The period of development that beings with the onset of sexual maturity 9about 11-14 years old) and lasts until the beginning of adulthood (18-21 years old)
The bodily changes associated with sexual maturity
Primary sex characteristics
Bodily structures that are directly involved in reproduction
Secondary sex characteristics
Bodily structures that change drastically with sexual maturity but that are not directly involved in reproduction
How does the brain change at puberty?
- There is a marked increase in the growth rate of tissue connecting different regions of the brain just beforehand
- Connections between temporal and parental lobe stop multiplying before puberty as they used to (between ages of 6 and 13)
- Most important change: Synaptic pruning, getting rid of excess/unused synapses that grew during synaptic proliferation
How has the onset of puberty changed over the last century?
- Puberty is accelerated by excess body fat
- Some toxins in the air mimic estrogen and can cause earlier puberty in girls
Are adolescent problems inevitable?
- Moody teenagers who are victims of hormones are more or less a myth
- Most adolescents have experiments that do not cause long lasting problems even though they are more susceptible to peer pressure
What makes adolescence especially difficult?
- The timing or the tempo can make it hard for teens to go through puberty around their differently timed peers
- Being expected to act older and/or attracting unwanted older attention
Is sexuality a matter of nature or nurture?
- Biology seems to play a big role
- Parenting styles do not seem to play a big role
- Fetal environment and level of androgens in the womb as the child develops
Why do so many adolescents make unwise choices about sex?
- Most parents never talk in depth about it
- There is a lack of education or the education is coming too late for the adolescents to have use for it
How do family and peer relationships change during adolescence?
- Since a big part of adolescence is developing an individual adult identity adolescents need to turn more toward their peers and less toward their parents. There are two difficult things about this
- 1. Picking friends can influence who you become and it can be overwhelming to develop entirely new values and shit
- 2. Parents rebel against the kid trying to do this and arguments start
During the "in between stage" adolescents
Are slightly more likely to do stupid shit but they are rarely stupid enough to inflict serious or enduring harm
Even though puberty is happening earlier than ever before
The entrance of young people into adult society is occurring later than ever.
What makes adolescence so different/distinct from the other stages of development?
It begins with a growth spurt, the maturing of sexuality and the human body.
Sexual activity typically
Follows a script and is more or less standard across cultures
As adolescents seek to develop their adult identities they seek
Increasing autonomy from their parents and become more peer oriented, forming single sex cliques followed by mixing sex cliques and finally pairing off as couples.
The stage of development that begins around 18-21 and ends at death
What physical and psychological changes are associated with adulthood?
- The prefrontal cortex and Subcortical connections deteriorate faster than before
- Memory weakens
- Cognitive functions weaken
Why and how do adults compensate for their declining abilities?
Older people's cognitive machinery becomes more skillfully used
How do informational goals change in adulthood?
Socioemotional selectivity theory: younger adults are more oriented toward getting new/more information, while older adults generally orient toward in formation that brings emotional satisfaction.
Is late adulthood a happy or unhappy time for most people?
Older adults usually don't attend to information that doesn't make them happy so growing older tends to be a happier time.
What does research say about marriage, children and happiness?
- Marriage: It could make people happier, or it could be that happy people do it more often
- Children: Parents tend to be less happy and gradually become happier and happier until the child finally leaves and they are as happy as they were before they had the damn kid.
Describe the physical decline in early adulthood
It is gradual, and has clear psychological consequences. Some of those can be offset by increases in skill and expertise
What type of information do older adults go for?
Emotionally satisfying information. This causes influences in basic cognitive performance, the size and structure of social networks and their general happiness