Growing Influences Essay, Research Paper
The period of transition from adolescence to adulthood plays an important role in the shaping of cognitive development and social skills. Experts of developmental psychology such as Erik Erikson and Carl Rogers noted the fact that external stimuli does indeed influenced one s development of social behavior and self-identity. Outside influence besides genetics influence the way we grow and mature.
Adolescents who are dependent on parents while seeking an independent identity can face a conflicting situation. Parents who set disciplinary rules toward their children are less likely to have antisocial or delinquent teen. Adolescents who display negative behaviors are usually from homes where parents are neglectful or fail to set disciplinary rules where needed (Loeber & Disnch, 1983) The process of growing up can be painful for some, yet exciting and humorous for others. But no matter how the process goes humans have a desire for self-identity and the feel of that distinct person. Psychologist Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers both stressed that the human beings tendency is toward self-identity and self-actualization (fulfillment of one s potential). They believe that the goal of every human being is to find the meaning in one s life and the realization they will died. Although Maslow and Rogers theory has been criticized because of little scientific proof, some psychologist agree that humans do have a natural desire for self-identity and truth, whether they are conscious or unconsciously aware of it or not (Sdorow 17).
Growing up to figure out one s identity maybe great, but the journey can be a rigorous challenge. The media, culture, and great expectations can have a negative effect on the process of growing up. The media continually feed kids acts of violence and sexual promiscuity in movies and video games. The negative context on television and video games does in fact influence kids consciously or unconsciously. A famous study by psychologist Albert Bandura shows the effect of television violence on children. Three groups of preschoolers were shown a film of an adult punching a blow-up Bobo doll. Each group was shown a different version. Those who have seen the version with the adult being rewarded for aggressive behavior toward the Bobo doll were more likely to show signs of aggressive behavior during play. Bandura s experiment in 1965 has since been replicated many times by other psychologist. Each time the findings come out consistent. Children who watch violent programs tend to be more aggressive, while children who watch programs such as Mister Rogers Neighborhood tend to show positive social behavior (Houston, Watkins, & Kunkel, 1989). Moreover, a child who witness his/her parent being verbally or physically abusive toward one another are more likely to continue the vicious cycle of domestic violence (National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1993). Domestic violence can be a traumatic influence in the development of one s own identity. Multiple personality disorder (now called dissociative identity disorder) is a disorder in which a person has two or more personalities. In a study of 71 multiple personality disorder patients in the Netherlands founds that 94% of the patients had a history of childhood sexual or physical abuse. Psychologist believe that those with multiple personality disorder almost always have a traumatic experience in early childhood, leading them to escape reality and hide themselves in alternate personalities (MacGregor, 1996). Unfortunate environment such as these can make it very difficult for children and adolescence to realize their full potential and in some cases know their true self.
Kids who come from dysfunctional families are not necessarily lost causes. Some do in fact grow up to have a better sense of well-being then those who come from normal families (Amato & Keith, 1991). Some kids and adolescence do learn from mistakes made and the consequences it holds. The process of growing up and the difficulties that might prohibit some from doing so is a never-ending challenge that every man must face. The challenge of childhood and adolescence will shape the kind of person many will be tomorrow. The experience and life s lessons will prepare children for the future. Growing up is the realization of self-identity, responsibilities, and the ability to carry out what comes with it. Growing up will come the measure of self-worth . . .