Adolescence: Developmental Psychology and Social Work Practice

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Module Title: Human Growth and Behaviour.
Assessment Title:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of viewing behaviour through the life-span perspective for social practise? ADOLESCENCE

The author’s aim is to outline the advantages as well as disadvantages in adolescence behaviour and human development processes across people life span, and particular adolescence. This essay will look at the different models, theories of social work and the factors that may have influence social work practice. The physical, psychological, socio-cultural, environmental and politico-economical are the factors that Bowlby (1999), Erikson (1995), Freud and Piaget (1977) have mentioned in their theories and the author will explore, discuses and examine them. The factors and the theories are numerous to cover in the essay of this size, and with this in mind the author is looking at examining same of them very briefly and same more in depth.

In the first part, the author will cover human development through the life span. The reasons why knowledge and understanding of human development throughout the life course are important to social work practice. The author will also outline the importance of our own personal values, and the impact that these may have on social work practice.

Understanding the impact of transactions within a person’s life course is important for social work practice in order to understand other people’s lives. However, it is important to remember that although people may experience the same life event, their response to the situation and the decisions that they make will differ. Deferent people have different perceptions of what is happening to them as they move through transitions in their lives. Their response and learning from it might be very different from one individual to the other. For example, one may have enjoyed school, another tolerated it or hated it. Social workers need to recognise in working with people the different transitions and may use them as an opportunity in helping the service users to grow, change, or develop.

Of course, there are numbers of different perspectives that could be taken into account of how we develop into who ‘we are’. That is why the author will look at some ideas and theories from biology, sociology, psychology, and their assumptions of what influences they may have on human life. Firstly, the author will look at two theories and try to explain the individual’s behaviour namely, ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’. (Crawford, 2003)

The nature viewpoint believes that our genes predetermine who we are and the characteristics we have are inherited, for example people’s physical appearance etc. The problem with this believes is that it suggests that the change is impossible, we are who we are and there is nothing we can do about it. The danger in this thinking is the stereotyping people, and thus supporting prejudice and oppression. On the other hand, the nurture’s viewpoint argues that the environment, and the way we are brought up influence our development, giving the evidence in patterns of family behaviour, for example, introverted or extroverted family members. Again, there is a danger in stereotyping people thus contributing towards oppression. (Crawford, 2003)

A sociological approach explains human identity by examining the interactions between people and society in which they live. It explores the different classes of society starting from wide perspective then looking at them and the influence it may have on the individuals. (Giddens, 2001)

Physiological approach explains human development by examining the physical development and genetic make-up, for example, biological theories explain a child’s growth and development, concentrating on characteristics inherited from biological family. (Crawford, 2003)

Psychology is a discipline, which studies people their thoughts, feelings and emotions. There are many different theories the most relevant to the subject...
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