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Theoretical Foundations and Biological Bases of Development in Adolescence

by Richard M. Lerner

  • ISBN: 9780815332909
  • ISBN10: 0815332904

Theoretical Foundations and Biological Bases of Development in Adolescence

by Richard M. Lerner

  • List Price: $175.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publish date: 08/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780815332909
  • ISBN10: 0815332904
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Description: This volume presents an array of perspectives that have been used to understand changes during adolescence in cognitive functioning and their relations to moral development, the connection between cognitive changes and academic performance, and the impact of the school environment on intellectual development and achievement. Consistent with the ideas of a developmental-systems perspective, the relationship between the developing person and features of his/her setting are seen as essential in all areas of scholarship reviewed in this volume. Nevertheless, variation in theoretical perspectives present in the articles show that, when trying to understand intellectual development and achievement in adolescence, scholars differ in the extent to which they place primary emphasis on the individual, on the context, or on the relationship between the two.

For instance, the articles by Piaget and Kohlberg are based on an organismic theoretical model which emphasizes that cognitive and moral development, respectively, occur through a process (i.e., equilibration) that engages action of the person on the context and, in mm, action of the context on the person. Nevertheless, stage-related changes in organism are given primary importance in these models. In turn, articles by Eisenberg and her colleagues (1995), Leadbeater (1996), and Sameroff and his colleagues (1993) also stress person-context relations but focus more on changes in the ecology of the developing adolescent or student seeking to achieve. The articles by Eccles and Wigfield (1995), Simmons and her colleagues (1979), and Steinberg and his colleagues (1992) stress relations between both person and context. Despite this variation inemphasis on person, context, or person-context relations, the articles underscore the point that all features of the developmental system must be engaged, first, so that we may understand the general components of individual differences in intellectual and moral functioning and, second, and more importantly, so that we may optimize such functioning among youth.

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