The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence
by Kathleen Stassen Berger
Seventh Edition
Chapter 16
Adolescence:
Psychosocial Development
Slides prepared by Kate Byerwalter, Ph.D.,
Grand Rapids Community College
Self and Identity

Erikson’s fifth stage
of psychosocial
development is
identify vs.
diffusion. It
involves the
question, “Who
am I?”
PHOTODISC
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Multiple Selves

Possible selves: various intellectual
fantasies about what the future might
bring if one or another course of action is
chosen

False self: set of behaviors that is
adopted by a person to combat rejection,
to please others, or to try out as a
possible self
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Paths to Identity

Identity achievement: knowing who one
is as a unique person, accepting some
cultural values and rejecting others
 This
allows a person to have strong
convictions, but to remain open to alternate
ideas and opinions.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Paths to Identity (cont.)

Identity diffusion: a lack of values,
traits or commitments

Foreclosure: adopting preset roles
and values, without questioning
 Foreclosure
may lead to prejudice,
narrow-mindedness.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Paths to Identity (cont.)

Moratorium: a pause in identify formation,
in which alternatives are explored
 This

is an important step towards identity!
Negative identity: a rebellious, defiant
identity, taken on to anger adults
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Make it Real: Identity
On paper, place yourself in an identity status
for each of the following arenas:
Religion
 Ethnic identity
 Sexual orientation

Politics
 Career
 Education

Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Religious Identity

Many adolescents take longer than age 18
to achieve religious identity. Struggling
with questions is an important part of the
commitment.
 Example:
The Amish encourage adolescents
to go into the “real world” temporarily.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Gender Identity

Gender identity is the degree to which
people see themselves as masculine or
feminine.

This includes gender roles (duties), and
sexual orientation (towards same or
opposite sex, or both).
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Ethnic Identity

Ethnic identity involves identification with
a particular ethnicity through values, diet,
gender roles, language, clothing, etc.

The process of ethnic identity may be
especially intense for immigrant
adolescents.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Make it Real: Vocation and
Identity

What are some of the advantages and
disadvantages of working during
adolescence?

How much of a connection do you see
between the types of jobs had during high
school, and those you have or will have in
adulthood?
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Vocation and Identity

Research has found that working during
adolescence impedes identity formation,
family relationships, academic
achievement, and career success.

Also, the types of jobs don’t tend to teach
skills for later vocations.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Support from Adults

The “generation gap” between adults and
teens is not wide when it comes to core
beliefs and values.

However, each generation does view
interactions from his/her own perspective
(generational stake).
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Generational Stake: An Example

A young Indian American
girl wanted the freedom
and independence of
cutting her hair. Her
elders considered hair an
essential part of being a
“good Indian girl.”
PHOTODISC
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Make it Real:
What’s your prediction?

At what age would you suppose
parent-child conflict to be greatest?

What are parent-child conflicts about?

What does parent-child conflict a
signal?
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Parent-Child Conflict
NANCY RICHMOND / THE IMAGE WORKS
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Parent-Child Conflict (cont.)

Is greatest during child’s tween years (10−13)

Is greatest between mothers and daughters

Usually involves repeated, petty arguments
about clothes, cleanliness, etc.

Represents a teens desire for independence
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Culture and Family

Some have argued that adolescent
rebellion is a product of Western culture.

Parent-child conflict occurs later in
adolescence for Asian and Latino teens,
and hardly at all for teens in China.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Aspects of Parent-Teen
Relationships
Communication
 Support
 Connectedness
 Control

PHOTODISC
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Parental Monitoring

Parental monitoring involves ongoing
awareness of what a teen is doing, where,
and with whom.

It deters delinquency.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Make it real: Parental Monitoring

Is it possible to have too much
monitoring? What would be the result?
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Peer Relationships

Peer pressure: social pressure to conform
to one’s contemporaries

Peer pressure can be positive or
negative.

It rises during early adolescence, peaking
around age 14 years of age.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Peer Friendships

Selection: peers choose one another
 Example:
Drug users hang out with drug
users, high achievers with high achievers.

Facilitation: peers encourage one another
to do things they wouldn’t do alone
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Peer Group for Immigrant Teens

Conflict arises when the culture of friends
of an immigrant teen differs considerably
than the parents’ culture.

The teen wants to “fit in” with both peers
and family!
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Adolescent Interactions

The following sequence occurs for
adolescent interactions (timing varies):
 Groups
of friends of one sex only
 Loose association of “boy” and “girl” group
 Small mixed-sex groups
 Pairing of couples
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Homosexuality

Teens with a homosexual orientation rarely
tell anyone until at least age 17 years of
age.

They may experience denial or repression
of their sexual urges before finding their
sexual identity.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Teenage Sexual Activity

Teens are by nature
sexual beings.

The question
becomes what one
does with that
sexuality during
adolescence.
RUBBERBALL PRODUCTIONS
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Parental Guidance About Sex

Question: Do you know any teen who has
had a serious talk with his/her parents
about sex?

Often parents avoid the issue. But proper
guidance can influence teens in a positive
manner.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Make it Real: Sex Education

Did your school have some type of sex
education program?

If yes, at what age did it begin? What were
the topics?

Do you think schools should teach sex
education?
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Sex Education in School

In the U.S., almost all adults (90% or
more) think high schools should teach sex
education, including contraception.

The concern is that talking about sex will
lead teens to have sex. However, a report
by the Surgeon General suggests this is
not the case.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Sex Education (cont.)

Research suggests that the most effective
sex education programs:
 Are
multi-faceted
 Precede
sexual activity by a year or more
 Advocate
for abstinence but also teach about
contraceptives
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Peer Influence on Sex

Friends influence each other in both
positive and negative ways.
 Examples: A “virginity
pledge” among friends
is positive. Pressure to “gain respect” by
having sex is a negative.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Media as a Sex Educator

TV and movies are FULL of sexuality, but
offer little knowledge about sex.

Using the Internet to find facts too often
brings up pornography sites instead.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Trends in Adolescent Sexuality

Premarital sex has increased.

Sexual interactions are more varied
(e.g., oral sex).

Teen births are decreasing worldwide.

The use of protection has increased.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Trends in Adolescent
Sexuality (cont.)

U.S. teens have more babies than teens
in other countries, due to lower
contraceptive use, and fewer abortions.

In the U.S., teens with lower education
tend to have sex and babies at earlier
ages.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Self-Esteem During Adolescence

Self-esteem tends to decline between 6 to
18 years for many children.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Depression

Clinical depression: an overwhelming,
enduring feeling of sadness and
hopelessness.

The rate of depression doubles at puberty
to about 15%, affecting 1 in 5 teen girls
and 1 in 10 teen boys in the U.S.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Make it Real: Depression

WHY do you think depression becomes
more prevalent during adolescence?

WHY do girls seem especially at risk?
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Suicide

Suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide)
is actually quite common during
adolescence (e.g., 21% of girls).

The actual suicide rate is lower among
teens under age 20 than adults.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
More Facts on Suicide

The suicide rate among teens in North
America and Europe has doubled since
1960.

Worldwide, parasuicide (attempt) is higher
for females and completed suicide is
higher for males.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Factors Influencing Suicide

Availability of lethal means (guns)

Lack of parental supervision

Use of alcohol and other drugs

Gender

Cultural attitudes
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
More Destruction

Many teens, especially
boys, show bouts of
anger and destruction
during adolescence.

Question: Should this
rebellion be considered
a “normal” part of
adolescence?
PHOTODISC
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Breaking the Law

Delinquency is more frequent in
adolescence than at other ages.

Worldwide, arrest rates increase between
12-16 years, declining slowly after that.

Arrest rate for violent crimes is twice as
high for teens as adults.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Breaking the Law (cont.)

Almost all teens have broken a minor law
(e.g., curfew, speeding, truancy, etc.).

Males are arrested 3 times as often as
females; ethnic differences exist in arrest
rates (but not in self-reports of illegal acts).
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Committing Crimes: Will it last?

Adolescence-limited offender: a person
whose crimes end by age 21 years

Life-course persistent offender: a
person whose crimes continue as an adult
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Possible Roots of Life-Course
Offenders

Antisocial as a child

Parental neglect or abuse

Brain damage

Early sex and drug use

Little participation in school activities
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Intervention for Offenders

Therapeutic foster care: foster families
trained to teach anger management,
school achievement, self-care
 This
reduces later arrests by more than half.
 It is costly in the short run, but saves money in
prison, jail costs in the long run.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Depression and Self-Destruction

Adolescents can feel:

despondent and depressed, overwhelmed by
the world and their own inadequacies, or

on top of the world, destined for great
accomplishment
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
The Usual Dip

General trend in mood is more downward
than upward

Among boys, athletic self-confidence is
especially likely to dip in adolescence

Self-esteem drops at around age 12
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
The Usual Dip (cont.)

Adolescents who lack support from family,
friends, or school are more vulnerable to
the self-esteem dip.
 Loss
of self-esteem may push them toward
depression.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Mood Disorders in Adolescence

Warning signs
 Not
eating, sleeping, talking, or moving in
normal rhythm
 Strong feelings of despair or elation not
based on reality

Suicidal ideation
 Thinking
about suicide is common among
adolescents
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Adolescent Suicide

Five reasons for erroneous belief that suicide
is an adolescent problem
 Rate
is triple the rate of 40 years ago
 Adolescents lumped together with young adults as
one statistical category
 Adolescent suicide is shocking and grabs attention
 Social prejudice considers teenagers as problems
 Suicide attempts are more common in
adolescence
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Parasuicide and Prevention
Parasuicide = deliberate act of selfdestruction that does not end in death
 Parasuicide and suicide depend on five
factors

 Availability
of lethal means, especially guns
 Parental supervision
 Alcohol and other drugs
 Gender
 Attitudes of the culture
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Rebellion and Destructiveness

Internalizing problems = emotional problems
that are manifested inward, when troubled
individuals inflict harm on themselves

Externalizing problems = emotional
problems that are manifested outward, when
people “act out,” injuring others, defying
authority, or destroying property
 More
common among boys
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Rebellion and
Destructiveness (cont.)

Acting out may signify trouble in three ways
 Externalizing
actions may prove harmful to
the actor
 Externalizing
behavior often harms others
 For
a significant minority, externalizing
disorders signal the need for intervention
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Breaking the Law

Delinquency is one indication of the
emotional stress adolescents feel.

Worldwide, arrests are more likely in
the adolescent years; ages 12-16 are
the peak.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Incidence and Prevalence

Incidence: how often a behavior occurs

Prevalence: how widespread a behavior is

Adolescent males are 3 times more likely to
be arrested than females.

African Americans are 3 times as likely to be
arrested as European Americans, who are 3
times more likely to be arrested than Asian
Americans.
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
Crime Prevention

Adolescent limited offender: person who
becomes law abiding as an adult

Life-course persistent offender: juvenile
delinquent who continues patterns of
lawbreaking throughout life
Berger: The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 7th Edition, Chapter 16
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Psychosocial Development