Psychology Essay 代写: 青少年社会工作者

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Psychology Essay 代写: 青少年社会工作者

Adolescence is in its' simplest form the transition between childhood and adulthood. The obvious changes are the physical changes brought about by the onset of puberty but there are also changes to way an adolescent thinks, feels, and behaves. Thompson (2008) calls adolescence a particularly important transition. His reasoning for this is that this transition calls for significantly different outlook on life and a change in perspective from that of a child to that of an adult. It involves the loss of the identity of the child and requires the formation of a new adult identity. Indeed, Erikson (1968) states that the search for identity leads to the primary crisis of adolescence.

Social workers generally become involved with adolescents when their behaviour becomes problematic therefore an understanding of the factors that lead to this problematic behaviour would be advantageous in planning interventions. Poor parenting skills are linked to teenage delinquency. Farrington (2004) explains that, "families that are low in warmth, high in conflict and use harsh, inconsistent discipline are consistently found to be factors relating to the formation of delinquent behaviour." If parents are inconsistent with discipline at a young age and give in to childish tantrums, the child learns that they are not punished if they are aggressive or throw a tantrum. As the child moves on to adolescence this learned behaviour continues leading the adolescent to the conclusion that violence or aggression are a way getting what they want. Applying Pavlov's theory of classical conditioning we could argue that the threat of punishment is the conditioned stimulus that produces the aggression or violence as a conditioned response. It could be that the aggressive behaviour has become a reflexive reaction to uncomfortable situations. (Farrington and Loeber, 2000) Tell us that this aggressive behaviour that is formed in childhood is far more likely to lead to lifelong problems than aggressive behaviour formed in adolescence which tends to be transitory. This would suggest to the social worker, that work with families with young children encountering parenting problems is important in reducing future problems of delinquent behaviour. However, the social worker, working with the teenager may perceive that this early onset aggressive behaviour is now inbuilt and therefore unchangeable.

The effects of puberty and increased levels of testosterone have been linked with increased aggression, risk-taking, and egocentric behaviour in adolescent males. However a recent scientific study by the Universities of Zurich and Royal Holloway London have shown this not to be the case and they concluded instead that rather than increase aggression, testosterone increases sensitivity to status; their study showed that subjects with increased testosterone showed more pro-social behaviour. Science Daily (Dec. 9, 2009) However this study was conducted on adults and if their conclusion is accepted maladapted adolescents may view aggression as a way to achieve social status. It could therefore be argued that testosterone is indeed a factor in the formation of aggressive behaviour in adolescents.

Parents often offer the explanation, "He/she has fallen in with a bad crowd." When their teenage son/daughter presents problematic behaviour. Certainly in areas of deprivation and high crime there are plenty of bad crowds with whom the adolescent can associate. Why, though does the adolescent choose to associate with criminals? Steinberg and Silverberg (1986) found that as emotional autonomy increases and the adolescent becomes less reliant on their parents resistance to peer pressure increases. However, Ryan and Lynch (1989) found flaw with their findings and argued that they were not measuring emotional autonomy but rather emotional detachment; they argued that the adolescents were compensating for a lack of emotional support from their parents with a greater reliance on their peer group. The need for support and a quest for identity could be influential in an adolescent's decision to join gangs. Taking on the identity of a gang member can be seen as a form of what Erikson calls identity foreclosure; where the individual does not form their own identity but takes on the identity of their peers. Indeed, peer influence on behaviour is a factor and as such removing the bad influence and replacing this influence with a more positive role model can certainly be a positive intervention. Also working with the family to improve relations and understanding of the issues would appear to be an effective solution.

Having looked at the importance of family relationships in the formation of behaviour it may be useful to look at the effects of changes in the family unit. Family units are not static, relationships change, parents may separate and form new relationships, family members may die, and children are born. All of these factors can have an impact on the behaviour of the adolescent.

Psychology Essay 代写: 青少年社会工作者