Adolescent Identity and Behavior

Paper Type: 
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1774 Words
Date:  2021-03-11

Question one: How cultural context interact with adolescent cognition to predict adolescent identity

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Adolescence is a period marked by rapid cognitive development that lead to radical changes in the behavior and other aspects of life. Often, cultural context has a significant influence on the adolescence and impact profoundly in establishing adolescent identity. Dr. Mary Pipher book, Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls explains various cultural aspects that affect adolescent girls. The book asserts that even with the increased knowledge about adolescence, it is hard to examine the turbulent period that teenage girls undergo. Pipher argues that girls of today are at a greater and more oppressed world than before. The culture of today has undergone immense change and because of the increased information in the media, the internet, and magazine that expose dangerous materials that are highly sexualized and violent. Pipher alludes that the current polarized culture which is the cornerstone of shaping girls behaviors are poisoning them. Pipher asserts that despite the tremendous progress women have made over decades, there is a little achievement regarding female roles because males dominate almost every aspects of life.

Girls are exposed to a polarized culture at a very young age and because of the cultural pressure, they are split to adapt false selves. For example, because of the media insistence on the thin-type women as the ideal in many movies and magazines, women take extreme measures to befit this status. Self-esteem is based on the self-acceptance, and because the media shape the ideals of the girls and influence their thought and feelings, it has become hard for girls to remain authentic. Additionally, the social rules for girls are contradictory. The modern culture has not defined the proper behavior for girls, yet harsh punishment is bestowed upon them in case they break the rules.

Dr. David Elkind shares similar sentiments with Pipher about how culture interacts with the adolescents and shapes their cognitive and determine their identity. In his book, The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon, Elkind highlights the various failures in the society that impact negatively to the adolescent identity. Elkind asserts that the many dangers that adolescents face are because of the culture of hurrying children. Because of the media exposure, the availability of too much information from the internet, magazines, movies and schools, children develop faster than they ought. Elkind asserts that children should be allowed to grow based on their individual cognition. The peer and parents pressure also mount pressure on adolescent and determine how they figure their identities. Parents have become increased insecure with their kids and try hard to set ideals and goals for them. But because children cognition and development is different, Elkind argues that children cannot cope with the pressure at the same, neither can they match the ideals envisioned by their parents. Because of the increased pressure on the adolescent from parents and teacher, children tend to assume a new identity premised on pressures. Elkind concludes that the hurried child develop many social problems since they cannot cope with the pressure at their pace.

James Marcia, Identity Status Theory, is useful in explaining how the adolescent adopts their identities. Marcia asserts that identity among the adolescent is determined by their choices and the commitment they make. Similar to Pipher and Elkind argument the decisions and the commitments that the adults make are based on the cultural aspects such as religion, parents, and the environment. It is the culture that gives adolescent the values they have. Based on the values, the adolescents make choices and commitments. Marcia points out that a set of values and ideals, vocational direction and sexual orientation molds unique individual identity. Based on the degree of commitment to ideals and values the adolescents display varied personal characteristics.

Question 2: Moffitt's argument regarding the association between antisocial behavior and the maturity gap and Elkinds positions on the hurrying and adolescent

Terrie Moffitt's theory of antisocial behavior attempts to explain the gap in antisocial behavior among the adults and adults. The theory posits that there are two distinct offenders in society: the adolescent antisocial and the adult antisocial. Moffitt argues that some of the adolescent antisocial only exhibit the negative behaviors at the adolescence age but become confident as they attain adulthood. However, adult antisocial display the negative behavior since childhood and develop these negative tendencies up to maturity. Moffitt argues that some children start to exhibit antisocial behavior since childhood and developed these practices to adulthood life-course-persistent offenders. However, some children only show the antisocial behavior during the adolescence period and with time, the antisocial behavior dissipate. According to Moffitt, neuropsychological impairment and the environment are leading factors that determine the type of behaviors that children adopts and also defines the individual stability towards declining the antisocial behaviors.

Elkind theory argues that the hurrying is the primary determinant of adolescent behaviors. The rapid exposures of children, as well as the early education, are precursors that shape the values and identity of adolescents. Parents, teachers and peer put significant pressure for children to develop quickly than their cognition. Elkind points that it is dangerous to expose children very early to movies and too much information than their mind can digest. The constant exposure of materials shapes children perspectives and defines their ideals and values. Many movies and media exposure give children a common perception and ideals. For example, media have become significant in setting the ideals of beauty, which has a profound impact on adolescent emotion and their feeling of self-worth. Elkind argues that schools are also contributing to hurrying. This is because many schools are at a competition and put a high emphasis on top achievers. They use regular tests as a measure of children gift. Children have different gifts and talents. Therefore, the tests in schools cannot be sufficient measure of performance. However, schools have set ideals of gifted children, which often affect the perception of children. Low achievers in academics feel left out, which affect their emotions and satisfaction. Additionally, the development of technology such as the introduction of computers and smartphones has also contributed to hurrying. Children are constantly exposed to a lot of information because of technology and since they have the low cognitive capacity they cannot comprehend what to use and what to ignore. The high exposure of information highly leads children to adopt both good and bad values, which increasingly shape their ideals and values towards adolescence. Elkind affirms that each child is unique and should develop at own pace. He argues that individuals should not be pressured and led restrictively to grow. Elkind firmly believes that personal identity and uniqueness should be preserved at all times.

Moffitt and Elkind's theories integrate into the belief that environmental factors are important aspects that shape the adolescents identity. Todays environment has given children with a lot of exposure than before. Children spend most of their time playing computer games and surfing information over the internet. The high exposure provides the children with a new set of learning environment that shapes their values and ideals and determines their identities. Constant exposure of children to violent movies and videos has been cited as a leading factor of increased antisocial behaviors in schools. Additionally, the high connectivity among the peer is causing profound influence on children behavior. Children have become increasingly unanimous in their behaviors especially regarding values that can be seen in their preferred dressing, movies, and shared an opinion. This has been widely influenced by the presence of social media that allow peers to interact and share common values and beliefs. The environment has become central to defining and fueling hurrying of children.

Question 3: Many Developmental Psychologists believe that there is more than meets the eye when considering the behavior of adolescents.

Sometimes the surface behavior of children might be misleading and cannot be sufficient to explain juvenile characteristics. This is especially true because adolescents tend to imitate actions and mask their real emotions and feelings. Additionally, peer, teachers and parent pressure may lead children practice. Therefore, children may act outside their inner self. As Pipher theory describes, children pass an upheaval, which makes it hard to explain their behaviors. The world has become more complex because of the high exposure from different quarters. Adolescents learn their behavior from parents, teachers, and the media that have become increasingly diverse. Pipher asserts that despite the strong progress of women gains, girls are hardly recognized in the todays world. Many girls are led to adopt ideals from the environment which determines their emotions and choice of actions. Pipher analysis of girls comes from personal interaction with the girls, and despite the general understanding of the common environmental and social triggers that impact on adolescents identity, Pipher posit that each girl indicates individual factors that shape their behaviors. Some girls are affected by the peer on social media, others by the instilled ideals from their parents, others magazines, movies while other by the internet information. Therefore, it is impossible to look at the surface and predict the cultural perspective that shapes an individual identity.

Sigmund Freud explained adolescence through sexual and aggressive behaviors that are accumulated since childhood. Freud identified parents and the environment as important catalysts that shape children behaviors. Freud described adolescence regarding psychosexual development and demonstrated that the adolescent period is mainly affected by the children earlier experiences. He further asserts that genetics plays a major role in explaining the adults behavior and is independent of environmental factors. Freud argued that adolescence changes were affected by physical, environmental, self-image, and psychological factors. Freud analysis of adolescence indicates that it was difficult to pinpoint adolescents behaviors. According to his explanation, antisocial behavior to adolescents is a universal phenomenon. Therefore, an adolescent kid might become aggressive and display antisocial behavior, but that should not be sufficient for explaining or defining his/her identity.

Elkinds theory affirms that hurrying is the primary cause of many adolescent problems. While the theory is significant is examining the factors that lead to antisocial behaviors to adolescent children, sometimes it might be misleading. Elkind asserts that children are unique and have different cognitive capacities. The too much exposure to information from parents, peers, teachers, media and the technology is providing adolescent children with irrelevant information that play a vital role in shaping their identities. Indeed, multiple studies agree with Elkind that exposure of violent materials to children can trigger an increase in school violence. However, as Elkind agrees, individuals are unique and use the information from the constant exposure differently. Therefore, it is misguided to assume that the fast exposure of information to children ultimately lead to the...

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