Human Development

Topics: Psychology, Brain, Developmental psychology Pages: 4 (1271 words) Published: November 15, 2013

Teens Are Still Developing Empathy Skills

Teens Are Still Developing Empathy Skills

The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled Teens Are Still Developing Empathy Skills, by Sue Shellenbarger (2013). This article is about how research shows that biology, not parenting, is to blame (Shellenbarger, 2013). According to Shellenbarger (2013) it is known that “ adolescence has been long been known as prime time for developing cognitive skills for self-control, or executive function.” This paper shows that research has proven that teenagers themselves are to blame for their insensitive and selfish behavior not the parents and also reiterates what Laura A. King (2013) states in Experience Psychology about development in adolescence and cognitive development. Jolien van der Graaff, a doctoral candidate in the Research Centre Adolescent Development, studied how adolescent males show a decline in related skills, empathy, or others feelings, while the females incline or stay stable (Shellenbarger, 2013). Sue Shellenbarger shows us how a parent has tried to get her sons to care about others feelings since childhood, but Susan Burkinshaw said “one went through a period in eighth grade where he was just a bear to deal with, he always had an attitude, then as quickly as it came on, it turned back off again” (Shellenbarger, 2013). So basically as we age we teach our selves how to care for others and get the care feeling in us. Jennifer Pfeifer, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oregon in Eugene, says, “the brain regions that support social cognition, which helps us understand and interact with others successfully, continue to change dramatically” (Shellenbarger, 2013). Some children develop affective and cognitive empathy earlier than others; each child has its own process. Parents can help instill affective empathy by encouraging children to walk in others’ shoes (Shellenbarger, 2013). Boys also...

References: King, L. A. (2013). Experience Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill
Shellenbarger, S. (2013, October 15). Teens Are Still Developing Empathy Skills. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
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