Developmental Psychology and Adolescence


In looking at the Early History of Adolescence there was a lot of speculation on the development of Adolescents, not until the 20th Century did scientific exploration of adolescence begin. The early part of the 20th century is when the invention of the term adolescence comes into being. G. Stanley Hall was the father of scientific study of adolescence.

Socioeconomic, ethnic, cultural, gender, age and lifestyle difference influence the development of every adolescent. Though around the world adolescent’s experiences may differ depending on their families, peers, school, religion or traditions. Man adolescent traditions remain the same in many cultures. The lives of adolescents are characterized by a combination of tradition and change. Research shows that there are similarities and differences in adolescents from differing ethnicities. There are human developmental periods and process which are determined by biological, cognitive and socioemotional processes. There are periods in human development which span from Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood and Late Adulthood. There are two important transitions from childhood to adolescence and from adolescence to adulthood. In the study of adolescent development there are three important issues raised, nature and nurture, continuity and discontinuity, early and later experience. In the nature and nurture the question involves whether development is influenced by nature which is the biological inheritance or nurture the environmental experiences. Continuity involves a gradual process (oak tree) as Discontinuity is a qualitative, discontinuous change in development (the butterfly).

There are 4 theories of adolescent development covered, the first was Freud’s Theory according to Freud’s theory we go through five stages of psychosexual development: oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory says that we develop in psychosocial stages. Erikson’s theory has eight stages...
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