Adolescent Social and Emotional Development
Theories of Moral Development
Boys superego forms during the Oedipus conflict.
Girls superego forms during the Electra conflict.
Stages of Moral Reasoning
Moral Realism (4-7 years)
Focus on rules as unchangeable
Not much understanding of intention
Belief in Immanent Justice
Morality of Reciprocity (10 years and up)
Understand that rules can be changed
Stressed the importance of peers.
Assessed moral reasoning using a series of moral dilemmas.
Developed a hierarchical stage theory
Original sample was entirely male.
Level 1 Pre-conventional
- 1. Obedience Punishment
- 2. Market Place (Naive Hedonistic and Instrumental Morality)
Level 2: Conventional
Good Girl / Good Boy
Social Order Maintaining
Level 3: Principled
Gilligan’s View of Moral Reasoning
Believes there are gender differences in moral reasoning.
Males see the world as a hierarchy of power.
Females see the world as a series of interconnected relationships.
Are small groups of about 5-7 adolescents
Early adolescence cliques are same sex
Later adolescence cliques are mixed sex
Cliques can be identified by their interests and status
Cliques may join together to form crowds
Parenting types may influence the type of clique/crowd adolescents join
Problems in Adolescent Development
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in America’s young people.
There are gender differences in suicidal behavior.
Boys who kill themselves outnumber girls 4/5 to 1.
Girls make more unsuccessful attempts.
Suicide tends to occur in two groups:
- First group: highly intelligent, solitary and withdrawn
- Second group: shows antisocial tendencies such as bullying, fighting, risk taking, stealing, drug use
Factors contributing to Adolescent Suicide
Parental emotional problems
Recent break-up with a romantic partner
More sophisticated cognitive function
Belief in personal fable
Prevention and Treatment
Be psychologically and physically available
Communicate a caring capable attitude
Assess the immediacy of the risk
Oppose the suicidal intent
Offer a plan to help
Obtain a commitment
Violence in Adolescence
What has caused the recent school shootings?
Urban violence is down but suburban and rural violence is on the rise. Why?
Violent images in the media
Widely available guns
Distinguishing in recent shootings characteristics:
Attack multiple victims
No secondary criminal motive
Are younger (<15)
Children’s odds of committing murder
Are doubled when they:
Come from criminally violent families
Have a history of abuse
Belong to gangs
Abuse drugs and alcohol
Are tripled when, along with the factors listed on the left they:
Have previous arrests
Have neurological disorders
Skip school, have problems in school