Developmental Crises In Adolescence Developmental Term Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Children Type: Term Paper Paper: #64384132 Related Topics: Developmental, Nature Vs Nurture, Adolescence, Adolescent Development
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Fortunately, the school authorities also schedule dormant periods, called classes, during which students can rest their minds and take a break. . .[They] correctly understand . . . that socialization is the most. . .morally important thing they will do in high school" (Brooks 2001:74-75, cited in lecture notes). Socialization requires adaptability and flexibility, which temperamentally-sensitive individuals lack and can make them more vulnerable to the stressors that all adolescents endure. Perhaps equally significantly, high-reactive adolescents recognized their challenges and rated themselves as more dour and serious than their peers who rated themselves as high on optimism. The biological tendency, once socially reinforced, became a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy for the high-reactive teens (Kagan 2010: 38).

Biological propensities to stress can be measured in both qualitative and quantitative ways. Quantitatively, brain scans subjects can demonstrate whether the regions of the brain associated with anxiety such as the amygdala, fire up when stimulated and the results can be compared between low-reactive and high-reactive subjects. Interviews, questionnaires, and self-perceptions of teens can also be assessed on a qualitative level. Comparing the anecdotal evidence of individuals who report high levels of anxiety and those who do not in terms of the reactivity of their brain enables scientists to demonstrate the clear impact of the physical structures of the brain on behavior, and also to analyze how there is interaction between the brain and development. Certain types of brains seem to have a greater propensity to 'fire off' anxiety-producing reactions than other brains, even when both are subjected to the same stimuli.

This example shows once again the complex interaction between nature and nurture. All human beings are subject to stressors simply by virtue of being human. The brain's structure propensity to react, depending on genetics and also the early environment of the developing child can create an adolescent who is more or less likely to react to stress in a particular fashion. Once patterns of reaction...


Rejection sensitivity can actually create the fate the individual fears, and once again the self-fulfilling prophesy is reenacted, as a high-anxiety, high-reactivity individual who is uncertain, tenuous, and expects rejection is more likely to be rejected by his or her peer group.

All children make mistakes, but some resilient children can easily bounce back and laugh at themselves. Vulnerable children may become more vulnerable adolescents, given the nature of this developmental stage where rejection -- by certain peer groups, teachers, romantic partners, even colleges -- is inevitable (Kagan 2010: 43). Contrary to what the pure 'nature' enthusiasts used to espouse, namely that past history alone affected current behavior -- 'I am neurotic because my girlfriend dumped me' -- current research suggests that a highly sensitive teen will brood over and internalize the sadness and rejection generated by a breakup that another adolescent might simply ignore. This concept is supported by research which demonstrates that adolescents who are high-reactive show more responsiveness to human faces than low-reactive adolescence. In other words, a frown that might produce only a mild reaction in a low-reactive individual might produce a fairy extreme reaction in a high-reactive individual.

All human beings are motivated by similar drives in adolescence, at least within our particular, Western cultural context. "In our culture, to make it to high school in middle/late adolescence is sign of resilience: the individual needs to have had enough social capital to get through the snark-infested hallways and the locker rooms of middle school. In this stage, bodies get where they were going, yet the allure of the crowd becomes more enticing. High school is the stage in which the dramas of life are made real" (Lecture notes 2011). This portrayal of adolescence suggests there may even be a degree of higher reactivity and difficulty in interpreting emotional signals amongst adolescents, in a manner that is not present in adults with developed, mature brains. But just like all adolescent bodies are not created equal, not all adolescent brains will respond in the same way to their environments. Their level of responsiveness will affect not simply the adolescents but also the adults they become.


Kagan, J. (2010). The temperamental…

Sources Used in Documents:


Kagan, J. (2010). The temperamental thread: How genes, culture, time and luck make us who we are. Dana Press: New York

Cite this Document:

"Developmental Crises In Adolescence Developmental" (2011, October 07) Retrieved August 4, 2021, from

"Developmental Crises In Adolescence Developmental" 07 October 2011. Web.4 August. 2021. <>

"Developmental Crises In Adolescence Developmental", 07 October 2011, Accessed.4 August. 2021,

Related Documents
Adolescent Learner Unique Needs the
Words: 2696 Length: 9 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 88845591

Matching students' interests with learning objectives will increase the chances of students' learning. They tend to use it and remember it long after. Using literature relevant to adolescents, for example, will raise their literacy and capacity to address contemporary issues affecting them. Reading materials about adolescents and for adolescents are another window into their world that teachers should be looking into. This is the time when they should read

Developmental Psych Kayla Huggins Is 17 Years
Words: 1530 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 7705769

Developmental Psych Kayla Huggins is 17 years old. Kayla's parents are James and Christine Huggins. An only child, Kayla provides a rich example of how one individual progresses through the various stages of psychosocial development. Her life highlights some of the key concepts of developmental psychology. Kayla's prenatal development was uneventful, as her parents were both healthy. Her early and middle childhood periods were characterized by a loving home environment and an

Developmental Psychology Erickson's Stages of Psychological Development...
Words: 1296 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 19283410

Developmental Psychology Erickson's stages of psychological development as cited in Crain (2011) have garnered much scholarly discourse as they outline the many phases individuals go through as they mature from birth to old age. In Erickson's view, there are eight stages to development and his theory maintains that a person moves through these stages as a part of negotiating between the sociocultural and biological forces every individual must contend with (Allen

Developmental Psychology Body Image, Body Health, and
Words: 5850 Length: 20 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 70011168

Developmental Psychology Body Image, Body Health, and Pathology Eating disorders and anorexia are becoming more commonplace today, and this is true particularly of young women, although older people and men sometimes also suffer from them. It is important to look at this issue as it relates to body image and how one feels about one's body, but also important to see it in the light of the way that one trust's oneself

Adolescent Self-Portrait
Words: 590 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 55270318

Adolescence Adolescent Self-Portrait Adolescence: A conflicted life period Adolescence is often considered to be a particularly 'fraught' time during the average individual's life history. Although the construction of adolescence and the age during which someone is considered to be an adolescent may vary from culture to culture, most societies define a certain period of time as 'not childhood' and 'not adulthood.' There are common physiological changes seen in all adolescents such as menstruation

Adolescence and Personality Adolescence Is
Words: 2058 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 95631245

As Landis states: Agricultural societies historically have had no adolescent youth problem. Childhood merges directly into adulthood. In our frontier society of a few generations ago, the adolescent group was not recognized as a problem group. Young people took over the responsibilities of adulthood early and were accepted in adult roles by the society When urbanization, developed to the point where the adolescent had no place in the work world