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Adolescence - Learning And Development Essay Sample

Adolescence is considered as a normal part of the human life span, connecting middle childhood and young adulthood, this period consists of three separate phases: early, middle, and late adolescence.

The adolescent years extend roughly from age 10 to age 22. It is common to mark the beginning of the teenage years as the entrance to adolescence; most people consider that the onset of puberty, or the beginning of sexual maturity, as a sign of an individual’s passage from middle childhood to adolescence.

While the physical changes of puberty are an important indicator signalling adolescent development, many other kinds of changes also occur during the adolescent years; cognitive, self-concept, social / moral reasoning and the ability to think abstractly.

Our goal is to describe the normal, average, development of adolescents so that parents and other caregivers can recognize, understand, and appreciate the important developmental milestones of this transitional period. With this increased knowledge and understanding, parents are in a better position to support and guide their teens throughout these amazing, but often difficult years. While this article is primarily descriptive in nature, future articles will provide parents with concrete advice and practical solutions for common problems that often occur during this developmental period.

Although this developmental period of life needn’t be an uncommonly stressful time, adolescents do encounter stresses. Most adolescents are well adjusted individuals not depressed mixed up people as is commonly thought, possessing rather than lacking in self-control and confidence.

Since sundry decades, the inter-relation between health, psychological growth and physical development have become apparent. It is very necessary to apprehend how children and adolescents develop, in what environment they are being brought up and how much encouragement and support they receive from their peers and family. As we might have seen through many practical experiences, a happy childhood leads to a contended adult. Individuals who did not have a happy childhood fear from taking new challenges in life, where the ones with a happy childhood can confidently face new challenges, one of the reasons being that they know there are people who will support them and foster them through trifles of life. Adolescents are very fickle and are very likely to be influence by the bad elements of the society. Therefore, parents and peers must understand in what environment and adolescent and a child grows so that he or she acquires the acquisitions to take the right decisions whenever required. Most importantly, the environment in which an individual grows must be monitored and understood well to ensure proper development of the individual.

At the same time it must be recognised some adolescents exhibit signs of disturbance and can suffer severe life crisis.

Early adolescence

The initial period of change that marks the adolescent years is called early adolescence, which extends roughly from age 10 to age 14. During these years, the individual is expected to make certain transitions.

What is Adolescence?

Adolescence is a transitional period, from childhood to adulthood which spans the ages of 12-24 years old. During adolescence the desire for independence and autonomy increases, and parents usually find themselves much less thrilled with the developmental indicators of this increasing maturity.

An early adolescent is expected to move from the security of a junior school to the stress of a secondary school education. However, in preindustrial societies, where the notion of teachers and schools differs from that in industrial societies, education occurs by working closely with skilled adults, often as an apprentice.
The following artifact is an essay that counted as the final exam for a class I completed in the Fall Semester of 2009. The class was ECI 309- Teaching in the Middle Years. In this class, we were fortunate enough to get to participate in The Outsiders Project. The Outsiders Project involves NC State Students working closely with seventh grade middle school students. As part of the project, we were all required to have read the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. In groups, we explored the book and eventually planned out our very own music video to go along with the song lyrics, which were about the novel.

Formal education may be available but limited to a small portion of male youths for a few hours weekly. Unlike youths from industrialised countries, who spend a great portion of their time with peers, adolescents in preindustrial societies spend more time in the company of same-sex adults (Schlegel & Barry, 1991).
Child and adolescent development is a complex intertwining of systems and mechanisms, all of which take place in the greater world environment. Each theory and theorist has a different view on development, and yet, they all agree that the one thing that affects development most is the external, societal environment.

Middle adolescence

Middle adolescence coincides with time spent in secondary education namely, ages 15 through 17 these years are marked by increased independence in decision-making and increased time away from home and with peers.

Before our class got started on this project, we had been learning about numerous theorists and their development theories. To extend our knowledge on these theories, we were instructed to examine them closely in the specific context of The Outsiders Project. In other words, we were to pay close attention to the middle school students in our group and were instructed to take notes on any specific behaviors, mannerisms, etc. that we saw. This was such a neat experience because I was able to see the theories I learned about come to life through working with my group of adolescents. It did surprise me at first that I was able to make so many connections between the development theories and my group of middle school students. From this I learned that development theories are important and valuable for teachers to know and understand!

By the midd1e adolescent years, individuals whose puberty has been delayed will ”finally” begin to mature physically. This delay can cause psychological trauma for some individuals.

Late adolescence

Late adolescence comprises the final years of the adolescent period ages 18 to 22. Separating from parents and gaining independence are responsibilities that mark the lives of many young people during their late adolescent years.

When teenagers become adults, they go on to establish their lives, centering on family and career. Those who flourish during this stage will think that they are adding to the world by being dynamic in their society and home. "These are the years when careers flourish families are raised and people find their comfort zones being productive and responsible members of society." (Kids Development 2009) Those who do not succeed to achieve this acquisition will consider themselves ineffectual and detached from the world.

Some adults, even in there 30s and 40s, seem never to have entered adulthood. They have remained adolescents in terms of their views toward responsibility, identity, and interpersonal skills. The end of adolescence is less easily identified than it’s beginning, although separation from home and financial independence are the markers that typically herald an individual’s passage from late adolescence to young adulthood.
In addition to these simple observations of a changing culture and economy, the validity of a separate and distinct period of adolescent development has been supported by scientific research. This research provides additional evidence that adolescents are uniquely different from children and adults in a number of significant ways.

Research into adolescence

Researchers have shown growing interest in adolescents and adolescent development. This can be seen in the formation of professional organizations, such as the Biennial Conference on Adolescent Research And the Society for Research on Adolescence.

Cognitive developmental theories are based on research that indicates an individuals' development from birth to adulthood. It was once believed that babies weren't aware of their surroundings until they started to learn to speak, however we all know this isn't the case and researchers have proved this theory in a number of studies. From birth through infancy and into adulthood we constantly develop and learn from genetic and learned factors. "As children grow into adolescents and then into adults, individual and innate characteristics (hereditary) and life experience (environment) play an increasing role as children adapt to internal and external conditions…" (Papalia, Olds, Wendkos, Feldman, Duskinn p 12) We learn from our surroundings as well as from inherited traits.

Numerous research journals devoted to adolescence have emerged since the late 1970s. These include the Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Adolescent Research, Journal of Early Adolescence, and Journal of Research on Adolescence.
At the end of this project, we were instructed to write a final essay that told of all the specific connections we made between the development theories and our group of middle school students. I chose to include this essay as one of my artifacts under the category of Adolescent Development because this paper truly encompasses that topic. Like I have stated above, my paper explains in detail what behaviors I found and how they connected with the development theories we had been studying all semester. I believe that if we would all take the time to study adolescent development, we would be able to better understand middle grades students. Thus, as teachers, we would in turn be better able to reach them and make certain they learn whatever material we are teaching them. This is one of the most extensive papers I have written in the College of Education at NC State, and I think it is one of my best pieces of work.

In addition, several recent books have focused on specific adolescent Concerns, such as adolescent suicide (Curran, 1987), drug use (Johnston, O’Malley, & Bachman, 1988), sex and pregnancy (Byme & Fisher, 1983; Coles & Stokes, 1985), runaways (Lefkowitz, 1987), and work (Greenberger & Steinberg, 1986).
It may be surprising to learn that the concept of adolescence as a separate and distinct period of development is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Views on Adolescence development

Divergent views about adolescence have emerged in the 20th century. Some scholars consider adolescence to be a time of exceptional storm and stress, (Barker, 1976; Bios, 1976/1979j; A Freud, 1958/1969; S. Freud, Haim, 1974; Hall, 1904; Stone & Church, 1973).

This stage comprises infants ranging from birth to two years of age. The child relies on the parents, particularly the mother, for comfortableness, existence, and food. The infant's comparative apprehension of society and world descend from the parents and their involvement with the infant. "During the first year of life, a baby forms their first feelings about the world and whether or not it is a safe place based on the level of consistent care provided by caregivers." (Kids Development 2009) If the parents allow the infant to tenderness, regularity, and reliable lovingness, the perception of the child of the world will be one of faith. If the parents go wrong in furnishing a safe surrounding and in meeting the requirements of the infant, a feeling of disbelief will consequence.

Several researchers have considered Adolescents to be members of a subculture at odds with adults, peer pressure and parental influence are regarded as having adverse effects on adolescent Children. However, a growing body of research has challenged the notion that Adolescence is typically a time of turmoil and strain, asserting instead that the adolescence years are marked by relative calm and stability for most children (Bandura, 1964/1980; Connell, Stroobant, Sinclair, & Rogers, 1975; Offer, 1969, 1984; Offer, Ostrov, Howard, & Atkinson, 1988

Many parents accept the storm and stress view of adolescence, many parents express anxiety that there son or daughter will soon enter Adolescence. These parents seem to think the adolescent years are filled with tension and conflict, children are transformed into some sort of monsters, and family life will be particularly stressful once their child enters into this stage of development Some researchers consider the adolescent years to be Relatively free of turmoil and stress, parents look upon such claims as wishful thinking. To quote Anna Freud (1958/1969), “the one thing we Expect to be normal about adolescents is that they will be abnormal”.

For children who develop normally, this interplay is hardly recognizable, as each area develops successfully and does not require review. Yet physical growth requires the body to recognize and utilize outside experiences to develop (i.e. recognizing that climbing will help build muscle memory) and the emotional ability to feel safe about trying new things. Therefore, physical development relies on emotional and cognitive development to be successful. Emotional development relies on thinking to interpret situations and to recognize people's responses, in addition to being able to interpret their responses and shape behaviors accordingly. Emotional development relies on physical development to be able to shape those behaviors. Cognitive development relies on both physical and emotional development to shape thoughts about behaviors, and to carry out the thoughts. If at any point one of these areas is delayed or limited, both of the other areas will be similarly limited.

Some conclude that there is something peculiar about an adolescent whose life is not filled with turmoil and stress.

Effects of heredity and environment on adolescent development

Heredity refers to a set of qualities that are a fixed at birth and hence predetermine certain individual characteristics.

This stage comprises children from the age of two to four. The infant is still not capable of conceiving theoretically and requires strong physical circumstances. Substances are relegated in simple methods, particularly by significant characteristics. During this stage it is said that a child has the inability to be able to "put themselves in others shoes". They think that everyone else feels the same way they do when they are feeling a certain way. The child is typically described as being "egocentric" during this phase. "Egocentrism refers to the child's inability to see a situation from another person's point of view. According to Piaget, the egocentric child assumes that other people see, hear and feel exactly the same as the child does." (McLeod 2007).

Every normal human body is made up of thousands of Genes that serve to determine eye colour, physical build, intelligence, personality and so forth. Heredity thus accounts for many individual trails and characteristics.
Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory explicates cognition in terms of the interrelation between demeanor, ecological aspects, and personal aspects. It also furnishes the theoretical account for synergistic cognition utilized to formulate both Cooperative Cognition and Constructivism. (SCT 2007) Bandura conducted several studies on the idea that children learn behavior from others. "Evaluating behavioral change depends on the factors environment, people and behavior. SCT provides a framework for designing, implementing and evaluating programs." (Glanz 2004). An example of Bandura's theory can be observed in a household. If a child has parent's who have anger issues and are always "exploding" when they get upset, chances are the behavior will be observed and performed by their children. The child will learn to think that this is the "correct" way to act and in turn mimic their parents.

However, it is also true that the environment modifies these traits and characteristics. For example, body build is determined mostly by heredity, but it is impossible to effect change in this predisposition by exercising, using steroids, and eating specific diets.
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Similarly, Intelligence is developed by environmental factors interacting with heredity (although there are some who believe intelligence is almost exclusively determined by heredity).

Environmental effects, It has been suggested thus far that development is often influenced by the interaction of heredity and environmental factors.

Societal expectations and norms play a major role in child development. Vygotsky presents social learning theory, as does Bandura. Vygotsky suggests that children develop and experience society in zones, and how those zones interrelate affects the child's development. Bandura, similarly, suggests that children learn behaviors and concepts through interaction with society, and that the behaviors they learn influence how they think and what they believe. Piaget, Bruner, Erikson, Freud, everyone suggests that in some way society plays the key role in children's development. Indeed, it must. Because for children to develop successfully, they must firmly understand how their own society works, so that they may alter their behaviors to fit within that society. Behavior and thinking patterns even are societally linked, and are learned behaviors.

·What are the effects of raising a child in a poverty environment?

·How does a poor diet affect the development of a child?

·What is the effect of growing up in different family environments?

Research based on these questions has given some definite information about environmental effects.

Erikson's Psychosocial Theory growth is one of the best-recognized hypotheses of personality in psychological science. He conceived that personality springs up in a sequential manner, in eight stages. His theory depicts the affect of social encounter across the entire lifetime. It lays down the basis of a properly growing individual should develop from an infant to maturity. In every stage the individual faces, and hopefully overcomes, fresh challenging situations.

It is known that a poverty environment and a poor diet can retard development. Similarly, growing up in a secure family environment will probably predispose a child to their endeavours. Although the environment affects development in several ways, its principal effect is through its influence on the learning that takes place within each child.
The basic attention of the researches conducted by Jean Piaget, Eric Erickson and Albert Bandura has been on how to attain, work on and store entropy collected during the lifetime of an individual. There exist diverse practical diligences for cognitive theories, like enhancement of memory, enhancement of resolution-taking efficacy, and the strengthening of educational and emotional spheres in the life of an individual. From birth through adolescence and into our adulthood years theorist have proved that we develop through inherited traits along with influences from our environment.

Learning is described as a relatively permanent change in the behaviour of an individual. Thus, behavioural changes due to disease, drugs, fatigue, and the like are excluded from learned behaviour.


“Theories are sets of statements, understandable to others which make predictions about empirical events” (Mandler and Kessen, 1959,).

It would be confusing and frustrating if there were no theories to explain a variety of human behaviours.

This stage involves children from birth to the age of two. The baby establishes an apprehension of herself or himself and realism (and the way matters work) by encounters with the surroundings and ecology.(Learning Theories Knowledge Base 2009). This stage is when a baby starts to identify the difference between right and wrong, and yes and no. Because they can relate to a wide range of viewpoints, they no longer feel that there is an absolute standard of right and wrong (Papalia, Olds, Wendkos, Feldman, Duskinn p. 355). The baby is capable of distinguishing between herself or himself and various other substances around. The cognitive process happens through absorption (the arrangement of entropy and absorbing it into subsisting scheme) and adjustment (when a substance cannot be absorbed and the schemes have to be altered to admit the substance).

Five major theoretical views of development will be discussed:

·The maturational,

·The cognitive,

·The psychoanalytic,

·The behavioural or learning theory,

·The humanistic.

It is rare that everyone accepts any one theory, since in one way or another a given theory is incomplete.

According to Wilson, there is a biological basis for all behavior. His research draws on other areas of science (including biology and anthropology) and looks at the impact of biology and social development (Papalia at al., 2006, p. 35). From Wilson's work, it is clear that children who are delayed in their physical development will also be delayed in their ability to develop cognitively and emotionally. Additionally, these children will experience a different social reality that children who have not experienced physical disability will, since people react to and act differently towards people with disabilities. Looking at how abnormal development is affected by physical development, it is clear that there is a link between different developmental areas and how they affect one another.

This incompleteness’ is due primarily to the desire of the theorist to explain a slightly different facet of child development. For example, psychoanalytic theory condemns itself with the development of personality (primarily), whereas cognitive theory attempts to provide explanatory principles for the development of thinking.
As per the Social Cognitive Theory, the learner develops cognition as her or his surrounding comes together with personal encounters and personal lineaments. (Kids Development 2009) Fresh encounters are assessed face-to-face with the past; anterior encounters succor to gradually lead and communicate to the learner as to in what way the present must be looked into.

Maturational theory

Although maturational theory is not widely accepted today brief mention of it will be made mainly because it played a significant role in the evolution of the study of child development.

This paper examines three cognitive theories namely Piaget's Cognitive Theory, Social Cognitive Theory and Erikson's Cognitive Theory. This paper examines the key points and postulates of the theories, the basic similarities and differences between the theories. It is very significant to understand the relationships between adolescent and child development for the proper rearing of an individual. This paper also explains the reason for this.

In the 1930s Gesell advanced his theory of development, which emphasized the role of maturation. Although he recognized that a child’s behaviour is affected by experience, he argued that a child s development is determined biologically Gesell’s work prompted a great deal of normative-descriptive research.
Looking at development as learned behavior, understanding normal child and adolescent development and recognizing its link to physical development becomes much simpler. Simply put, all of development is closely interrelated. Normal child and adolescent development successfully ends in a person who is able to live and interact in the society in which they were trained. These people understand societal norms and expectations, and use just such rules to monitor and self-select their behaviors.

That is, numerous children were observed and assessed during their early years, and from these data developmental norms were established. Thus, although maturational theory receives little support today, it has made a significant contribution to child psychology in that much of the knowledge about early motor skill development comes from research that dealt with maturational theory.
One of the primary formulations in the theory suggested by Erikson was the ego individuality, which is a conscious self-sense that is acquired through coming in contact with various aspects of the society. Erikson suggested that an individual's ego individuality constantly alters due to altering encounters and altering interactions. There is no such definition in the theory proposed by Jean Piaget, although the developmental alterations are discussed in four different stages. This aspect is described in the Social Cognitive Theory as "mutual assessment", as said by one of the famous psychologists promoting this theory, Albert Bandura, emphasizing on the fact that not only does the surrounding around an individual crusade demeanor, but also the demeanor of an individual crusades the surroundings.

Cognitive theory

Cognitive psychologists who conduct developmental research are primarily interested in the development of intelligence, thinking, and language. There is no argument that Piaget is the one researcher who has made the greatest contribution to understanding cognitive development in children.

The theories formulated by Piaget concerns development from birth to the age of fifteen, where as the theories of Erikson concerns the development process from birth till old age. So, Erikson's theory is a wider conceptualization. Piaget observed his own children for the purpose of formulation of the theories, whereas there were no such circumstances in case of the formulation of theories by Eric Erikson. On the contrary, the social cognitive theory does not focus on people belonging to any particular age group.

Although Piaget (1952) has been conducting research and writing about child development since the 1920s, it is only recently that psychologists have accepted much of his work. Basically Piaget concerns himself with explaining similarities among children rather than individual differences.
This stage comprises children between the ages of seven to eleven. Jean Piaget's concrete operational approach is the third of four stages. According to Piaget this stage of development begins at around age seven and ends at about age eleven."During this time, children gain a better understanding of mental operations, children begin thinking logically about concrete events, but have difficulty understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts" (Van Wagner 2005). This stage is seen beginning at the elementary years. The infant initiates to conceive theoretically and gestating, making coherent structures that explicate her or his physical encounters.

He points out that Children throughout the world go through the same stages of developing solutions to cognitive problems. Piaget believes that this discovery of solutions occurs largely because of the child’s interaction with the environment.
Successful emotional and cognitive development is commonly believed to be two separate processes. Yet, according to a study by Martha Ann Bell and Christy D. Wolfe, emotional and cognitive behaviors and developments are linked and act upon each other an with each other to process ideas and information, and to act (2004, 1). For children to develop successfully then, both processes must be taken into consideration. A child who is emotionally delayed will not be able to excel cognitively, and vise-versa.

Further, according to Piaget, the child is not a passive recipient of events in the environment; rather, the child seeks out experiences. Although Piaget does not downplay the significance of maturation in cognitive development, he does not view all of development as an unfolding of biological processes.
This stage comprises children between the ages of eleven to fifteen. This child learns to think creatively and logically putting outcomes to particular actions. By this particular stage, the individual no longer needs strong substances to decide intellectual assessments. He or she is able to reason with deduction and hypothesis. "As adolescents enter this stage, they gain the ability to think in an abstract manner, the ability to combine and classify items in a more sophisticated way." (McLeod 2007). Piaget used a series of experimental data from a number of children to come to the conclusion that children develop a significant amount of logical reasoning during this period.

Piaget’ s views of the developing child have had a significant impact on contemporary research in child development from both a theoretical and practical perspective. For instance, Bruner and others (1966) have made important theoretical contributions that stemmed from Piaget’ s early work, and Kohlberg (1964) has relied heavily on Piagetian theory to explain moral development in children.

Erikson's theory bases its assumptions on social and self preferences, whereas Piaget's theory bases its assumptions on the capabilities of a child and senses. On the other hand, the assumptions of the Social Cognitive theory were primarily based on the environment in which an individual lives.

From a practical standpoint Piagetian theory has had a significant effect on teaching styles in the classroom. Piaget’ s emphasis on informal, experiential learning has led to an emphasis of highly structured, informative approaches to teaching in many classrooms.
This topic center provides a review of theories of child development for children aged 12-24. For information on parenting and child development of infants aged 0 to 2, please visit our Infant Parenting and Child Development topic center. For information on parenting and child development of preschool children (early childhood aged 3 to 7, please visit our Early Childhood Parenting and Child Development topic center. For information on parenting and child development of middle childhood children (ages 8 to 11), please visit our Middle Childhood Parenting and Development center.

Psychoanalytic theory

Psychoanalytic theory concerns itself primarily with explaining the development of personality and changes in interpersonal relationships. The developer of this theory was Sigmund Freud, an Austrian psychiatrist; however, others such as Erik Erikson and Anna Freud have built upon Freud’s initial work.

All the three theories basically throw light upon the development of personality of an individual throughout their lifetime. They suggest that an individual analyzes his or her surrounding and people around and learn in the process, and the cognition in return helps them, to make an impact on the society and on the world and have a successful life. All the theories assume the utilization of the scientific processes, and usually refuse self-examination as a reasonable process of probe, dissimilar to the pleasure-driven advances like the theories formulated by Sigmund Freud. They denotatively recognize the subsistence of internal mental conditions like trust, wants, support and encouragement. Sensationalism of the theories aggregated with the espousal of internal mental conditions present the validity of the theories as suggested by the three theories. All the theories can be successfully employed educational exercises and kinships.

The basic concepts associated with psychoanalytic theory include Freud’s personality structure of the id (unconscious impulses), ego (conscious thinking process), and superego (conscious associated with values), as well as stages of development including oral, anal, and phallic, latency, adolescence, and maturity.

This stage engulfs the period of early maturity when people are experiencing personal kinships. Erikson conceived it was critical that individuals acquire intimate, committed kinships with other individuals. Those who are victorious at this stage will acquire kinships that are committed and safe. Those who won't will endure isolation.

Freud’ s interest cantered on abnormal functioning in adults, so his theory was concerned with explaining various ways in which these abnormalities could arise. In Freud’ s view personality followed a fixed developmental pattern with stages brought about in part by maturational changes in the body.
This comprises teenagers. During teenage years, teenagers are enjoying their liberty and growing a feeling of self. According to Bandura, those who attain support through personal ascertaining will emanate from this stage with a concrete feeling of self and a sense of liberty and check. Those who retain dubious of their faiths and wishes will be unsure and insecure about the futurity and themselves. (Van Wagner 2009).

Freud believed that the critical factors in the development of a healthy personality were the type of treatment a child received at each stage in development and the type of relationship the child had with the mother.
This stage comprises children between the ages of two to three. As the child develops check over eliminative operations and motor capabilities they initiate to ascertain their environment. The parents even in this stage furnish a strong ground of safety from which the infant can embark out to put forward their volition. The forbearance of the parents and support succors further liberty in the infant. "Children who successfully complete this stage feel secure and confident" (Van Wagner 2005).

Erikson (1963) extended Freud’s work by proposing eight stages (from birth to death) in the development of personality. Erikson suggests that during each of these stages the individual must resolve an emotional or interpersonal problem.

During the years of primary schooling, children start to asseverate their check and power over the world by aiming play and other social involvement. Children who are flourishing at this stage decipher the capability and ability to guide others. Those who go wrong in attaining these acquisitions are left with a guilty conscience, absence of initiative and self-dubiousness. During this stage it is helpful when parents are actively rewarding their children for doing right rather than wrong. It helps a child prosper more and feel more confident when they know their parents are recognizing their good deeds and encouraging them to act in this manner more.

For example, in stage 1 the basic issue is whether the child will develop a sense of trust or mistrust. According to Erikson this development will depend upon the kind of relationship the child has with parents and other adults.
Brofenbrenner's theory of development is particularly relevant to a discussion of physical and cognitive development. His theory of micro and macro systems working together to allow a child to develop suggest that all parts of development are closely interrelated, and that if any part of development is delayed, all other areas of development will be affected (Papalia at al., 2006, p. 36-38). As a child develops, physically, they begin to recognize the limitations that are placed on them both by their own body, and by society.

The resolution of the conflicts in stage 1 in turn affects the outcomes of the subsequent stages of development.

Psychoanalytic theory has received considerable criticism mainly because the concepts associated with it are difficult to objectify and as a result are not easily subjected to scientific inquiry.

Thanks - I have received an e-mail from the site admins. (Thank you admins people!). I'll be giving your company a try in the fall semester.

On the other hand, psychoanalytic theory has made significant contributions to knowledge in child development. In addition the theory helped explain that what happens early in life is of utmost importance for development during adolescence.
I feel sorry about you. It's just happened to me too - check my next post.

The Main Behaviourist Explanations of learning theory

The behaviourist school of psychology is utterly at odds with psychoanalysis. Behaviourist thinkers prefer to observable behaviour rather than to speculate about unconscious motivations

The three main behaviourist explanations for the acquisition of behaviour are social learning, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning.

I wish you'd let people know who you work for as I'd be happy to order essays from you. I have been scammed in the past and find it hard to know where to order from to be assured a good standard of writing as so many bad companies seem to operate under multiple aliases.

The classical and operant conditioning models do not allow human cognition any place in human learning. In fact, the most famous of all behaviourists, B. F Skinner, condemned psychologists’ appeals to cognition as matters of superstition that retard the growth of psychology as a science (Skinner, 1990).
Therefore, the criteria for successful child and adolescent cognitive and emotional development is an environment that allows the child to develop and achieve their own needs, and yet one that also allows the child to learn about the society in which they live, so that their actions will not hinder their ability to become a part of that society. This criterion depends on the child's ability to interpret their own surroundings, and to be able to interact successfully with their environment. Children with disabilities will be limited then in their ability to successfully engage in societal growth, forcing them to learn to adapt, or forcing society to adapt to their needs. With this in mind, it is clear then that physical development plays a role in both emotional and cognitive development.

However, the social learning theory of behaviour accepts that cognitive processes are substantially involved in human performance.

Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning, employed by 1van Pavlov in his well-known experiments with dogs, explains behaviour as the response of an organism to previously neutral stimuli that have become associated with some stimuli that naturally and automatically elicit this response.

For children to develop, they need to be offered an environment in which they feel safe and protected, able to explore both their own feelings and their actions. This environment also must be cognitively and physically stimulating, offering new and unique concepts while maintaining familiarity. Finally, this environment must allow the child to see and be a part of society and experience societal norms. Without this key piece, the child will be unable to successfully function in their own society.

For instance, Pavlov noted that dogs begin to salivate when they are shown food; when a bell was rung directly before the dogs were given the food, the dogs soon salivated at the sound of the bell itself.
Joined: Aug 07, 2006
Sep 08, 2006 | #10
I'm a freelance writer (contracted by a number of essay writing companies) so you can deal directly with me. I have not used any parts of "your" paper - everything I wrote above is original.

Television advertising often employs classical conditioning principles by pairing the product being sold with sexual stimuli. Blackham (1977) gave a clear example of classical conditioning in the life of a child whose father swatted him with a fly swatter when the boy misbehaved.

The swatting itself hurt and frightened the child; however, the child began to associate other neutral stimuli with his punishment: his bedroom where the punishment always occurred, his father, and the fly swatter.

Joined: Aug 07, 2006
Sep 08, 2006 | #12
"so you have a book that is exclusive to my university?" - this book is FREELY available at most university libraries (you can also buy it from several book stores online - including ebay). You may go to and enter the book's title and authors to check for yourself. When writing a paper that requires specific information, I always make sure I have access to the book/s - otherwise I wouldn't be able to do a good job.

“Previously neutral stimuli . . . developed the capacity to produce fear themselves” (Blackham, 1977). John Watson, the behaviourist from the 1920s, who conditioned a young boy (called “Little Albert” in the study) to fear rabbits by making a loud sound whenever the boy spotted a rabbit. Within short period, not only did the boy fear rabbits but also other objects (such as dolls and stuffed animals) that resembled rabbits.
Joined: Aug 07, 2006
Aug 07, 2006 | #1
I cannot disclose the name of this student, but here is the paper I wrote for him (for some reason, he thought it was useless for him and I wasn't paid for it). Maybe it will be useful for another student. :)

Watson’s treatment of Little Albert would today be considered a serious violation of the rights of human persons in psychological experiments, even child abuse.

Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning, for which Skinner became internationally famous, explains that behaviour is the result of consequences.

Normal development requires a child to be able to interact with their environment, and to interpret their findings. Children who have had physical delays or physical disabilities will be limited in their ability to successfully interact with their environment. Children who have cognitive or emotional delays or disabilities will have trouble interpreting their findings, which with also delay their development.

In other words, what follows the performance of behaviour increases the likelihood that the individual will repeat that behaviour if the consequence is rewarding. Whereas classical conditioning indicates that behaviour occurs because of stimuli that precede it, operant conditioning indicates that behaviour occurs because of consequences that follow.
At the time of ordering the paper (and later in a follow-up email) you wrote you would combine the two parts of the paper yourself, but at the end (after receiving the completed paper) you "changed your mind." I wasn't paid for several hours of my work (since your payment has been refunded).

For instance, Skinner noted that pigeons could be taught to peck a lever in a cage when they learn that pecking releases food pellets. The food is a reinforcer that strengthens the likelihood that the pecking behaviour will occur. Skinner studied the many forms behaviour takes as a consequence of reinforcement and insisted throughout his professional career that psychology, as a science should concentrate on studying only schedules of reinforcement (Skinner, 1990).

A common example of operant conditioning in human beings is illustrated by an interaction between a parent and child.

This stage comprises children between the age of five to eleven. Through social involvements, children start to grow a feeling of plume in their works and capabilities. Children who are supported and guided by teachers and parents grow a sense of competency and faith in their acquisitions. "Parents and teachers who provide positive feedback can help children to feel confident and capable, vital characteristics for happiness and future success"(Kids Development 2009) Those who attain no or little support from teachers, friends, or parents will incertitude their capability to be prosperous.

The parent informs the child that he/she can watch her favourite TV program only if she first tidies their room. If enforced consistently, the parent’ s rule will teach the child that what is desired (watching a TV program) is contingent upon a specific behaviour (tiding their room).
This stage comes in to action in old age and is centered on pondering back over life. Those who are abortive during this stage will think that their life had been a waste and will encounter many types of rue. The person will be left with resentments and desperation. Those who have pride in their achievements will have a feeling of wholeness. Prosperously finishing this stage means retrospection with few rues and a sense of satiation. These people will achieve sapience, even when facing demise.

In short, operant conditioning is the theory that behaviour is controlled by consequences.

Humanistic theory

Humanistic psychology is a rather recent theoretical development in psychology. It basically developed from the work of Maslow (1968) and Rogers (1951), who felt that many psychological processes could not be adequately explained either by psychoanalytic theory or learning theory.

A teen's normal developmental process can certainly confound and frustrate even the most patient and understanding parents.

Included in the list of unexplainable processes were creativity, love, self-concept, autonomy, and identity.

The core feature of humanism is that it is concerned with affection for mankind, man’s dignity, man’ s mental health, respect for individuality, and an intense interest in man’s behaviour as a human being. Although humanistic psychology is a rather new force, it has produced interesting practical changes in both psychology and education. Psychology humanism brought about new forms of therapy, both individual and group. Further, there has been a shift from animal experimentation and experimentation with pathological subjects to experimentation with, ‘normal, healthy” individuals. This experimentation is also different from that of the behaviourists because the focus in humanism is more on the individual than on average group performance.

Adolescence is bounded by middle childhood at one end and young adulthood at the other.

Bell, Martha Ann & Wolfe, Christy D. (2004)Emotion and Cognition: An Intricately Bound Developmental Process. Child Development 75 (2), 366-370.

Developments during middle childhood socialization, changes in reasoning skills, and development of coping skills in response to stress prepare individuals for the changes that occur during adolescence. While adolescence is a separate, indeed unique, period of change in a person’s life, the changes of adolescence point not only back to middle childhood but also ahead to the greater maturity expected of a young adult.


Adolescence is considered as a normal part of the human life span, connecting middle childhood and young adulthood, this period consists of three separate phases: early, middle, and late adolescence.

The adolescent years extend roughly from age 10 to age 22. While the physical changes of puberty are an important indicator signalling adolescent development, many other kinds of changes also occur during the adolescent years; cognitive, self-concept, social / moral reasoning and the ability to think abstractly

Adolescence has long been recognised as one of the most important areas of scientific investigation. Part of this importance arises from education, adolescence co-insides with the start of many children’s secondary education, and when children begin studying for their GCSE examinations. The Education system in the UK has a statutory responsibility for the promotion of cognitive development. Education during the adolescence period is usually seen as the long-term consequences of the schools’ successes and failures, both for the remainder of education and for society generally. As such, there has been a long tradition of enquiry into adolescent development motivated by the desire to improve the system of education. There is little doubt, in fact, that, because of this, the area has been among the most actively researched in the whole field of psychology.

There is a large amount of agreements and disagreements between psychologists in the area of child development during adolescence. Because some agreements or disagreements have persisted over time, and others have changed dramatically, this has lead to the foundation of some very solid theories being developed. Piaget’s theory still dominates the area. Researchers are still preoccupied with descriptions of how differently children think at different ages or stages (rather than getting beyond that to the process of change itself), and what could be improved in schools to promote development (especially in particular subject areas like the science and design). Some things have changed, the grip of Piaget’s theory has weakened in many ways, and new research is attempting to revise many Piagetian views. There has been a growing incursion of ”information-processing” theories of cognition into the area of cognitive development. New views of the persistent problems experienced in education over the adolescent period of development have emerged, and what we might be doing about them.

Anna Freud described adolescence as a developmental disturbance and a period of turmoil. She cast suspicion on adolescents who did not manifest signs of upheaval in their lives (A Freud, 1946, 1958/1969).

“Only through conflict can maturity be attained” (Bios 1971/1979b,)

Theoretical Issues: In Brief

G. Stanley Hall Considered the discoverer of adolescence as a stage of development. Held many extreme views, such as the storm and stress theory, as well as an elitist position on some males as superanthropoids.

Sigmund Freud Described adolescence as a recapitulation of the first three psychosexual stages with the added dimension of more potent sexual drives. A maturationist who agreed with Hall on the storm-and-stress view, he overemphasized instinctual drives.

Margaret Mead Presented a cross-cultural view, comparing adolescents from industrialized and “primitive” cultures. Stressed the influence of cultural norms on the specific nature of adolescence.

Ruth Benedict An anthropologist like Mead who, however, focused on how each culture provides for the transition between childhood and adulthood. Industrialized societies, she felt, generally create three major discontinuities for adolescents as barriers to gradual growth.

Albert Bandura A learning theorist who emphasizes how the general environment (home, school, and community) socializes adolescents. An antimaturationist, he considers that reinforcement principles shape adolescent behavior through interaction with the adult environment and create social cognitions and self-beliefs (eg., self-efficacy) that guide behavior.

James Mark Baldwin A cognitive-stage theorist who was one of the original interactionists. In this view, adolescents, like children, construct meaning from experience. Both maturation and socialization are important. Systems of meaning and problem solving are formed into a sequence of stages. Each stage builds upon the prior one and represents a qualitatively distinct system of reasoning.

John Flavell Also a cognitive-stage theorist but felt that stages were different according to domains of functioning (eg., intellectual, social, value, interpersonal). There is no single-stage conception for adolescents but rather different levels of problem solving in different domains.

John Hill A developmentalist who integrated the different theories of adolescents (eg., the maturationist, the cultural, the social conditioning, and the cognitive-developmental domain views). He outlined primary changes common to all, different environmental influence, and secondary changes.

Adolescence in the life span An important reminder that adolescence is a link in the chain of development between childhood and adulthood. As a link it should be neither over- nor underemphasized. Longitudinal research studying the same persons over lengthy time periods-has helped to clarify both the unique aspects of adolescence and the differences that exist both before and after the stage concludes.

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