PSY 638 Journal Guidelines and Rubric
Overview: Journal activities in this course are private between you and the instructor. Each journal assignment will be graded individually. Journal activities are
designed to help you make meaningful connections between the course content and the larger goals of this course. These journals are meant to offer you a
more real-world glimpse into developmental psychology as well as the opportunity to put your critical-thinking skills to work by expressing your thoughts in
response to the journal prompts.
Approach these activities as (a) an opportunity to reflect upon and apply what you learn each week based on the assigned readings, discussions, and activities,
and (b) an opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise based on your educational and professional experiences in the past. As a successful professional,
you will need good reflective and writing skills. Journal activities offer you the opportunity to further develop these skills.
Guidelines for Submission: Submit assignment as a Word document with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Your journal
must be 750–800 words with at least three sources cited in APA format.
Meets “Proficient” criteria and
uses scholarly research to
Meets “Proficient” criteria and
uses concrete examples to
Journal is free of errors in
organization and grammar
Discusses the developmental
psychology concept and
includes an accurate and
detailed explanation of the key
aspects of the topic
Journal includes a personal
reflection that makes
connections to current or
Journal is mostly free of errors
of organization and grammar;
any errors are marginal and
rarely interrupt the flow
Needs Improvement (70%)
Discusses the developmental
psychology concept but lacks
details pertaining to the key
aspects of the topic
Not Evident (0%)
Does not discuss the
Journal includes a reflection
but lacks details or
connections to current/future
Journal contain errors of
organization and grammar but
are limited enough so that
journal can be understood
Does not include reflection
Journal contains errors of
organization and grammar that
make the journal difficult to
The Washington Post
Children from poor families lag in cognitive development and other
areas, report says
By Michael Alison Chandler
November 4, 2013
Less than one in five third-graders from low-income families score at or above the national average in math,
reading and science assessments, and only about half maintain a healthy weight and are in “excellent” or “very
That compares with about half of children from higher-income families who are scoring above average on
standardized tests and 62 percent of children from wealthier families who are in very good health.
Such disparities in early achievement and health are illustrated in a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation
called “The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success.” The report, which is being released
Monday, tracks children’s well-being across multiple areas and in every state.
The report argues that for all children to have a strong foundation, they need better access to quality early care
and education, and coordinated health care and support services for their families.
Policy recommendations include stronger parental leave policies, mental-health services for new mothers and
broader access to quality, affordable day care and preschool .
“All children need nurturing and plentiful opportunities to develop during their crucial first eight years,” said
Patrick McCarthy, president and chief executive of the foundation.
“Today’s complicated world can strain families’ ability to ensure their children are receiving all the stimulation
and care they need to develop to their full potential,” he said.
The report shows that children from low-income families are less likely to perform well in social and emotional
skills, such as exhibiting self-control (63 percent compared with 75 percent of children from wealthier families)
and are less likely to show interest and participate in learning activities (66 percent compared with 80 percent).
The study draws on data from the government-funded Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which tracks children
Nearly half of children 8 years old and younger are living in low-income households, according to the report. The
poverty marker is defined as those with incomes below 200 percent of the 2012 federal poverty threshold, or
$46,566 for a family of two adults and two children.
Access The Post’s coronavirus coverage for free through our newsletter.
That includes 42 percent of children in the District, 34 percent of those in Maryland and 38 percent in Virginia.
Mississippi has the highest proportion of children 8 and younger considered low-income — 63 percent.
Michael Alison Chandler
Michael Alison Chandler wrote about families and gender issues for The Washington Post. She left The Post in April 2018. In
recent years, she also covered education. Follow
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University of Nebraska - Lincoln
DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Faculty Publications, Department of Psychology
Psychology, Department of
Cultural, Historical, and Subcultural Contexts of Adolescence:
Implications for Health and Development
Lisa J. Crockett
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow this and additional works at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/psychfacpub
Part of the Psychiatry and Psychology Commons
Crockett, Lisa J., "Cultural, Historical, and Subcultural Contexts of Adolescence: Implications for Health
and Development" (1997). Faculty Publications, Department of Psychology. 244.
This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Psychology, Department of at
DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been accepted for inclusion in Faculty Publications,
Department of Psychology by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
Health Risks and
J O H N SCHULENBERG
University of Michigan
J E N N I F E R L. MAGGS
University of Arizona
University of Bielefeld
Cultural, Historical, and Subcultural Contexts
of Adolescence: Implications for Health and
Lisa J. Crockett
Although clearly influenced by biological and psychological growth, adolescent development is also molded by the social and cultural context in which it
occurs. As the transition from childhood to adulthood, adolescence is closely
tied to the structure of adult society, and the expectations for youth during this
period reflect, in important ways, the skills and qualities deemed important for
success in adult roles (Benedict, 1937; Havighurst, 194811972). Furthermore,
prevailing demographic, economic, and political conditions determine the
adult occupational and social roles to which young people can aspire, as well
as the access to and competition for those roles (Elder, 1975). The integral
connection between adolescence and the societal context means that, despite
universals such as puberty and cognitive development, adolescents' experiences will vary across cultures and over history. The settings in which young
people develop, the skills they are expected to acquire, and the ways in which
their progress toward adulthood is marked and celebrated depend on the
cultural and historical contexts.
Within stratified, heterogeneous societies, the experience of adolescence
also differs among subgroups of youth. Economic and social resources, as well
as access to valued adult roles, may differ for youth from distinct racial-ethnic
groups, social classes, and geographic regions. Lack of resources and opportunities in some settings may profoundly shape the course of adolescent development by influencing the timing of key developmental transitions and the
supports available for coping with these transitions. Moreover, to the extent
that anticipated adult lives differ for youth from distinct social subgroups,
differences in socialization patterns and goals would be expected (Ogbu,
1985). In heterogeneous societies, therefore, local ecological conditions may
alter considerably the normative template of adolescent development,
with important implications for adolescents' current health and future life
Thus, both macrolevel, societal arrangements and local conditions help
shape adolescents' experiences and the course of their development. Both
kinds of influences may also have consequences for adolescent health. In
particular, they affect the health risks to which young people are exposed
before and during adolescence, as well as the protective factors that may shield
them from these risks. In this chapter, I examine the impact of both societal
and local contexts, highlighting some of their implications for adolescent
health. Essentially, the chapter addresses two questions: First, how has adolescent health and development been affected by changing social and economic
conditions in the United States? Second, how does the health and development of adolescents in the contemporary United States vary as a function of
the local ecology? Before turning to these issues, however, an overview of
sociocultural influences on adolescent development will be presented.
The Cultural Context of Adolescent Development
Whether or not adolescence is formally recognized as a distinct stage of life,
virtually all cultures distinguish between young people and adults. Furthermore, most cultures institutionalize a period of preparation for adulthood that
may be analogous to adolescence as we know it. Despite some uniformities,
however, the structure and content of the adolescent period varies markedly
from culture to culture in ways that reflect broader social and institutional
patterns (Benedict, 1937). In other words, the "cultural structuring" of adolescence differs among societies. Although a comprehensive review of crosscultural differences is beyond the scope of this chapter, a few examples will
serve to illustrate the ways in which cultural arrangements shape the adolescent period and the course of adolescent development. These include the
selection of developmental milestones, practices affecting the clarity of adolescence as a phase of life, and the provision of social roles, settings, and activities
that shape the "content" of adolescence.
Critical Developmental Markers
Worthman (1986) suggests that cultures structure the adolescent experience in
part by ascribing social significance to particular developmental cues such as
menarche, physical size, or acquired skills. These perceptible cues serve as
"index" variables or social markers to which the acquisition of privileges and
responsibilities is attached. The selected markers have social significance and,
consequently, become psychologically meaningful as well. In a sense, cultures
co-opt developmental cues, imbue them with social significance, and in this
way create social milestones around which young people's activities and expectations are organized. These milestones serve as landmarks along the path
to adulthood, defining the normative course of adolescent development. They
become developmental goals to be attained and celebrated.
The developmental markers selected for cultural emphasis vary crossculturally and appear to be linked to the social and economic organization of
society. Biological markers of maturation such as menarche are more fre-
Contexts of Adolescence
quently celebrated in settings where puberty is linked to marriage and where
marriage, in turn, has important political and economic functions (BrooksGunn & Reiter, 1990). For example, in some societies, marriage is used
politically to cement interfamilial ties. Further, in labor-intensive agrarian
economies, in which large numbers of children are desirable, menarche, which
is associated with fertility, may increase a daughter's value in the marriage
market. Paige (1983) suggests that practices such as chaperonage, seclusion,
and residence with the bridegroom's family prior to puberty are all ways of
ensuring a daughter's economic value to her family. Thus, puberty is celebrated where it constitutes a political or economic asset.
Puberty may also receive greater emphasis in societies with simple technology and less differentiated economies. In such societies, young people learn
adult skills and tasks gradually over the course of childhood and, by the time
of puberty, have acquired many of the competencies needed to function successfully as adults. In contrast, in industrialized societies with complex occupational structures and a focus on achieved rather than ascribed social status,
puberty occurs long before the requisite level of social and technical competence is reached. Hence, the emphasis on puberty is replaced by a focus on
other events (e.g., school completion) that more accurately index readiness for
adulthood. Puberty is not celebrated by the community and, in fact, is viewed
as a private issue (Brooks-Gunn & Reiter, 1990).
Other events reflecting social maturation may also receive differential cultural emphasis. In most societies, marriage marks the end of adolescence and
the beginning of adulthood (Schlegel & Barry, 1991). In industrialized societies, the completion of formal schooling, entry into full-time employment,
moving out of the parental household, and becoming financially independent
also may serve as markers of entry into adulthood (Elliott & Feldman, 1990).
A recent study of American college students indicated that living apart from
parents and financial independence were particularly salient milestones for
these youth (Arnett, 1994).
The choice of key developmental markers and the age at which particular
milestones can be attained affect the temporal boundaries of adolescence.
Thus, the social transition from childhood to adolescence may be initiated at
different ages in different cultures (Cohen, 1964), and the formal phase of
preparation for adulthood may last several months, as in some traditional
societies, or many years, as is common in modern industrialized societies. The
interdependence of particular milestones may also affect the length and timing
of adolescence: For example, the right to marry may be tied to biological
maturity; similarly, in Western industrialized societies, entry into full-time
employment may depend on the completion of formal schooling.
Importantly, the timing and contingency of developmental milestones are
determined by institutional arrangements. In industrialized societies, the transition from school to work is shaped by the educational system and the labor
market. The nature and timing of the school-to-work transition differs, even
among modern industrialized societies, due to differences in the degree of
alignment between these key institutions (Hamilton, 1994; Petersen, Hurrelmann, & Leffert, 1993).
In summary, both the choice of developmental markers and the timing of
these markers are embedded in cultural arrangements. One example of this
embeddedness comes from cross-cultural data on the regulation of maidenhood, defined as the period between menarche and marriage. Examining data
from contemporary nations as well as from ethnographic cross-cultural files,
Whiting, Burbank, and Ratner (1986) show that societies differ in both the
length of maidenhood and the degree of permissiveness concerning premarital
sex. One strategy involves extended maidenhood ( 5 years or more) combined
with restrictive rules governing premarital sex: this approach is common
among modern European and Asian societies. It can be contrasted with strategies that involve a shorter maidenhood (combined with either encouragement of or restrictions on premarital sex) or with arrangements in which
maidenhood is virtually nonexistent because marriage occurs before or immediately after menarche. The type of arrangement depends, in part, on what
characteristics are desired in a bride (e.g., virginity or sexual competence), but
it is also related to cultural values concerning family size, which, in turn,
depend on population density, the social class system, and the type of economic activity (agricultural, herding, foraging, industrial) (Whiting et al., 1986).
In this example, both the length of the maidenhood period and the treatment
of female adolescents during this period appear to depend on broader social
and economic patterns.
Clarity of Adolescence
Cultures also differ in the clarity of adolescence as a stage of life. Clarity is
enhanced by culturally shared milestones that mark the entrance into and exit
from adolescence, as well as by consistency in the treatment of young people
during that phase of life. In some traditional societies, public ceremonies and
physical alteration (e.g., through the use of particular clothing or scarification)
accompany the change from child to adult (or preadult) social status (Ford &
Beach, 1951). In small communities, and in larger ones in which the physical
alterations are commonly recognized, the change in social status is followed by
consistent social treatment confirming the young person's new status. In contrast, modern industrialized societies have few publicly celebrated or consistently recognized indicators of the status transition; typically, there are multiple
milestones (e.g., completion of secondary schooling, age of legal majority,
entry into the labor force, marriage, and parenthood) that are reached at
different ages. The abundance of social markers and their spread in timing are
thought to increase the ambiguity of the transition to adulthood because
Contexts of Adolescence
young people are treated inconsistently: on some occasions as adults, on other
occasions as juveniles (Steinberg, 1993). In support of this perspective, a
recent study of college students in a midwestern university revealed that less
than one-quarter of the sample felt they had reached adulthood, whereas
almost two-thirds felt they had attained adulthood in some respects but not in
others (Arnett, 1994).
The clarity of adolescence may derive in part from institutional arrangements. Hurrelmann (1989) links the ambiguity of adolescence in Western
industrialized societies to the ongoing process of institutional differentiation
within these societies. Increasingly, social functions related to economics,
social control, education, and religion, which were initially carried out within
the family unit, have been relegated to specialized institutions (e.g., schools,
churches, courts). These institutions have distinct rules, procedures, and reward structures; thus they may place inconsistent demands on young people
and permit differing degrees of participation and autonomy. Such inconsistency may lead to confusion among youth about their social status and expected
behavior; it may also produce frustration because autonomy is supported in
some settings but denied in others. Moreover, inconsistent expectations are
thought to impede the formation of a healthy identity (Ianni, 1989) and may
also lead young people to engage in "adult" behaviors such as sex and drinking
as a way of affirming adult status (Jessor, 1984).
Social Roles and Settings
Institutional arrangements within a society also shape the content of adolescence - the social roles and prescribed activities of youth. First, instituti ...
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