Adolescence is both universal and culturally constructed, resulting in diverse views about its defining characteristics. Theories of Adolescent Development brings together many theories surrounding this life stage in one comprehensive reference. It begins with an introduction to the nature of theory in the field of adolescence including an analysis of why there are so many theories in this field. The theory chapters are grouped into three sections: biological systems, psychological systems, and societal systems. Each chapter considers a family of theories including scope, assumptions, key concepts, contributions to the study of adolescence, approaches to measurement, applications, and a discussion of strengths and limitations of this family. A concluding chapter offers an integrative analysis, identifying five assumptions drawn from the theories that are essential guides for future research and application. Three questions provide a focus for comparison and contrast: How do the theories characterize the time and timing of adolescence? What do the theories emphasize as domains that are unfolding in movement toward maturity? Building on the perspective of Positive Youth Development, how do the theories differ in their views of developmental resources and conditions that may undermine development in adolescence?
- Includes biological, psychological and sociological theories
- Identifies historical roots, assumptions, key concepts, applications, measurement, strengths, and limitations of each theory
- Compares and contrasts theories
- Concludes with an integrated perspective across theories
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About the Authors
The Biological System
2. Evolutionary Theory
3. Biosocial Theories: Behavioral Genetics and Sociobiology
4. Dynamic Systems Theories
The Psychological System
5. Psychoanalytic Theories
6. Psychosocial Theories
7. Cognitive Developmental Theories
8. Self-Regulation Theories
The Societal System
9. Interpersonal Theories
10. Family Theories
11. Ecological Theories
12. Social Role and Life Course Theories
13. Cultural Theories
Barbara M. Newman (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a professor emeritus in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Rhode Island. She has also been on the faculty at Russell Sage College and the Ohio State University, where she served as department chair in Human Development and Family Science and as associate provost for Faculty Recruitment and Development. She has taught courses in life-span development, adolescence, family theories, and the research process. An active researcher, Dr. Newman's interests focus on parent-child relationships in early adolescence, factors that promote success in the transition to high school and the transition to college, and the sense of belonging in early and later adolescence. Her most recent research focuses on the development of the sense of purpose among college students with disabilities.
Newman, Philip R.
Philip R. Newman (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a social psychologist whose research has focused on the transition to high school as well as on group identity and alienation. He has taught courses in introductory psychology, adolescence, social psychology, developmental psychology, counseling, and family, school, and community contexts for development. He served as the director for Research and Evaluation of the Young Scholars Program at the Ohio State University and as the director of the Human Behavior Curriculum Project for the American Psychological Association. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), and the American Orthopsychiatric Association (now called the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice).