in Status During Adolescence: Legal Boundaries
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More extensive participation in community decision-making Right to vote Training for warfare Initiation ceremonies Necessary in some societies for adult status Ability to participate in activities typically reserved for adults
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Adolescents in the Legal System
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Even certain crimes, when committed by a minor, are adjudicated in a separate juvenile justice system Operates under different rules and principles from the criminal justice system that applies to adults Increasing leniency for some offenses, harsher treatment for others Status offense A behavior that is a problem because of the person’s juvenile status Inconsistencies in adolescents’ legal status Behavior typically restricted if viewed as potentially dangerous Autonomy granted when behavior is viewed to have potential benefits Much controversy surrounding legal regulation of adolescent behavior
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Adolescents from Ethnic Minority Backgrounds
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Adolescents from ethnic minority backgrounds face more difficult transitions from adolescence to adulthood
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Effects of Poverty on Transition into Adulthood
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Ethnic minority adolescents more likely to grow up in poverty than non-ethnic minority adolescents Poverty impairs adolescents’ ability to move from adolescence into adulthood
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Ways to Ease the Transition to Adult Roles
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Restructure secondary education Expand work and volunteering opportunities Improve the quality of community life for adolescents and their families Expand opportunities in the workplace to make high school a \”bridge\” to adulthood Encourage adolescents to spend time in voluntary, nonmilitary service activities Facilitate mentoring programs for at-risk adolescents
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Neighborhood Poverty
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Poverty has become more and more concentrated into economically and racially segregated communities
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Neighborhood Poverty Affects: Collective Efficacy
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Extent to which neighbors Trust each other Share common values Count on each other to monitor the activities of youth in the community Neighborhood poverty breeds social isolation and social disorganization and undermines collective efficacy
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Neighborhood Poverty Affects: Impact of Stress
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Stress associated with poverty undermines The quality of peoples’ relationships with each other in the community Interferes with parents’ ability to be effective parents
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Neighborhood Poverty Affects: Exposure to Violence
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Adolescents exposed to violence More likely to engage in violent behavior Think about killing themselves Report symptoms of Depression/PTSD
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Neighborhood Poverty Affects: Limited Access to Resources
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Adolescents who grow up in poor neighborhoods have access to fewer resources than adolescents who grow up in more advantaged communities
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Adolescents from Immigrant Families
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Immigrant paradox Better-than-expected mental health and academic achievement among immigrant adolescents in the U.S. compared with ethnic minority youth from non-immigrant families \”Americanization\” Associated with worse outcomes compared to recent immigrants

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