Social Change Within Developmental Psychology - Essay Example

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This paper explores the observed changes in adolescents’ actions in times of alteration in the economic system within a particular society. Moreover, the…
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Social Change Within Developmental Psychology
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Responses of Adolescents in Times of Possible Social Change in Economy Social changes imply new avenues for the individual’s goal-setting abilities to achieve and satisfy personal desires. This paper explores the observed changes in adolescents’ actions in times of alteration in the economic system within a particular society. Moreover, the observations made aids in identifying possible actions that an adolescent could take to adjust to this certain type of social change. An example given to illustrate this is the Great Depression in the United States of America based on the study conducted by Crockett and Silbereisen. This suggested that alteration in the economy leads to further changes in an adolescent’s economic roles within the family.
Responses of Adolescents in Times of Possible Social Change in Economy
Adolescence, the stage of human life when one searches for his or her identity is influenced by the social alterations present within a particular society in which it takes place. Since the adolescent stage’s tasks is largely “identifying the self” taking in roles restricted by circumstances like social alterations in the economic structure, will probably affect their development. Social change “alter the social institutions and cultural belief systems that organize the adolescent period” (Crockett and Silberesein, 2000). This further implies that social change, such as fundamental historical events, provides significant avenues to adolescent development.
Consider the great depression that happened in the United States. According to Crockett and Silberesein, the economic downturn put financial pressure and constraints in adolescents altering their role within the family. Since families had to undergo cost-cutting and should follow strict budget to make ends meet for them, the adolescents in the family would have to generate activities to produce income by finding work at an earlier age than the usual. But, “change is always relative to the starting point” (Greenfield, 2009) and the adaptation capability vary among every individual. Moreover, in times of social alteration, adolescents will develop change by adapting to the crucial challenges that can further strain their coping capacities through “setting goals, identity, efficacy beliefs and planful competence” (Crockett and Silberesein, 2000).
Since the future is uncertain and no one can easily determine the upcoming social alteration, “the importance of family and community in supporting a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood in times of social change” (Crockett and Silberesein, 2000) is a very important factor that may shape an individual’s development.
Crockett, Lisa J. and Silbereisen, Rainer K., "Social Change and Adolescent Development: Issues and Challenges" (2000). Faculty Publications, Department of Psychology. Paper 243.
Greenfield, P. M. (2009). Linking social change and developmental change: Shifting pathways of human development. Developmental Psychology, 45(2), 401-418. Paper
Pinquart, M., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2004). Human development in times of social change: Theoretical considerations and research needs. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28(4), 289-298. Read More
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