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Psych of Adolescence

storm-and-stress view of adolescence

G. Stanley Hall's view that adolescence is a turbulent time charged with conflict & mood swings

Stanley Hall's View of Adolescence

Influenced by Darwin; biological; storm-and-stress

Margaret Mead's View of Adolescence

Adolescence is not biological, but sociocultural; not all cultures have angsty teens

inventionist view of adolescence

Adolescence is a sociohistorical creation; schools, work & economics: adolescence is a byproduct of these institutions

Cohort effects

effects due to a person's time of birth, era, or generation (but not actual chronological age).


name given to the generation born after 1980, the first to come of age/become adults in the new millennium: A) ethnic diversity: tolerant & open-minded, B) connection to technology


a generalization that reflects our impressions and beliefs about a broad category of people

Adolescent Generalization Gap

(Joseph Adelson): Generalizations that are based on information about a limited, often highly visible group of adolescents

Positive Youth Development (PYD)

(Positive Psychology approach); emphasizes the strengths of youth and the positive qualities and developmental trajectories desired for youth: competence, confidence, connection, character, caring/compassion


the settings in which development occurs; influenced by historical, economic, social & cultural factors

Social Policy

the course of action designed by the national gov. to influence the welfare of its citizens

Biological Processes

Physical changes in an individual's body (height/weight gain, development of brain, hormonal changes)

Cognitive Processes

Changes in an individual's thinking and intelligence

Socioemotional processes

Changes in an individual's emotions, personality, relationships with others, and social contexts


The pattern of change that begins at conception and continues through the life span.

Prenatal Period

Time between conception and birth (a time of tremendous growth)


The developmental period that extends from birth to 18-24 mos. Time of extreme dependency on adults. When psychological activities begin

Early Childhood

Developmental period between the end of infancy to age 5-6. Learn to become more self-sufficient

Middle and Late Childhood

Developmental period between 6 and 10-11 yrs. Master fundamental skills of reading, writing, and math; exposed to culture, achievement.

Early adolescence

Middle school years; includes pubertal change

Late adolescence

Latter half of the second decade of life; career interests, identity exploration

Early adulthood

begins in 20s-30s; establishing personal & economic independence, career development

Middle adulthood

Age 35-60; increasing interest in transmitting values to the next generation

Late adulthood

Developmental period that lasts from age 60-death. ADjusting to decreasing strength and health, retirement, reduced income

Emerging adulthood

Transition from adolescence to adulthood (18 to 25 yrs); experimentation & exploration


Adapting positively and achieving successful outcomes in the face of significant risks and adverse circumstances

Nature-nuture issue

ISsue involving the debate about whether development is primarily influenced by an organism's biological inheritance (nature) or by its environmental experiences (nurture)

Continuity-discontinuity issue

focuses on the extent to which development involves gradual, cumulative change or distinct stages

Early-Later Experience Issue

Issue focusing on the degree to which early experiences or later experiences are the key determinants of development


an interrelated, coherent set of ideas that helps to explain phenomena and make predictions


Specific assertions and predictions that can be tested

Psychoanalytic theories

Theories that describe development as primarily unconscious and heavily colored by emotion.

Erikson's Theory

Theory that includes eight stages of human development. Each stage consists of a unique developmental task that confronts individuals with a crisis that must be faced.

Piaget's Theory

A theory stating that children actively construct their understanding of the world and go through four stages of cognitive development

Vygotsky's Theory

A sociocultural cognitive theory that emphasizes how culture and social interaction guide cognitive development

Information-processing theory

Theory emphasizing that individuals manipulate information, monitor it, and strategize about it

Social cognitive theory

Theory that behavior, environment, and cognition are the key factors in development

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory

Tehory that development reflects the influence of five environmental systems: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem


Setting in which the adolescent lives (family, peers, school)


Relations between microsystems or connections between contexts (Relation of family experiences to school experiences, etc.)


Links between a social setting in which the adolescent does not have an active role and the individual's immediate context (husband's experience at home influenced by wife's experiences at work)


Involves the culture in which adolescents live (behavior patterns, beliefs of the group of people that the adolescent lives within)


Consists of the patterning of environmental events and transitions over the life course, as well as sociohistorical circumstances (ex. divorce)

Eclectic Theoretical Orientation

Does not follow any one theoretical approach but takes the best features from each theory

Naturalistic Observation

Observing behavior in real-world settings, making no effort to manipulate or control the situation

Standardized Test

Test that has uniform procedures for administration and scoring; allows a person's performance to be compared with performance of others

Experience Sampling Method (ESM)

Research Method where participants are given electronic pagers; when they're paged, they have to report things.

Case Study

An in-depth look at a single individual

Descriptive Research

Research that aims to observe and record behavior

Correlational research

Research that describes the strength of the relationship between two or more events or characteristics

Correlation Coefficient

The number based on statistical analysis that is used to describe the degree of association between two variables

Experimental Research

Research that is very regulated, manipulating only one factor, to study causality

Independent Variable

The factor that is being manipulated

Dependent Variable

The factor that is measured (can change as the other variable is manipulated)

Cross-sectional Research

Research that involves studying people all at one time (studying different age groups but collecting the data all at once)

Longitudinal Research

Research that involves studying the same individuals over a period of time, usually several years or more

Gender Bias

A preconceived notion about the abilities of females and males that prevents individuals from pursuing their own interests and achieving their potential

Ethnic Gloss

Using an ethnic label in a superficial way that portrays an ethnic group as more homogenous than it really is

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