Adolescent Developmental Tasks
Keep in mind as you are looking at the content below, we are now looking at each of these topics and theorists in relation to adolescence.
Do you remember Jean Piaget's four stages of cognitive development? In the adolescence years, formal operations in cognitive development are present. Teens are able to think abstractly and are capable of logical thought and testing hypotheses. Review the chart of Piaget's stages of cognitive development.
Lawrence Kholberg's levels of moral development shows that when individuals reach the post-conventional level of moral reasoning they make decisions based upon what is right and what is wrong according to society’s principles. The post-conventional stage can be broken into two stages:
The social contract which means that "this is best for everyone."
The universal ethical principles which means what is right and what is wrong.
A teen that is in the post-conventional stage can make decisions and understand "why" they made the decision. For example, Sabrina chose to save one rich man instead of 10 poor men. Her reasoning was because this one rich man could help the world with his wealth and this would be worth saving him.
Erikson believed that during the adolescent or teenage years a person passes through the stage of identity versus role confusion. He believed you either identified your role in society or you are still unsure of who you are. According to Erikson, if you have identified your role within society and are secure with your identity, you have successfully passed through this stage. It is natural for youth to flounder around and to experiment with various roles (or cliques of people) until a teen finds out which groups or roles suit him or her best. Review the chart of Erikson's stages of social development.