Ashford Adolescent Cognitive Development

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no plagiarize, spell check, and check your grammar. I have attached all the reading material. Please only use what I have attached.

Chapter 7 of the course textbook examines theories of cognitive development during adolescence and later adulthood. For this assignment, refer to the textbook and two peer-reviewed journal articles to compare and contrast the theories and models of two cognitive theorists with respect these stages of human development.

In your paper, account for or respond to the following:

  • Briefly summarize the main elements of each theorist’s analysis of cognitive development during the transition from adolescence to early adulthood.
  • Compare and contrast the two approaches to this critical and difficult stage of development, illustrating in what ways, and with respect to what issues, each approach provides insights and/or exhibits shortcomings.
  • Compare and contrast cognitive development during adolescence versus early adulthood, evaluating whether and to what extent one or the other stage is more or less amenable to one of the two frameworks examined.
  • Be sure to integrate terms and research associated with major cognitive theories into your analysis such as egocentrism, inductive reasoning, or fluid/crystalized intelligence.

Your paper should be 1200 words in length and cite and integrate at least two peer-reviewed journal articles.


Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging Adulthood: A Theory of Development From the Late Teens Through the Twenties. The American Psychologist, (5). Retrieved from

Kuhn, D. (2006). Do Cognitive Changes Accompany Developments in the Adolescent Brain? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(1), 59–67.

Mossler, R. A., & Ziegler, M. (2016). Understanding Development: A Lifespan Perspective. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc

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Emerging Adulthood A Theory of Development From the Late Teens Through the Twenties Jeffrey Jensen Arnett This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. University of Maryland College Park Emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25. A theoretical background is presented, Then evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations. How emerging adulthood differs from adolescence and young adulthood is explained. Finally, a cultural context for the idea of emerging adulthood is outlined, and it is specified that emerging adulthood exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role. exploration during the late teens and twenties. When our mothers were our age, they were engaged . . . . They at least had some idea what they were going to do with their lives . . . . I, on the other hand, will have a dual degree in majors that are ambiguous at best and impractical at worst (English and political science), no ring on my finger and no idea who I am, much less what I want to do . . . . Under duress, I will admit that this is a pretty exciting time. Sometimes, when I look out across the wide expanse that is my future, I can see beyond the void. I realize that having nothing ahead to count on means I now have to count on myself; that having no direction means forging one of my own. (Kristen, age 22; Page, 1999, pp. 18, 20) F or most young people in industrialized countries, the years from the late teens through the twenties are years of profound change and importance. During this time, many young people obtain the level of education and training that will provide the foundation for their incomes and occupational achievements for the remainder of their adult work lives (Chisholm & Hurrelmann, 1995; William T. Grant Foundation Commission on Work, Family, and Citizenship, 1988). It is for many people a time of frequent change as various possibilities in love, work, and worldviews are explored (Erikson, 1968; Rindfuss, 1991). By the end of this period, the late twenties, most people have made life choices that have enduring ramifications. When adults later consider the most important events in their lives, they most often name events that took place during this period (Martin & Smyer, 1990), Sweeping demographic shifts have taken place over the past half century that have made the late teens and early twenties not simply a brief period of transition into adult roles but a distinct period of the life course, characterized by change and exploration of possible life directions. As recently as 1970, the median age of marriage in the United States was about 21 for women and 23 for men; by 1996, May 2000 • American Psychologist Copyright2000 by the AmericanPsychologicalAssociation,Inc.0003,(166X/00/$5.00 Vol. 55. No. 5,469-480 DOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.55.5.469 it had risen to 25 for women and 27 for men (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1997). Age of first childbirth followed a similar pattern. Also, since midcentury the proportion of young Americans obtaining higher education after high school has risen steeply from 14% in 1940 to over 60% by the mid-1990s (Arnett & Taber, 1994; Bianchi & Spain, 19961). Similar changes have taken place in other industrialized countries (Chisholm & Hurrelmann, 1995; Noble, Cover, & Yanagishita, 1996). These changes over the past half century have altered the nature of development in the late teens and early twenties for young people in industrialized societies. Because marriage and parenthood are delayed until the midtwenties or late twenties for most people, it is no longer normative for the late teens and early twenties to be a time of entering and settling into long-term adult roles. On the contrary, these years are more typically a period of frequent change and exploration (Arnett, 1998; Rindfuss, 1991). In this article, I propose a new theory of development from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25. I argue that this period, emerging adulthood, is neither adolescence nor young adulthood but is theoretically and empirically distinct from them both. Emerging adulthood is distinguished by relative independence from social roles and from normative expectations. Having left the dependency of childhood and adolescence, and having not yet entered the enduring responsibilities that are normative in adulthood, emerging adults often explore a variety of possible life directions in love, work, and worldviews. Emerging adulthood is a time of life when many differen! directions remain possible, when little about the future has been decided for certain, when the scope of independent exploration of life's possibilities is greater for most people than it will be at any other period of the life course. For most people, the late teens through the midtwenties :are the most volitional years of life. However, cultural influences structure and sometimes limit the extent to I thank the following colleagues for their comments on drafts of this article: Jack Brunner, James Cot& Shirley Feldman, Nancy Galambos, Lene Arnett Jensen, John Modell, John Schulenberg, David Skeel, Dorothy Youniss, and James Youniss. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Department of Human Development, University of Maryland, 3304 Benjamin Hall, College Park, MD 20742. Electronic mail may be sent to 469 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett which emerging adults are able to use their late teens and twenties in this way, and not all young people in this age period are able to use these years for independent exploration. Like adolescence, emerging adulthood is a period of the life course that is culturally constructed, not universal and immutable. I lay out the theoretical background first and then present evidence to illustrate how emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations. Next, I explain how emerging adulthood can be distinguished from adolescence and young adulthood. Finally, I discuss the economic and cultural conditions under which emerging adulthood is most likely to exist as a distinct period of the life course. The Theoretical Background There have been a number of important theoretical contributions to the understanding of development from the late teens through the twenties. One early contribution was made by Erik Erikson (1950, 1968). Erikson rarely discussed specific ages in his writings, and in his theory of human development across the life course he did not include a separate stage that could be considered analogous to emerging adulthood as proposed here. Rather, he wrote of development in adolescence and of development in young adulthood. However, he also commented on the prolonged adolescence typical of industrialized societies and on the psychosocial moratorium granted to young people in such societies "during which the young adult through free role experimentation may find a niche in some section of his society" (Erikson, 1968, p. 156). Thus, Erikson seems to have distinguished--without naming--a period that is in some ways adolescence and in some ways young adulthood yet not strictly either one, a period in 470 which adult commitments and responsibilities are delayed while the role experimentation that began in adolescence continues and in fact intensifies. Another theoretical contribution can be found in the work of Daniel Levinson (1978). Levinson interviewed men at midlife, but he had them describe their earlier years as well, and on the basis of their accounts he developed a theory that included development in the late teens and the twenties. He called ages 17-33 the novice phase of development and argued that the overriding task of this phase is to move into the adult world and build a stable life structure. During this process, according to Levinson, the young person experiences a considerable amount of change and instability while sorting through various possibilities in love and work in the course of establishing a life structure. Levinson acknowledged that his conception of the novice phase was similar to Erikson's ideas about the role experimentation that takes place during the psychosocial moratorium (Levinson, 1978, pp. 322-323). Perhaps the best-known theory of development in the late teens and the twenties is Kenneth Keniston's theory of youth. Like Erikson and Levinson, Keniston (1971) conceptualized youth as a period of continued role experimentation between adolescence and young adulthood. However, Keniston wrote at a time when American society and some Western European societies were convulsed with highly visible youth movements protesting the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War (among other things). His description of youth as a time of "tension between self and society" (Keniston, 1971, p. 8) and "refusal of socialization" (p. 9) reflects that historical moment rather than any enduring characteristics of the period. More importantly, Keniston's (1971) application of the term youth to this period is problematic. Youth has a long history in the English language as a term for childhood generally and for what later became called adolescence (e.g., Ben-Amos, 1994), and it continues to be used popularly and by many social scientists for these purposes (as reflected in terms such as youth organizations). Keniston's choice of the ambiguous and confusing term youth may explain in part why the idea of the late teens and twenties as a separate period of life never became widely accepted by developmental scientists after his articulation of it. However, as I argue in the following sections, there is good empirical support for conceiving this period--proposed here as emerging adulthood--as a distinct period of life. Emerging Adulthood Is Distinct Demographically Although Erikson (1968), Levinson (1978), and Keniston (1971) all contributed to the theoretical groundwork for emerging adulthood, the nature of the period has changed considerably since the time of their writings more than 20 years ago, As noted at the outset of this article, demographic changes in the timing of marriage and parenthood in recent decades have made a period of emerging adulthood typical for young people in industrialized societies. Postponing these transitions until at least the late twenties May 2000 • American Psychologist This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. leaves the late teens and early twenties available for exploring various possible life directions. An important demographic characteristic of emerging adulthood is that there is a great deal of demographic variability, reflecting the wide scope of individual volition during these years. Emerging adulthood is the only period of life in which nothing is normative demographically (Rindfuss, 1991; Wallace, 1995). During adolescence, up to age 18, a variety of key demographic areas show little variation. Over 95% of American adolescents aged 12-17 live at home with one or more parents, over 98% are unmarried, fewer than 10% have had a child, and over 95% are enrolled in school (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1997). By age 30, new demographic norms have been established: About 75% of 30-year-olds have married, about 75% have become parents, and fewer than 10% are enrolled in school (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1997). In between these two periods, however, and especially from ages 18 to 25, a person's demographic status in these areas is very difficult to predict on the basis of age alone. The demographic diversity and unpredictability of emerging adulthood is a reflection of the experimental and exploratory quality of the period. Talcott Parsons (1942) called adolescence the r o l e l e s s role, but this term applies much better to emerging adulthood. Emerging adults tend to have a wider scope of possible activities than persons in other age periods because they are less likely to be constrained by role requirements, and this makes their demographic status unpredictable. One demographic area that especially reflects the exploratory quality of emerging adulthood is residential status. Most young Americans leave home by age 18 or 19 (Goldscheider & Goldscheider, 1994). In the years that follow, emerging adults' living situations are diverse. About one third of emerging adults go off to college after high school and spend the next several years in some combination of independent living and continued reliance on adults, for example, in a college dormitory or a fraternity or sorority house (Goldscheider & Goldscheider, 1994). For them, this is a period of semiautonomy (Goldscheider & Davanzo, 1986) as they take on some of the responsibilities of independent living but leave others to their parents, college authorities, or other adults. About 40% move out of their parental home not for college but for independent living and full-time work (Goldscheider & Goldscheider, 1994). About two thirds experience a period of cohabitation with a romantic partner (Michael, Gagnon, Laumann, & Kolata, 1995). Some remain at home while attending college or working or some combination of the two. Only about 10% of men and 30% of women remain at home until marriage (Goldscheider & Goldscheider, 1994). Amidst this diversity, perhaps the unifying feature of the residential status of emerging adults is the instability of it. Emerging adults have the highest rates of residential change of any age group. Using data from several cohorts of the National Longitudinal Study, Rindfuss (1991) described how rates of residential mobility peak in the midtwenties (see Figure 1). For about 40% of the current generation of emerging adults, residential changes include May 2000 ° American Psychologist moving back into their parents' home and then out again at least once in the course of their late teens and twenties (Goldscheider & Goldscheider, 1994). Frequent residential changes during emerging adulthood reflect its exploratory quality, because these changes often take place at the end of one period of exploration or the beginning of another (e.g., the end of a period of cohabitation, entering or leaving college, or the beginning of a new job in a new place). School attendance is another area in which there is substantial change and diversity among emerging adults. The proportion of American emerging adults who enter higher education in the year following high school is at its highest level ever, over 60% (Bianchi & Spain, 1996). However, this figure masks the expanding diversity in the years that follow. Only 32% of young people ages 25-29 have completed four years or more of college (U.S. Bureau of the: Census, 1997). For emerging adults, college education is often pursued in a nonlinear way, frequently combined with work, and punctuated by periods of nonattendance,. For those who do eventually graduate with a fouryear degree, college is increasingly likely to be followed by graduate school. About one third of those who graduate with a bachelor's degree are enrolled in postgraduate education the following year (Mogelonsky, 1996). In European countries too, the length of education has become extended in recent decades (Chisholm & Hurrelmann, 1995). Overall, then, the years of emerging adulthood are characterized by a high degree of demographic diversity and instability, reflecting the emphasis on change and exploration. It is only in the transition from emerging adulthood to young adulthood in the late twenties that the diversity narrows and the instability eases, as young people make. more enduring choices in love and work. Rindfuss (1991) called the period from ages 18 to 30 "demographically dense" (p. 496) because of the many demographic transitions that take place during that time, especially in the late twenties. Emerging Adulthood Is Distinct Subjectively Emerging adults do not see themselves as adolescents, but many of them also do not see themselves entirely as adults. Figure 2 shows that when they are asked whether they feel they have reached adulthood, the majority of Americans in their late teens and early twenties answer neither no nor y e s but the ambiguous in s o m e r e s p e c t s yes, in s o m e r e s p e c t s no (Arnett, in press). This reflects a subjective sense on the part of most emerging adults that they have left adolescence but have not yet completely entered young adulthood (Arnett, 1994a, 1997, 1998). They have no name for the period they are in--because the society they live in has no name for it--so they regard themselves as being neither adolescents nor adults, in between the two but not really one or the other. As Figure 2 shows, only in their late twenties and early thirties do a clear majority of people indicate that they feel they have reached adulthood. However, age is only the roughest marker of the subjective transition from emerging adulthood to young adulthood. As 471 F i g u r e '1 Residential Change by Age, 1998 50 45 40 35 30 e.- ¢~ 25 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. o o.. 20 15 10 5 k- 0 10-14 + 15-19 m 20-24 b m F 25-29 I 30-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Age Note. Data are from "Geographic Mobility: March 1997 to March 1998," by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2000, Current Population Reports (Series P-20, No. 520), Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Figure 2 Subjective Conceptions of Adult Status in Response to the Question, Do You Feel That You Have Reached Adulthood? Note. N = 519. Data are from Arnett (in press). 472 illustrated in Figure 2, even in their late twenties and early thirties, nearly one third did not feel their transition to adulthood was complete. One might expect emerging adults' subjective sense of ambiguity in attaining full adulthood to arise from the demographic diversity and instability described above. Perhaps it is difficult for young people to feel they have reached adulthood before they have established a stable residence, finished school, settled into a career, and married (or at least committed themselves to a long-term love relationship). However, perhaps surprisingly, the research evidence indicates strongly that these demographic transitions have little to do with emerging adults' conceptions of what it means to reach adulthood. Consistently, in a variety of studies with young people in their teens and twenties, demographic transitions such as finishing education, settling into a career, marriage, and parenthood rank at the bottom in importance among possible criteria considered necessary for the attainment of adulthood (Arnett, 1997, 1998, in press; Greene, Wheatley, & Aldava, 1992; Scheer, Unger, & Brown, 1994). The characteristics that matter most to emerging adults in their subjective sense of attaining adulthood are not demographic transitions but individualistic qualities of May 2000 • American Psychologist This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use o ...
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School: Carnegie Mellon University


Adolescent Cognitive Development
1. Introduction
2. Summary of the theories

Piaglet’s theory of cognitive development

Schaie’s model of cognitive development

3. Comparative Analysis

Intellectual development

Efficient functioning

Schaie’s acquisition and achievement stages

4. Cognitive Development during adolescence versus Early Adulthood


Stability, predictability, and responsibility

Career and education

Risky behaviors

Brain development

Schaei’s model in relation to young adulthood

5. Conclusion


Adolescent Cognitive Development
Institution Affiliation




Adolescent Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is an important aspect of growth that enables teenagers to think
and reason. The development of cognitive abilities is essential for individuals to perform
optimally. Normal development ensures that adolescents fit in the society, make credible
decisions, respond effectively to the challenges that they encounter and so forth. Various theories
have been put forth to explain cognitive development in adolescents. Most of them contend that
adolescence is a crucial stage of development. Adolescents acquire important abilities that help
them to transition into adulthood smoothly. This paper provides a comparative analysis of two
theories with a particular focus on cognitive development during adolescence.
Summary of the Theories
In his theory of cognitive development, Piaget refers to the transition between
adolescence and early adulthood as the formal operational phase. According to him, the stage
sets in when individuals attain twelve years of age. During this period, the young adults begin to
reason about hypothetical problems and to think abstractly. They think more about philosophical,
ethical, moral, social, and political concerns. In addition, they begin to...

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