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Media Images of Adolescents

  • Date Submitted: 01/24/2012 06:20 PM
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Media Images of Adolescents

By: Graham Duffell

Adolescence is the period of development stretching from approximately 10-13 years of age and ending at approximately 18-22 years of age (Santrock, 2005). Within the field of developmental psychology there are many perspectives from which one may examine this developmental period. The sociocultural (inventionist) perspective views adolescence as a creation of society over time as society has come to construct adolescence in order to make it easier for youth to become earners for our capitalist society. Erik Erikson proposed an eight stage psychoanalytic theory that views each stage as facing and resolving a particular crisis and is known as the stage view of adolescence. The behavioural perspective is primarily concerned with environmental experience in the form of reward and punishment in response to behaviours that shape behaviour. The social learning perspective is also concerned with environmental experiences shaping of behaviour but also looks at an individual's cognitive factors in their development. Finally, the ecological perspective looks at how an individual's person, immediate environment, and further reaches of their society and culture interact with each other and affect development.
Over a one-week period several articles related to adolescents were collected and examined to ascertain which perspective they pulled from, whether environmental or biological influences were emphasized, and to what extent the articles could be considered credible. Many articles were those describing the athletic achievement of youth and it is interesting, although not surprising to note that no other descriptions of achievement in other realms such as social or academic were found. The other articles, as to be expected describe various criminal and/or violent activities which youths either committed or were victims of. This reflects not only what is considered to be newsworthy, but also our society's perception of...

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