Working with Adolescents - Cognitive Dissonance:

Topics: Developmental psychology, Social psychology, Identity Pages: 9 (2865 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Working with Adolescents - Assignment 1:

Definition of adolescents
Adolescent Identity Development: a theoretical overview
Definition of Cognitive Dissonance
A theoretical Overview of Cognitive Dissonance and its relation to understanding adolescents Assisting counsellors in working with adolescents who experience symptoms of cognitive dissonance.

In this assignment I will be doing a case study (made up) on an adolescent named Mark. I will be explaining in further detail how cognitive dissonance is a vital factor to be taken into consideration in one's life, specifically why and how it ties into working with adolescents. Definition of Adolescents:

"According to the Macquarie Dictionary, adolescence is the transition period between puberty and adult stages of development (1991, p22). Adolescence is also commonly referred to as youth.
Coleman and Hendry (1999) indicate that adolescence should be viewed as a transition stage between childhood and maturation., including physiological, physical and cognitive developments. Sandstrom (1981) points out that “maturation must be understood as a relative concept, related to the type and degree of difficulty of the demands made by society” (p220)." (Study manual Page 5)

Adolescent Identity Development: Theoretical Overview
" Identity formation is a lifelong and largely unconscious process. The roots of one's identity can be traced back to the early experiences of mutuality between the mother and infant. Identity formation continues throughout childhood through a process of selection and assimilation of childhood identifications. Adolescents spend a lot of time examining themselves. The increase in abstract and idealistic thought serves as a foundation for exploring their identity (Santrock 2003)." (Gouws, 2008, p. 109).

As the adolescent develops and grows there area number factors that must be taken into consideration. I will be going into further detail with regards to certain key developmental factors that play a big role in the development of adolescents. I will be further explaining gender identity, career identity, and cultural identity, as well as moral, emotional, and religious development in the adolescent. Gender Identity:

During adolescents more pressure is put on behaving in certain ways that accommodate what is regarded as appropriate behaviour for the specific gender of the adolescent. There are pressures from both peer groups as well as adults in society that may expect a certain type of behaviour from the adolescent given their gender. Whereas before adolescents, less focus and pressure is put on the different types of behaviours and activities that the child would take part in as boys and girls will tend to take part in similar or the same activities without any prejudices or any expectations for them to act specifically suited to their gender. " There are two schools of thought concerning gender-role identification. The traditional school holds that social forces maintain a constant and cumulative pressure on the gender role identification of the child. As the child grows older, this leads to increasing conformity to cultural norms for gender-appropriate behaviour. Up to puberty, for example, boys and girls are allowed considerable freedom with regard to what is seen as gender-typical behaviour. Usually little is made of girls climbing trees and playing with toy cars while boys help to bake cakes. From puberty, however, pressure is exerted on adolescents to display more gender-typical behaviour by: * the peer group who exerts strong pressure, partly owing to their growing consciousness of their own sexual maturation

* adults who see this behaviour in their interaction with the adolescent to ensure successful adjustment to adult life.
Both groups emphasise particular gender-role standards and demand that the young person conform to them (Coleman 1980)." (Gouws, 2008, p. 110). Career Identity:...
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