Rewards inherent in risky behaviors becomes more

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rewards inherent in risky behaviors becomes more important for them Girls who experience puberty early are at elevated risk for anxiety and depression o Exposed to hormones early on in life – they’re going through major life transition at a younger age when they are cognitively and emotionally less equipped to handle it Boys go through puberty later than girls – average age of voice breaking is later than average age of first period o Boys are particularly sensitive to being off-time – being much earlier or much later than their peers
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o Age when kids go through puberty keeps decreasing over historical time Study of boys choir – most valuable singers are boys whose voices haven’t broken yet o Choir masters kept record of how old the singers were when their voices broke o You see the a decline in average age of voice breaking over 300 years – used to be 17-18, now it’s 13 There are multiple theories as to why puberty is occurring at a younger and younger age o (1) Body fat – children weigh more due to better nutrition More weight is a signal to your brain that you have enough calories to go through puberty o (2) Exposure to artificial light – hormones that respond to light and dark communicate w/ hormones that signal it’s time to go through puberty We are exposed more and more to artificial light w/ invention of electricity o (3) Plastic – companies put BPA in plastic to make plastic clear and flexible BPA mimics the effects of estrogen in your body & may accelerate puberty in young kids If you drink bottled water, you are drinking bits of fake estrogen each day Psychology of Development Intertemporal choice – preference for smaller but more immediate rewards versus larger but delayed reward o Adolescents prefer more immediate rewards than adults do – patience w/ reward increases as you age o Individuals who are very impatient are more vulnerable to developing substance use problems o Delay discounting is one psychological factor that makes adolescents prone to risk-taking behavior Intertemporal choice – ability to delay reward, matures as you go from adolescence to adulthood o Adults are better able to wait for rewards while adolescents prefer immediate rewards even if smaller Study looked at personality development from people of ages 10 to 60 – people filled out personality surveys o Neuroticism – tendency to feel anxious, how easily stressed or moody you are Males and female are at the same level of neuroticism around age 10 Both get more neurotic at a very old age due to serious health issues Females – very rapid rise in anxiety & neuroticism around age 15-17 followed by decline over time Males – level of neuroticism is at the highest around age 10 followed by decline over time
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o Conscientiousness – being careful, planning, inhibiting impulses, thinking before you act Associated w/ growth of a frontal lobe in brain – rapid decline around 10-13 in conscientiousness
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