PSY 206 – Dr. Greenspan
Montgomery County Community College
April 15, 2013
Adolescence is defined as the transition between childhood and adulthood. Many changes happen at this stage. Adolescence involves things such as puberty, greater independence, and a time when someone begins to construct their identity. Identity means their life value and goals including a secure sense of who they are in terms of sexual, vocational, and moral ethics. In the next few paragraphs I will be discussing my Virtual Child, Maeve as she went through adolescence (ages 11- 16). I am going to delve into the different changes I saw in her and how they relate to theories proposed by Piaget, Erikson, Marcia, and Gardner. Each theory deals with development through adolescence and will help give a better understanding of this time in Maeve’s life. According to Piaget, around age 11 young people enter the formal operational stage. Here they develop the capacity for abstract, systematic, scientific thinking. Whereas concrete operational children can “operate on reality,” formal operational adolescents can “operate on operations.” They can come up with new, more general logical rules through reflection, rather than just using concrete things as objects of thought. (p.301). Formal operational thought invokes verbal reasoning about abstract concepts. Adolescents doing things such as physics are examples of their operating within this stage. Maeve always did well in her math and science grades but, by 10th grade she was very enthusiastic about physics. She even went and entered one of her science projects into a county-wide science fair. Maeve has also taken, and done well, in art since the 7th grade. At age 14, Maeve's English class required she submit a poem into a school-wide contest. Maeve's poem took home first place in the contest, and her work was placed in a state-wide contest. Her work on art and poetry were reflections of her inner feelings and
References: * Berk, L. E. (2010). Exploring lifespan development. (2nd ed.). Illinois: Pearson College Div.