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Norms of Behavior
Behavioral theorists have long recognized the influence of norms upon behavior, and for decades at least, practitioners have tried to use the media, group opinion leaders, and small-group or other interactive activities in sexuality and HIV education classes to change norms and to thereby change behavior. In addition, for a variety of reasons, people have tried to increase connectedness between youth and their families, schools and faith communities. Thus, simply recognizing that norms and connectedness influence behavior is not new. However, what is striking is the extent to which social norms, connectedness and their interaction partially explain so many research findings involving both risk and protective factors and the impact of programs. While no single theory can explain, all findings on adolescent sexual behavior are remarkably powerful.
Young teens are more likely to have sexual intercourse if they believe their friends have already done so, according to a specialist in adolescent medicine from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Sexual initiation is a planned activity for these young adolescents, who often make their decisions at the beginning of the school year. The main motivation for adolescents to participate in sexual activity is not because 'it's cool' but because they don't want to be left behind," (O'Sullivan, L.F., Meyer-Bahlburg, H.F.L., & Watkins, B.X. (1999, August).
Parents and educators can address the issue of early sexual initiation by focusing on peer groups rather than solely focusing on an individual teen, Increasing rates of HIV among urban adolescents have raised concerns about their participation in risk behaviors. Little is known about the developmental processes of normal sexual behavior in early adolescence, particularly among urban adolescent girls. Efforts to reduce rates of adolescent participation in risky sexual behavior have had only limited success. To curtail the incidence of new HIV and STD infections, we must develop and implement interventions that effectively promote safer sexual behaviors. Past researchers have examined a range of social networks associated with the onset and experience of sexual activity, yet most have failed to examine the intermediary step which is how these social interactions are interpreted by adolescents, and ultimately contribute to their sexual expectations, decisions, and behavior.
Girls' interactions with others during the process of socialization are assumed to affect their understanding of sexual roles, and hence, acquisition of socio sexual cognitions (i.e., attitudes, expectations, beliefs about their own role and the role of others in sexual behavior and relationships). The underlying premise guiding the current project is that HIV prevention efforts designed to change adolescents' sexual behavior will be most successful when (a) we understand the social cognitions associated with adolescents' sexual behavior and (b) we incorporate into the intervention scope those social networks which influence sexual development and support participation in risky sexual behaviors.
Children learn aggressive behavior through both observational learning and enactive learning.
There is a positive relationship between a child's observation of others behaving aggressively and the child behaving aggressively. Many researchers have examined the internal relations between occupation and adult development, occupation and parenting style, and parenting style and children's behavior.
The relation between occupation and level of children's antisocial aggression, however, has not been examined. Parents' involvement in community affairs may be a domain of adult development where They would likely learn communication, organization, and negotiating skills, which would
Affect their parenting styles; therefore, parents are being questioned about their volunteer
Activities. A short adult intelligence test is being administered. Parents' attitudes on violence, beliefs in the appropriateness in the use of violence, and parents' own conflict resolution scripts are being examined. Parents are being questioned on the messages, which they give to their children concerning violence: do they recommend negotiation, avoidance, or direct aggression in resolving conflicts.
The influence of an adolescent's peers was found to explain student behavior throughout the high school years better than any other variable. Having academically oriented friends seemed to encourage students to behave well and to help them resist drugs and alcohol. On the other hand, a negative peer influence seemed to greatly increase a student's risk for behavior problems and substance abuse.
Peer relations have an important role in social development of adolescents and the influence can be positive or negative. Because a school has outstanding academic accomplishments does not necessarily indicate that it is a positive social context for healthy adolescent development.
It highlights the importance of understanding of peer groups and developing strategies to foster positive peer relations. Students, adolescents in particular,…[continue]
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