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Chapter 11: Development
Transcript of Chapter 11: Development
PSY 1010 Presentation Project: Chapter 11-Development
The Protraction of Adolescence
The average age of menstruation in girls and genital maturity in boys has decreased an average of 3-4 years in the past 50 years! Partly this is likely due to an improved diet, however some scientists worry that it could also be due to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body (think: microwaving food in plastic). In the past, people became physically adult at the same time they were prepared or allowed to take on adult responsibilities. This is no longer the case. So, what does this mean for us today?
Teenagers are seeking to develop their adult identities and in doing so begin to seek increasing autonomy from their parents and worry more about what their peers think. First they form cliques of the same sex, followed by mixed-sex cliques, and ultimately pair off as couples.
Schacter, D.L., Gilbert, D.T., & Wegner, D.M. (2011).
Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers.
"The study of continuity and change across the life span"
Stages of development
Infancy and Childhood
- A fertilized egg containing the chromosomes from both the sperm and the egg. These chromosomes contain the genes that will determine the biological makeup of the zygote. If the sperm cell is carrying an "X" chromosome it will be female but if it carries a "Y" chromosome the zygote will be a male.
- A two-week period that begins at conception in which the zygote begins to divide into multiple cells, by birth it will be trillions of cells. The zygote now moves through the fallopian tubes to the uterus wall. As many as half the zygotes don't make this journey, especially males for unknown reasons.
This stage covers the second to eighth week. Once the zygote attaches to the uterus wall it continues to divide and begins to develop arms, legs, gender and a beating heart.
- This stage starts from the ninth week to birth. At this stage a skeleton and muscles are developed and allow movement of the fetus. The fetus develops very rapidly in this time and the digestive and respiratory systems mature. A layer of insulating fat develops under the skin as well as a fatty sheath, known as the myelin sheath, forms around the axons of a neuron to insulate the cell and prevent neural signal leakage while traveling along the neurons.
- This environment greatly influences development of the embryo or fetus. Everything that passes through the women's system also passes through the placenta and can affect the fetus. Harmful agents such as drugs and viruses can damage the developmental process and are known as Teratogens, meaning "monster makers." The most common of these are alcohol and tobacco.
Between the ages of 20 and 26 we are at our peak in our physical abilities.
Between 26 and 30 our bodies start the slow decline fat will replace muscles, hair will become thinner, and brain cells will die at an accelerated rate.
Even though our brain cells die at accelerated rates the brain cells we do have work much better then when they were younger
The prefrontal cortex malfunctioning is the enemy in why we tend to forget things with age
Older people also tend to read more about the present to get good stimuli while younger people read about the future to get stimuli that feeds their sense of being ready
How we remember our past is also altered from aging while we're younger we remember bad things just as much as good things. When we are older we tend to remember mostly the good things because most of the bad things are irrelevant when we're older.
Amazing results show that on average married people have a higher survival rate.
Another study that had to do with satisfaction showed parents were least happy when their children were between the ages of 12 to 16. parents are happiest before children and after their last child moves out.
Don't Be Sad About Age, people age like wine
My Grandma always said
"Grandchildren are my link to the future"
Many things to look forward to about aging.
When you retire you can live like a king.
You can explore the world
You can enjoy fun experiences with your grandchildren and you no longer have to be the parent.
You have more time with your spouse and doing things you love.
You can even play jokes on people and make them believe your crazy.
Johan Smulders (2012). 11 good things about old age
the period of development that begins with the onset of sexual maturity (about 11 to 14 years old) and lasts until the beginning of adulthood (about 18 to 21 years of age).
Both males and females experience a massive growth spurt where, in just 3 to 4 years, the average adolescent gains about 40 pounds and grows about 10 inches.
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 448-449)
Neural changes during this time occur in the prefrontal cortex. A 2 year-olds brain has a bout twice as many synapses per neuron suggesting that we are built to adapt to our environment. This process is called synaptic pruning and involves eliminating synapses that are no longer needed. Research suggests that a second wave of synaptic proliferation happens just before puberty and a second round of synaptic pruning during adolescence. Clearly, the teenage brain is still a work in progress.
According to some theorists, adolescents are adults who have temporarily been denied a place in adult society. In our textbook, a study is quoted as saying that American teenagers are subjected to 10 times as many restrictions as older adults, and twice as many restrictions as active-duty U.S. Marines or incarcerated felons. The theory is that this results in them feeling especially compelled to do things to demonstrate their adulthood such as smoking, drinking, using drugs, having sex, and committing crimes.
Or perhaps that is why they have so many restrictions, so they don't mess up their lives too bad! Either way, that is one theory. The fact remains that they literally forced to live in a gap between two worlds, and the so-called storm of adolescence may be understood in part as a consequence of this dilemma.
The Gap Between Two Worlds
Another part of this theory that is a large problem for adolescence is that their parents seem to shy away from speaking openly with them about real life issues and so they are forced to learn about sex and other important topics from each other and the media, which obviously may or may not be correct information. It is no wonder that often this results in what is considered by adult standards, reckless and irresponsible behavior.
The Need for Parent to Teenager Communication
Studies show that psychological distress is greater for girls who reach puberty earlier than average and boys who reach it later than average.
What are we doing wrong here?
It seems that the sex education teens currently receive is insufficient. Our textbook states a study that says "a quarter of American teenagers have had four or more sexual partners by their senior year of high school, but only about half report using a condom during their last intercourse (CDC, 2002)."
Most American parents do not talk to their children extensively about sex, and those who do start too late because they overestimate the age at which their children start having sex." (Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 453)
What can I do?
Make it a point, as uncomfortable as it may make you, to be open with your current or future children about sex. Become an
person in their lives.
What does this mean?
1. Acquire a broad foundation of factual information from reliable sources.
2. Learn and use the correct terms for body parts and functions.
3. Think through your own feelings and values about love and sex.
4. Talk with your child.
5. Don’t worry about being hip or embarrassed
See http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/askable.pdf for more info.
By: Brandon Lewis, Christian Dover,
and Krystal Atkinson
Huberman, B and Alford, S. (2005). Are you an Askable
Parent? Retrieved from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/askable.pdf
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 456)
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p.453)
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 451)
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 450)
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 450)
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 449)
Infancy and Childhood
Motor and Perceptual Development
In this stage we also begin to gain control of movements and actions. This process usually begins form top down and from center out. For example, we can hold our head up before we roll over or crawl. We use our knees and elbows before we use our hands and feet.
Infants have very limited vision and cannot make out details after about 20 feet. Within this range they can see and remember things but at 20 feet it is like you or I looking at something at 600 feet away.
In this stage we begin to develop our ability to think and understand.
Jean Piaget, who is the father of modern developmental psychology, said that cognitive development happens in 4 stages.
While Piaget thought of the stages as graduating steps, modern psychologist believe that it is an ongoing process.
Unlike many infants in the animal kingdom who have to fight for survival alone from the get go, human infants require a primary care-giver from birth to help it grow, learn and survive. Attachments to primary care-givers come naturally to human infants and children due to their dependence on them for survival. However, the quality of the bond is determined by the interaction of the two. This is known as the "Internal working relationship" or a set of beliefs the child has about itself, the care-giver and their relationship. This relationship will determine a lot about how the infant will grow and develop socially.
From a very young age we learn that our actions bring consequences and it is from this that we begin to develop a sense of right and wrong. As we mature we begin to reason and think about the actions and reactions. We also draw relations to how we feel in these situations which helps us develop our morals.
According to psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, moral reasoning happens in 3 stages as depicted in the chart below.
During the stages of infancy and childhood we grow and develop in many ways very rapidly. These developmental phases set a foundation of who we will become as we mature.
Jean Piaget - GGCWiki. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2014, from
Stages of Child Development | School and Family Resource Center. (n.d.).
Retrieved from http://nwsisdfce.wordpress.com/parent-and-family-2/child-development-stages/
("Stages of Child Development | School and Family Resource Center", n.d.,)
("Jean Piaget - GGCWiki", n.d.,)
Opinions On Growing Older
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 456-457)
(SChater, Gilbert, and wegner p. 425)
(SChater, Gilbert, and wegner p. 428)
(SChater, Gilbert, and wegner p. 403)
Getting Older Is Not As Bad As Most People Expect
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 459-460)
(Schater, Gilbert, and Wegner p. 461-463)
"Growing Old in America." Pew Research Centers Social Demographic Trends Project RSS. PewReasearcherCenter, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2014. <http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2009/06/29/growing-old-in-america-expectations-vs-reality/>.