PSY_214_Chapter_13_Notes_part_1

PSY_214_Chapter_13_Notes_part_1 - Chapter 13 Notes...

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Chapter 13 Notes Everything you have read and studied so far this semester has hopefully helped you appreciate the fact that the experience of adolescence in the American culture comes with a variety of challenges. Some, like “asynchronicity in growth”, (chapter 2) are relatively trivial and temporary. Others, like conflict with parents and fitting in with peers, are more difficult for many adolescents. Establishing one’s own identity, with self-chosen goals, values and beliefs, in a media-crazed culture can also be extremely difficult. Add the stresses of balancing work, school, and social life, and it’s no wonder that adolescents often feel somewhat overwhelmed. The good news is that, for most adolescents, the challenges don’t add up to significant problems. In fact, the overall incidence of mental disorders is no higher for adolescents than adults. The bad news is that all of the changes that occur in adolescence, together with cultural factors, do predispose adolescents to problem behaviors . It is true that most adolescents engage in one or more of the problem behaviors that are described in chapter 13. While these behaviors can obviously have serious consequences, they don’t necessarily indicate some underlying pathology that needs to be addressed in the young person who engages in them. That’s the difference between “problems” (i.e. pathology) and “problem behaviors”. OK, you might be thinking, but when does a “problem behavior” become a significant “problem”? The answer to that question is largely dependent upon 2 things, frequency and intensity of the behavior. Frequency obviously refers to how often the behavior occurs. Does the person drink alcohol once a month or once an hour? Does he drive recklessly occasionally or all the time?
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