Lecture 5. Personal development in adolescence

During the transition period, fundamental changes in motivation take place: motives associated with the emerging worldview, with plans for a future life, come to the fore. The structure of motives is characterized by the presence of a certain system of subordinate motivational tendencies based on the leading socially significant and valuable motives for the individual. Motives arise on the basis of a consciously set goal and a consciously accepted intention. It is in the motivational sphere, as L.I. Bozhovich, is the main neoplasm of transitional age.

“The key to the whole problem of the psychological development of a teenager” L.S. Vygotsky considered the problem of interests . He singled out two phases of adolescence (negative and positive), linking them with changes in the sphere of interests:

in the negative phase , the former system of interests is curtailed, withering away, sexual desires appear, hence the decrease in working capacity, deterioration in academic performance, rudeness, increased irritability of a teenager, dissatisfaction with himself, anxiety;

the positive phase is characterized by the emergence of new, broader and deeper interests, interest in the psychological experiences of other people, in their own experiences develops, the adolescent’s orientation to the future is realized in the form of a dream.

L.S. Vygotsky singled out several groups of interests (“dominants”) of a teenager:

– “egocentric dominant” (interest in one’s own personality);

– “dominant gave” (subjective significance of distant events);

– “dominant of effort” (tendency to resist, to overcome, to volitional effort, which can also manifest itself in negative forms – in stubbornness, hooliganism, etc.);

– “the dominant of romance” (the desire for the unknown, risky, for adventure, for heroism).

The younger adolescence is characterized by the expansion of cognitive interests , the peak of curiosity falls on 11-12 years. However, manifestations of curiosity are superficial. The reasons for a persistent and complete lack of interest often lie in the absence of bright interests in the adults around the teenager, the excessive activity of adults in developing the interest in the teenager, and social conditions (high cost of paying for the section, etc.).

The dominant needs of adolescence (D.B. Elkonin): the need to communicate with peers, the need for self-affirmation, the need to be and be considered an adult.

The need to be and be considered an adult is satisfied in communication with an adult: it is not so much the ability to independently manage oneself that is important for a teenager, but the recognition by surrounding adults of this opportunity and fundamental equality in terms of rights.

Conflicts and difficulties of a teenager in communicating with an adult arise due to the divergence of their ideas about the nature of the rights and the degree of independence of a teenager: if an adult does not change his attitude towards a teenager, then he himself becomes the initiator of the transition to a new type of relationship. According to T.V. Dragunova, the conflict is a consequence of the inability or unwillingness of an adult to take into account the development of personality in adolescence and find a new place for a teenager next to him.

A family with high reflection and responsibility understands that the growing up of a child must be considered: without imposing their attention, parents express their readiness to discuss the problems of a teenager and allow him to maintain a sense of self-respect. Adolescents who are satisfied with their confidential communication with adults are characterized by a developed ability to independently analyze and evaluate the qualities of their peers and adults; the behavior of these adolescents is assessed by both adults and peers as “adult”.

The beginning of adolescence is characterized by a qualitative shift in the development of self-awareness : the adolescent begins to form the position of an adult, the appearance of which means that he subjectively has already entered into new relationships with the surrounding world of adults, with the world of their values. A teenager actively assigns these values, they constitute a new content of his consciousness, exist as goals and motives for behavior and activity, as requirements for himself and others, as criteria for assessments and self-esteem.

Thus, in terms of content, the self-consciousness of a teenager is social consciousness , transferred inside (L.S. Vygotsky).

A special form of teenage self-awareness, a subjective idea of oneself as a person who rather belongs to the world of adults – a sense of adulthood. By definition, D.B. Elkonin, this is “a new formation of consciousness through which a teenager compares himself with others (adults or comrades), finds models for assimilation, builds his relationships with other people, restructures his activities.” This is a core feature of the personality, expressing a new life position of a teenager in relation to himself, to people, to the world.

Types of adulthood (T.V. Dragunova):

– imitation of external signs of adulthood (smoking, drinking alcohol, using cosmetics, exaggerated interest in gender issues, imitation of adults in clothes and hair, i.e. a superficial idea of adulthood with an emphasis on specific free time);

– the desire of adolescent boys to correspond to the idea of u200bu200ba “real man” , to cultivate willpower, endurance, courage;

social adulthood (it develops in situations of cooperation between an adult and a teenager as an assistant, often in families where a teenager, due to circumstances, is forced to actually take the place of an adult, seeks to acquire practical skills, provide real help and support),

intellectual adulthood (associated with the development of sustainable cognitive interests, with the advent of self-education).

The feeling of adulthood reveals itself in different ways. Adults should help the teenager find cultural means of expressing a sense of adulthood, encourage the teenager to find out his strengths and weaknesses, and help him succeed. In this case, the teenager will pay attention to the real manifestations of adulthood (taking responsibility, the ability to defend one’s own point of view).

There is a special form of adolescent egocentrism (D. Elkind): a teenager finds it difficult to differentiate the subject of his thinking and the thinking of other people, and as a result of intensive analysis and evaluation of himself, he has the illusion that other people continuously evaluate his behavior, appearance, way of thinking, feelings. A typical age feature is a tendency to exaggerate and react painfully to one’s own real or imagined bodily shortcomings.

One of the components of egocentrism is the phenomenon of “imaginary audience” – the teenager’s conviction that he is constantly surrounded by certain spectators, and he is always on stage. Another component of egocentrism is a personal myth (“a fairy tale about oneself”) – a belief in the uniqueness of one’s own feelings of suffering, love, hatred, shame, based on focusing on one’s own experiences.

The gradual overcoming of adolescent egocentrism occurs as close trusting relationships develop with peers who share their affective experiences with each other.

During this period, stereotypes of behavior associated with the awareness of one’s gender are intensively assimilated.

Girls are characterized by: emotional susceptibility, reactivity, flexible adaptation to specific circumstances, conformity of behavior, a tendency to appeal to the judgments of adults, to the authorities of the family, the desire to patronize the younger ones, a high interest in their appearance, a combination of coquetry with shyness and bashfulness, accuracy, diligence, tolerance in daily activities, the best performance in the humanities.

Boys are more interested in the field of the abstract (abstract phenomena, worldview problems, exact sciences), are less conformal, more relaxed in behavior, obey generally accepted requirements worse, in adverse conditions it is easier for them to develop and more difficult to correct a negative attitude towards school, a significant role in consciousness and behavior acquire sexual interests.

A neoplasm of adolescence is the development of reflection . Reflection is a thought process aimed at analyzing, understanding, self-awareness: one’s own actions, behavior, speech, experience, feelings, abilities, character, relationships, etc. The formation of reflection becomes the main factor in the regulation of behavior and personal self-development of adolescents (the reflexive task “Who am I?”).

According to D.I. Feldstein, at the age of 10-11, the subject of reflexive expectations of a teenager are individual actions. At 12-13 years old, the main thing is to consider the traits of one’s own character and the characteristics of relationships with people. At the age of 14-15, in the structure of personal reflection, the criticality of adolescents towards themselves increases significantly.

A new level of self-consciousness, the central neoplasm of adolescence – I-concept – a developing system of a person’s ideas about himself, including awareness of his physical, intellectual, characterological, social and other properties; self-esteem; subjective perception of external factors affecting one’s own personality. There is a tendency to consider the self-concept as the result, the final product of the processes of self-consciousness.

DI. Feldstein noted that at the age of 10-11, about 1/3 of adolescents give themselves completely negative characteristics; some adolescents, emphasizing their many shortcomings, single out the only feature that they like, that is, self-esteem has a negative emotional background.

At the age of 12-13, along with the general acceptance of oneself, the situationally negative attitude of the adolescent towards himself is also preserved, depending on the assessments of others, primarily peers. We are talking about the complex “Cinderella” (“Ugly duckling”): experiencing strong dissatisfaction with himself, the teenager in his heart hopes for rebirth.

At the age of 14-15, “operational self-assessment” arises, which determines the adolescent’s attitude towards himself at the present time (based on a comparison of his personal characteristics with certain norms that act for him as ideal forms of his personality).

A negative attitude towards one’s own personality is largely due to the fact that a teenager looks at himself as if “from the outside”, internalizing the ideas and assessments of adults, in which the positive aspects of the personality are presented very abstractly (“He is doing well, there is nothing to complain about” – argues the mother of a prosperous teenager), while the negative aspects are specific and varied.

It is necessary to teach a teenager to develop his own criteria for evaluating himself, to rely on the strengths of his personality.

Self-esteem of a teenager is contradictory : firstly, a teenager simultaneously perceives himself as an adult and as a small child, and secondly, there is a combination of specific situational and general self-esteem, when each positive and each negative private self-esteem instantly acquire a global character.

By the end of adolescence, there is a gradual transition from assessment borrowed from adults to self-esteem , there is a desire for self-expression, self-affirmation, self-realization, self-education (the formation of positive qualities and overcoming negative ones).

In moral development , there is a contradiction between the uncritical assimilation of group moral norms and the desire to discuss simple rules; a certain maximalism of requirements; a shift in the assessment of an individual act on a person as a whole.

As the studies of J. Piaget have shown, between the ages of 12 and 13, the moral development of a person acquires a new meaning when values and ideals that go beyond the scope of his particular life become significant (social justice, freedom, friendship, love, sincerity – all these concepts for adolescents are emotionally colored, personally significant).

In adolescence, moral convictions arise and take shape, which become specific motives for the behavior and activities of a teenager (L.I. Bozhovich). Persuasion finds its expression in the broader life experience of the student, analyzed and generalized from the point of view of moral norms.

Intimate personal communication with peers is of decisive importance for the moral development of a teenager: a teenager masters the norms of relations between adults, he develops his own convictions, he begins to evaluate himself and another person from new adult positions.

A moral worldview is being formed, under the influence of which moral motives begin to take the leading place in the system of motives. The establishment of such a hierarchy leads to the stabilization of personality traits, to the formation of a moral position .

Features of the development of the will : its disorganization, action for the strongest motive. At the same time, the ability to control oneself is highly valued by a teenager, and the lack of the necessary strong-willed qualities causes concern. The desire to “become a more strong-willed person” at this age is rather a “known” motive, not supported by a genuine desire to change.

According to L.S. Vygotsky, it is not the weakness of the will, but the absence or weakness of the goal that disorganizes the behavior of a teenager: important life goals are needed that go beyond the limits of momentary affairs and entertainment, personally significant for a teenager.

L.I. Bozhovich emphasized that the emergence of permanent (core) personal interests, which are characterized by “non-saturation”, makes adolescents more purposeful and organized.

The emotional sphere is characterized by great brightness, strength, stability. Studies have shown that adolescents often experience strong positive or strong negative emotions and are less likely to be in a neutral state (R. Larson, M. Richards). Emotions tend to “self-reinforce” (an unconscious desire to preserve one or another experienced emotion, both positive and negative), which indicates the rigidity of the adolescent’s emotions, their inertia. During this period, the need for emotional saturation , the thirst for sensations is increased (hence the love for loud music, risky behaviors). The expression of emotions is stormy and direct, teenagers often cannot restrain their joy and anger.

A feature of emotional response is the relatively easy occurrence of emotional tension . During this period, quite frequent and prolonged affective reactions are observed. A feature of affect is complete absorption by it, a kind of narrowing of consciousness, when emotions completely block the intellectual plane and they are discharged in the form of an ejection. Adolescents in a crisis period often have an “affect of inadequacy” – an emotional reaction of great strength to an insignificant occasion, which is associated with a contradiction between a teenager’s low self-esteem and a high level of claims.

Assistance to a teenager during the period of direct affect comes down to the following: take him to a quiet room, leave him alone for a while, provide an opportunity to defuse tension (use a punching bag, give him the opportunity to cry, etc.). After calming down, talk, figure out what happened.

The most important moment in the development of the personality during this period is that he himself becomes the object of the adolescent’s activity. Without a full-fledged experience of adolescence, many personality traits, individual characteristics turn out to be undeveloped or insufficiently developed, and many things are difficult to correct in the future. The crisis of transition to youth is associated with the formation of a person as a subject of his own development (K.N. Polivanova).

Neoplasms of the personality of a teenager: a sense of adulthood; the formation of a new level of self-consciousness (“I-concept”, reflection); stability of emotions and feelings.

1. The concept of “deviant behavior” includes:

a) drug addiction c) theft b) murder d) dementia

2. Delinquent behavior is:

a) deviant behavior c) illness b) criminal acts d) addiction

3. Conformity is:

a) behavior consistent with cultural goals and the means to achieve them;

b) denial of goals, but acceptance of the traditionally approved by society means to achieve them;

c) denial of goals and means d) alienation from the dominant goals, standards and the formation of new goals and means to achieve them.

4. Innovation is:

a) behavior consistent with cultural goals and the means to achieve them;

b) denial of goals, but acceptance of the traditionally approved by society means to achieve them;

c) denial of goals and means d) alienation from the dominant goals, standards and the formation of new goals and means to achieve them.

5. Ritualism is:

a) behavior consistent with cultural goals and the means to achieve them;

b) denial of goals, but acceptance of the traditionally approved by society means to achieve them;

c) denial of goals and means d) alienation from the dominant goals, standards and the formation of new goals and means to achieve them.

6. Retreatism is:

a) behavior consistent with cultural goals and the means to achieve them;

b) denial of goals, but acceptance of the traditionally approved by society means to achieve them;

c) denial of goals and means d) alienation from the dominant goals, standards and the formation of new goals and means to achieve them.

7. Riot is:

a) behavior consistent with cultural goals and the means to achieve them;

b) denial of goals, but acceptance of the traditionally approved by society means to achieve them;

c) denial of goals and means d) alienation from the dominant goals, standards and the formation of new goals and means to achieve them.

8. Reactive – due to deviations include:

a) escape c) delinquency b) alcoholism d) sadism

9. Deviations caused by a low moral and ethical level of a person include:

a) drug use c) fetishism b) suicide d) escape

10. Definition Behavior that is contrary to social norms, threatening social order and the well-being of the people around is most consistent with the term:

a) deviant behavior c) antisocial behavior b) immoral behavior d) self-destructive behavior

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