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Myth: Adolescence is inevitably a time of psychological turmoil

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Deborah Fang

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of Myth: Adolescence is inevitably a time of psychological turmoil

Adolescence is inevitably a time of psychological turmoil Myth Adolescence: period between puberty and adulthood in human development; growing to maturity Sarah Blakemore The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen (Epstein, 2007) Survey Results! Q: Childhood is a wonderful time of life—a time for fun and exploration, when all of our needs are met and nothing is expected from us in return. Aren't we doing our teens a favor by extending childhood?

A:The main need a teenager has is to become productive and independent. After puberty, if we pretend our teens are still children, we will be unable to meet their most fundamental needs, and we will cause some teens great distress. When a young person says "I am not a child," we need to listen carefully.
(Epstein, 2007) This artificially extended childhood creates confusion and lack of independence for adolescents. It will also affect our future if we are still being taken care of by our parents because we won't be able to do simple things like changing a tire since we are so highly privileged these days. Turmoil:
an ongoing psychological
storm and stress Some of the statements & the percentage of adolescents who agreed with the statements.

I feel relaxed under normal circumstances. (91%)
I enjoy life. (90%)
Usually I control myself. (90%)
I feel strong and healthy. (86%)
Most of the time I am happy. (86%)
Even when I am sad, I can enjoy a good joke. (83%)

(Offer, Ostrav & Howard, 1984) Exaggerated amygdala response in adolescent
(Casey et al. 2010, p. 228) G. Stanley Hall -- the person came up with the idea of adolescent turmoil
-Based on Lamarckian evolutionary theory
Adolescent development is "suggestive of some ancient period of storm and stress" (1904, Vol. I, p. xiii)
Conflict with parents
Mood disruptions
Risk behavior
-Tendency is universal and biologically based, but culture influence

Anna Freud -- psychoanalytic theorist that believed that adolescent turmoil is inevitable and universal
- was suspicious of those who didn't go through turmoil
-"built up excessive defenses
against their drive activities and are now crippled by
the results"

(Arnett, 1999, p. 318) Actual Occurrence Debate: Are Teens in Turmoil? By: John Cloud John Cloud Robert Epstein

- A study by Ilene Anderson and her colleagues, showed a 15-fold increase in calls to emergency hotlines in CA involving teen abuse of over-the-counter cough medicines from 1999-2004
-A survey suggests that Americans 18 & over are most depressed at age 18, with severe mood problems for young females
-"We've completely lost sight of the abilities of our young people and trapped them in the utterly vacuous world of 'teen culture.'"
-Teens are very influenced by the fashion and media industries, and drugs are still as available as ever

- surveys by the National Institute on Drug Abuse: drug use has decreased since 1995 by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders
-doesn't think that all kids have a terrible childhood
-thinks teens' forming their own culture is healthy
-doesn't think all their role models are absurd
- thinks the "media industry" is not a bad thing (They both are a part of it)
-thinks it's naive to believe that there are societies that have "no" teen delinquency and "no" teen-parent conflict -Teen turmoil is a huge and costly problem in the U.S.
-Rather than monitoring and medicating the teens, we need to give them meaningful incentives and opportunities to join the adult world Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorder by Age Epstein's last remarks References Arnett, J. J. (1999). Adolescent storm and stress, reconsidered. American Psychologist, 54(5), 317-326.
Casey, B. J., Jones, R. M., Levita, L., Libby, V., Pattwell, S. S., Ruberry, E. J., & ... Somerville, L. H. (2010).
The storm and stress of adolescence: Insights from human imaging and mouse genetics. Developmental Psychobiology, 52(3), 225-235.
Cloud, J. (2007, March). Debate: Are Teens in Turmoil? TIME.
Epstein, R. (2007). The case against adolescence: Rediscovering the adult in every teen. Sanger, CA: Quill
Driver Books/Word Dancer Press.
Hall, G. S. (1904). Adolescence: Its psychology and its relation to physiology, anthropology, sociology,
sex, crime, religion, and education (Vols. I & 2). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Holmbeck, G. N. (1996). A model of family relational transformations during the transition to adolescence:
Parent-adolescent conflict and adaptation. In J. A. Graber, J. Brooks-Gunn, & A. C. Petersen (Eds.),
Transitions through adolescence: Interpersonal domains and context (pp. 167-199). Mahwah, NJ:
Offer, D., Ostrov, E., & Howard, K. I. (1984). The self-image of normal adolescents. New Directions for
Mental Health Services, 1984(22), 5-17.
Offer, D., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (1992). Debunking the myths of adolescence: Findings from recent
research. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 1003-1014.
Petersen, A. C , Compas, B. E., Brooks-Gunn, J., Stemmler, M., Ey, S., & Grant, K. E. (1993). Depression in
adolescence. American Psycholo-gist, 48, 155-168.
Rutter, M., Graham, P., Chadwick, O. D., & Yule, W. (1976). Adolescent Turmoil: Fact Or Fiction? Journal of
Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 17(1), 35-56.
TEDtalksDirector (Director), & TEDGlobal 2012 (Producer). (2012, September). Sarah-Jayne Blakemore:
The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain [Video]. Retrieved November 2, 2012, from
http://on.ted.com/Blakemore (Rutter, Granham, Chadwick & Yule, 1976) Our own ideas of the myth before we researched were the same. We thought that the myth was true. Deborah's thoughts I believe that this myth is true because adolescence is a time of change and this change results in people being confused, emotionally distraught, and more likely to take bigger risks. Xinyu's idea I thought adolescence was a period that is very vulnerable to psychological turmoil, but I somewhat doubted whether or not it was inevitable.
Adolescents start to learn how to live independently from their families. The ways that they used to behave and think in childhood are challenged. They experience identity crisis. There are so many reasons in adolescence that could cause psychological turmoil. Why are so many of America's young people depressed, angry, high, or out of control?

- "For the first time in human history, we have artificially extended childhood well past puberty. Simply stated, we are not letting our young people grow up." My experiences and the experiences of my peers have led me to this conclusion. Adolescence is a time of trying to figure out who we are and what kind of people we want to be. Teens definitely will make mistakes, but we learn from them. (Epstein, 2007) "Adolescence is defined as the period of life that starts with the biological, hormonal, physical changes of puberty and ends at the age of which an ind attains a stable independent role in society." Biological Evidence "This is the period of life where the brain is particularly adaptable and malleable. It's a fantastic opportunity for learning and creativity so what sometimes seen as the problem with adolescence- heightened risk taking, poor impulse control, self consciousness-shouldn't be stigmatized. It actually reflects changes in the brain that provide an excellent opportunity for education and social development." (Cloud, March 2007) High emotional reactivity Yes: 56.7% 17 people
No: 43.3% 13 people Limbic system develops first, physical development
outpace cognitive development. Adolescents' brains
are more driven by emotion than by cognition.
So their moods appear to be volatile, and they are more likely to engage in risky activities. Adolescent Turmoils Negative Effects of Over exaggerating the Prevalence

Psychiatric conditions are probably a little commoner during adolescence than during middle childhood but the difference is not a very great one and most adolescents do not show psychiatric disorder - Authoritarian parenting techniques To thwart the turmoils they anticipate in their children (Holmbeck, 1996) - Adolescence with serious problems cannot get enough attention and help Because their problems are dismissed as normal (Offer & Schonert-Reichl, 1992; Petersen et al., 1993) |
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