Analyze how theories of development and related research explain aspects of adolescent growth and behavior.

Create a one-page (front and back) information fact sheet about an adolescent development issue, designed for the general public.

Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.

When working with organizations that address adolescent development issues, a developmental psychologist will often need to condense and translate information for the consumption of the general public.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 1: Analyze how theories of development and related research explain aspects of adolescent growth and behavior.
Identify key theories and research relevant for the intended audience.
Competency 3: Assess evidence-based interventions to address adolescent developmental issues.
Recommend best practices that are relevant for the intended audience.
Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is consistent with expectations for professionals in the field of psychology.
Use grammar, punctuation, and mechanics expected of graduate-level composition and expression.
Use APA format and style in written documents, with only minor errors that do not detract from meaning.

Historically, researchers have attempted to consider adolescent challenges by considering relevant risk factors (for example, maternal depression) that predict negative adolescent outcomes. More recent research has moved toward a focus on protective factors and resiliency as opposed to a focus on risk factors when thinking about challenges with adolescence (Kim, Oesterle, Catalano, & Hawkins, 2015). For example, Benson’s research (as cited in Santrock, 2019) found the following external and internal assets related to positive developmental outcomes for adolescents.

The external assets include the following:

Support (such as family and neighborhood).
Empowerment (such as adults in the community valuing youth and giving them useful community roles).
Boundaries and expectations (such as the family setting clear rules and consequences and monitoring the adolescent’s whereabouts, as well as the presence of positive peer influence).
Constructive use of time (such as engaging in creative activities three or more times a week and participating three or more hours a week in organized youth programs).
The internal assets include the following:

Commitment to learning (such as being motivated to achieve in school and doing at least one hour of homework on school days).
Positive values (such as helping others and demonstrating integrity).
Social competencies (such as knowing how to plan and make decisions and having interpersonal competencies like empathy and friendship skills).
Positive identity (such as having a sense of control over life and high self-esteem).
Coping involves dealing with adverse circumstances, efforts to solve life problems, and reducing stressors (Santrock, 2019). Several strategies for coping in adolescence include positive and optimistic thinking, increasing personal self-control and avoiding immediate gratification, seeking social support, seeking professional counseling help, and using multiple coping strategies since a combined effect may help to cope successfully (Santrock, 2019).

While there are several challenges related to navigating adolescent development, the good news is that the vast majority of teenagers are successful in their navigation of adolescence and gain the requisite skills for developing into autonomous and resilient adults.