Development in Adolescence and Late Adulthood Worksheet
Use the Learn Psychology text, the University Library, and/or other resources to answer the following questions. Your response to each question should contain at least 150 words.
.1 Puberty can be a difficult time for adolescents. What are some of the challenges they face? Puberty is the one to three-year process of hormonal and physical changes that causes the young person to reach sexual maturity, girls usually entering it about a year earlier than boys. Among other changes wrought by puberty, there are growth spurts that create bigger bodies to manage. For girls hips broaden, breasts swell, menstruation begins, and they can produce eggs. For boys muscles enlarge, voice drops, ejaculation begins, and they can produce sperm. For both male and female there is more hair around sex organs, more body odor, and more active skin glands that can create acne. There is a noticeable negative attitude change, more criticism and complaining, more delay and arguments, and the testing of limits; it is very common for adolescents to see how far they can push limits. It is also a very trying time for parents. Then there is the problem of self-consciousness, for most young people, puberty catches them at a bad time, and it is the enemy of self-esteem. It changes how they look, at a time when physical appearance becomes more important for social acceptance and social standing.
.2 How and when is peer pressure harmful? Can it ever be helpful? Why? Peer pressure is harmful when someone talks you into doing something that is harmful to someone else, someone else s things or yourself. Peer pressure is is an ugly monster that is hard to deny. It works best on someone who has self-esteem issues and is trying to fit in. That person is worried about being outcast even further from this potentially accepting person or group. Peer pressure can be good in the right circumstances, positive effects of peer pressure on teenagers are also evident by the example of a student who is motivated to get good grades because his friends are getting good grades
– an action that can be attributed to positive peer pressure. Having a group that exerts positive peer pressure can also help you give up bad habits and pick up healthy ones that can shape both your personality and your future. A change in perspective about life and motivation to do well because of pressure from your peers can actually become inspiration in that instance
.3 What types of changes occur in the brain in late adulthood? As people age, they change in many ways, both biological and psychological. Some of these changes may be for the better, and others are not. Response speeds have been reported to decline; age?related decrease in working memory is the crucial factor underlying poorer performance by the elderly on cognitive tasks. Intellectual changes in late adulthood do not always result in reduction of ability. While the ability to see and to use patterns and relationships to solve problems does decline in later years. In later adulthood, a variety of physiological changes may occur, including some degree of atrophy of the brain and a decrease in the rate of neural processes. The respiratory and circulatory systems are less efficient, and changes in the gastrointestinal tract may lead to increased constipation. Bone mass diminishes, especially among women, leading to bone density disorders such as osteoporosis. Muscles become weaker unless exercise programs are followed. The skin dries and becomes less flexible. There is also decreased sensitivity in all of the sensory modalities, including smell, taste, touch, hearing, and vision.
.4 Why is novel problem-solving particularly difficult in late adulthood? Just as age-related changes in brain structure and function are not uniform across the whole brain or across individuals, age-related changes in cognition are not uniform across all cognitive domains or across all older individuals. The basic cognitive functions most affected by age are attention and memory. Neither of these are unitary functions, however, and evidence suggests that some aspects of attention and memory hold up well with age while others show significant declines. The changes associated with aging do not affect everyone in the same way, and they do not necessarily interfere with a healthy life. It was once believed that almost all older adults suffered from a generalized memory loss, research now indicates that healthy older adults actually experience only some particular types of
memory deficits, while other types of memory remain relatively intact or may even improve with age, but slower processing and less accurate executive control does not always mean worse memory, or even worse intelligence.