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Social Media, Brain Maturation, and Behavior/Parenting, Sexuality, and High Risk Behavior

Part one: To prepare for this Discussion: Social Media, Brain Maturation, and Behavior

  • Review Chapters 11 and 12 in your course text and the online interview with Jay Giedd, “Inside the Teenage Brain.”

Chapter 11, “Physical Development in Adolescence”
This chapter focuses on physical development during adolescence including puberty, brain maturation, and sexual development. Special topics include sex education and threats to well-being, such as substance use and accidental death.

Chapter 12, “Cognitive Development in Adolescence”
Cognition during adolescence is discussed including the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. Information processing and scientific reasoning are covered, as well as the adolescent in school. Special topics include gender and racial bias in school and the adolescent in a digital world.

  • Read the article “The Psychology of Begging to be Followed on Twitter,” concerning the impact of additive use of social media on adolescent development.

  • Consider the impact of pubertal changes and the ongoing maturation of the brain during adolescence.
  • Consider how physical changes impact adolescent behavior. In particular, focus on some of the stereotypes regarding adolescence (e.g., moodiness) and the possibility of risk-taking behavior.
  • Consider the impact of social media on the developing brain and the overall development of the adolescent.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post an analysis of the impact of ongoing physical maturation (i.e., pubertal change, brain maturation) on adolescent behavior. Also, post an analysis of the impact of social media on adolescent behavior. Pay particular attention to the danger for risk-taking behavior and how social media may shape the nature of development for teens today. Summarize your post by offering your ideas as to how parents and the larger community can successfully guide adolescents through this time.

Part two: To prepare for this assignment: Parenting, Sexuality, and High Risk Behavior

Consider the following hypothetical example:

Sally is your daughter who is in her early teens. She has been a good student. She has had a close relationship with you and a good relationship with her dad. She currently is interested in politics and is on the student council. She is active in many school events and is expected by all of the adults in her life to go to college. As her mother, you begin to suspect that she may be engaging in sexual activity. She stays out later than her curfew, and she has a steady boyfriend. There have been a few times when you know she had opportunity for sexual activity. You are an authoritative parent. You want her to know about pregnancy risks, sexually transmitted diseases, and you are concerned about her early development of relationships. You also are aware that in today’s world, teens do not really date as in previous generations. They tend to engage in serial monogamy. What would you, as an authoritative parent, do? What would you do if you were an authoritarian or permissive parent?

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review the article, “Building Teen Power for Sexual Health.”

  • Think about Baumrind’s parenting styles. How might authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parents respond differently to this situation?
  • Consider risks of sexual involvement including (but not limited to) pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Assignment: (2–3 pages)

Keeping the above example in mind and other factors that are known to delay the onset of intercourse and prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases:

  • Explain the risks of sexual involvement for Sally if, in fact, she is sexually active.
  • Explain how parents, from each of the three styles listed above, would respond to Sally.
  • Provide specific examples of parenting behaviors that include limits for Sally and consequences if the limits are not followed.
  • Conclude by explaining your own thoughts on how to best respond if Sally was your daughter.

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