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Adolescent Psychology

What has the adolescent period looked like historically?
What led to the recognition of adolescence as a unique developmental period?
Be able to describe the theoretical perspectives of adolescence.

Biological Changes
Be able to describe the basics of puberty.
Be able to describe the HPG Axis.
Be able to describe the physical changes that occur during puberty.
How do pubertal timing and tempo affect adolescent development?
How does puberty affect psychological development?
How does puberty affect social relationships?
What health concerns are associated with adolescence?

Cognitive Changes
What are the major cognitive changes in adolescents compared to children?
Be able to describe Piaget’s theory of cognitive development in relation to adolescents.
Be able to describe the information-processing perspective.
What types of imaging are used to study changes in the brain during adolescence?
What changes in behavior have been linked to changes in the brain?
How do adolescents’ IQ scores compare to children’s IQ scores?
Be able to describe the theories of IQ and learning.
How does social cognition change in adolescence?
Why does risk taking occur during adolescence?
How can risk taking be reduced?

Social Changes
What is social redefinition?
How does social redefinition impact psychosocial development?
What are the common features of social redefinition?
How has the adolescent period been elongated over time?
In what ways is adolescence a social invention?
What is emerging adulthood?
What are the limitations of emerging adulthood?
How do changes in legal status affect adolescents?
What are the inconsistencies in adolescents’ legal status?
How do the clarity and continuity of social redefinition differ across cultures?
What are the challenges faced by poor and minority adolescents during the transition to adulthood?
What strategies can be used to ease the transition to adulthood among at-risk youth?