Questioning Journal Articles for Adolescent Psychology

Adolescent Development,” by Laurence Steinberg and Amanda Morris, Annual Review of Psychology, February 2001, Vol. 52, pg 83-110,;jsessionid=ne7bX2F-DjiaY3teBL?cookieSet=1&journalCode=psych.

We Know Some Things: Parent-Adolescent Relationships in Retrospect and Prospect, by Laurence Steinberg, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Volume 11, Issue 1, Page 1 – March 2001,

The relationship between out-of-school activities and positive youth development: an investigation of the influences of communities and family,” by Kathleen Morrissey and Ronald Werner-Wilson, Adolescence, Spring 2005, 40(157), pg 67-85,

The Two Faces of Adolescents’ Success With Peers: Adolescent Popularity, Social Adaptation, and Deviant Behavior,” by Joseph Allen, Maryfrances Porter, et al, Child Development, May/June 2005, Vol 76 Number 3, pg 747-760,

The most recent Adolescent Psychology post here at tdaxp concluded Moshman, and then looked at chapter of Constructivism in Education. This post is a copy of my question-sets for the four journal articles required for the class.

Questioning Allen, Porter, et al

On page 756, the authors write “The relation of popularity to higher levels of ego development indicates that popular adolescents tend to be better able than their less popular peers to integrate and balance needs of self and others, to control their impulses, and to see multiple perspectives within conflictual situations (Hauser, 1976).” I am struck by the Boydian implications of this. It implies a tie-in between the Orientation stage of the OODA loop and the subversion stage of the PISRR loop. Particularly, it implies that individuals capable of early, repeated, and, accurate Orientations are better at Subverting the minds of their friends. What implications does this have for the future of network-based struggle?

On page 757, the authors write “Both normals and actual levels of outwardly hostile behaviors toward peers (e.g., overt aggression) tend to decrease during early adolescence.” Is this a sign that genetic factors toward beliefs, which other evidence indicates kick in at age 20, begin sooner?

Questioning Morrissey and Werner-Wilson

On page 70, the authors write “Hobson and Spangler (1999) reported that the religious or spiritual activities available in a community may be resources for positive youth development as they enhance associations among community members, creative community unity, and provide sustained sources of activities for youth.” Should the authors be more useful with their term “positive,” as this description may also fit al Qaeda?

Also on 70, the authors write “Current theory suggests that young adolescents need… meaningful participation in authentic work (Quinn 1999).” Does this suggest an emergent genetic attachment to work-product and work-community?

On page 72, the authors write “In a study of 10th graders, Eccles and Barner (1999) found that participation in religious activities… resulted in… decreased participation in risky behaviors or association with risk-taking peers.” How is risk-taking defined? Most religious organizations emphasize the social risk of belonging, for instance.

On page 73, the authors write “A qualitative study of 11th-grade students enrolled in a mandatory school-based service program found that they had increased their understanding of social, moral, and political aspects of their own and others’ lives during and after participation int he program (Yates, 1999).” How was “understanding” measured? Doesn’t this sound more like proof that one can indoctrinate students into one’s normative values if work is involved, rather than any true pro-socialization?

Questioning Steinberg

On page 4, Steinberg writes “adolescent mental health was found to be better in families with close, nonconflictive, parent-child relationships.” Is this a form of mental health mentoring, and if so does this imply that a mentoring-centric childhood would be more conductive to mental health than a peer- (that is, typical public education) centric childhood?

On page 5, Steinberg writes “It is my impression that parents are more bothered by the bickering and squabbling that takes place during this time than are adolescents, and that parents are more likely to hold on tot he affect after a negative interaction with their teenagers.” And likewise on page 6, “Adolescents, in contrast, imbue conflicts with far less meaning.” Extrapolating this, are adults in general bothered more by things than children? For example, might a complain against child sexual abuse be more aimed at protecting parents than protecting children?

On page 14, Steinberg writes “The answer is that for many Black adolescents, the influence of their peer group, against academic achievement, offsets the potential positive influences of parent authoritativeness in Black homes.” Here I will amplify my question from page 4: would blacks in particular benefit from mentoring-based education as opposed to typical education?

Also on page 14, Steinberg writes “it would be beneficial to study why exposure to authoritatively reared peers is more likely to make the psychologically rich richer than it is to compensate for less-than-optimal parenting at home.” Likewise, on 15 “Authoritative parenting works even better when other parents int he community are also authoritative.” Does this indicate the working of positive psychology? That is, does this illustrate the benefits of maximizing ones most promising elements as an efficient pathway towards one’s life-goals?

Questioning Steinberg and Morris

On page 85, the authors mention that the theories of Erikson and Piaget have been “more or less abandoned, as the study of cognitive development become more and more dominated by information-processing and computational models, and as empirical studies cast increasing doubt on many of Piaget’s fundamental propositions about cognitive development during adolescence (Keating 1990).” Most of this class is Erikson and Piaget centric. How and to what extent are they wrong, and how to information-processing models differ and contradict these authors?

On page 86, the authors write “Rates of drug and alcohol use, unemployment, and delinquency are all higher within the adolescent and youth population than among adults, but most individuals who have abused drugs and alcohol, been unemployed, or committed delinquiet acts as teenagers grow up to be sober, employed, law-abiding adults (Steinberg 1999). So the recidivism rate is less than .5. Specifically, what is it?

On page 91, the authors write that “it now appears that, at least in contemporary society, the bulk of identity ‘work’ occurs late in adolescence, and perhaps not even until young adulthood.” As that is also the time for genetic emergence of the belief, what is the relationship between genetics and emergent identity? Would local-group (kin), extended-group (folk), and work-group (trade) be the three most important elements?

On page 92, the authors write that “Across all groups, however, high self-esteem is related to parental approval, peer support, adjustment, and success in school.” Yet, other readings indicate that the effects of authoritative parents on children’s performance in school is washed away by negative peer effects. Isn’t this a contradiction?

On page 93, the authors write “Research also suggests that adolescents without close friends are more influenced by families than peers, and that adolescents in less cohesive and less adaptive families are more influenced by peers than parents (Gauze et al 1996)” and that “most adolescents are influenced by peers because they admire than and respect their opinions (Susman et al 1994).” Does this imply wise parenting would be mentor-based, and discourage (either intentially or as an effect) peer interactions?

On page 95, the authors write “There is some evidence that among girls, friendship intimacy is fostered by conversation, whereas among boys it is gained through shared activities (McNelles & Connolly 1999).” To rephase my question on Elkind’s work, would intimacy be better if schools focused on free-play for boys and gossip for girls?

On page 98, the authors note “several studies also looked at the interplay among hierarchically-ordered (e.g. “nested”) settings, in an effort to examine how variations in a larger-context (e.g. the community) moderate the influence of a smaller context contained within its sphere (e.g. the family) (e.g. Furstenberg et all 1999). What then are the effects when one’s work community or family span multiple larger communities?

On page 99, discussing the “strong genetic control” of IQ, the authors write “heritabilities are generally higher in more favorable environments (Rowe et al 1999).” Does this also imply the success of positive psychology, or otherwise suggest one should play “to one’s strengths”?

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