Human Development

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Module 4: Adolescence



  • Chapters 8 & 9 in Essentials of Human Development: A Life Span View.


For Your Success

This week you will read about adolescence and everything that comes with it with respect to physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development. Pay close attention to the behavioral sciences and human themes and concepts with respect to issues related to adolescent social development, such as eating disorders, body image issues, drug use, depression, delinquency, dating violence, sexual behavior, moral issues, self-esteem, nutrition, physical fitness, and other threats to healthy adolescent well-being.

For the Portfolio Project, it is suggested that in Week 4 students begin to select and analyze potential sources.

HSM320 Module 4

Learning Outcomes

  1. Research and explain the signs, symptoms, and causes of anorexia nervosa and bulimia disorders.
  2. Analyze and evaluate physical and cognitive development in adolescence.
  3. Connect identity statuses to explain and apply to living cases regarding the adolescent developmental period.
  4. Recognize and explain gender and cultural influences/impacts on the adolescent developmental period.
  5. “Fat Talk” and Adolescence

This week we will discuss the many facets of being an adolescent, with specific focus on the topic of female adolescents and body image. Kail and Cavanaugh (2014) state, “[that] compared to children and adults, adolescents are more concerned about their overall appearance” (p. 221). Girls in our society are concerned with body image far more than boys. The term fat talk refers to the dominant focus of conversation among a high number of adolescent girls of Euro-American descent. Our society tends to fuel this “I’m fat” mantra with a preoccupation for the perfect female form.

Our culture can be rather obsessed with the ideal female form, but many cultures actually prefer the more robust, “fertile,” female form free of any artificial augmentation. In some other cultures, body image may not be an issue because of the restriction of social roles for women (Bemporad, 1997). These cultures have a lower incidence of eating disorders (Bemporad, 1997). The life-threatening spin-offs caused by low self-esteem and poor body image, anorexia nervosa and bulimia, are prominent in our Western society. Psychiatric researcher Prince (1983) states that, “Anorexia nervosa has been described as a possible culture-bound syndrome, with roots in Western cultural values and conflicts” (para. 13). Our western culture may not be the only society impacted by rigid female perceptions of physical perfection, but we are likely the pioneers in such distorted thought with our increasing preoccupation with the media.

Click the following link to review a Healthy Body Image assessment.

  1. Teens and Identity

This week we discuss adolescents and their socioemotional development. Part of this developmental process is the search for identity, which is posited by Erikson as a crisis that adolescents face with respect to the formation of identity in the face of role confusion.

The images below evoke the poles of the range of developmental experience, from the proverbial “troubled teen” to the experience of volunteering, giving back to the community, and engaging with other proactive teens.

A Hypothetical

Let’s construct a hypothetical. Suppose that you are a parent who has raised two sons and are still raising your impressionable 15-year-old, parent-pleasing daughter (Lizzie, the future pediatrician) who is watching everything her brothers do. Your older son has led you down a much more colorful path than your younger son, but they both are emerging relatively unscathed from adolescence at 19 (James) and 18 (Preston), respectively. I should mention that you, as this mother or father, have survived this adolescent stage of development, too! What are some issues that an adolescent can face or encounter in our society? Raising kids, one of the biggest fears that you may have is that they would associate with delinquent individuals or, worse yet, become delinquent and have legal issues that could damage them for life socially. Most commonly, parents are concerned that their children may not find a path that will provide lifelong success and happiness. To achieve this, they have to know who they are.

As a hypothetical parent, you are doing your part to establish and maintain boundaries, rules, and expectations. Let’s say you spent adequate time at home with your two sons and also gave them their space to gain autonomy and discover their identities. Your younger son in this vignette is in special education, but he discovered welding as a trade and graduated from high school six months early in a special program that combined high school credit with trade school credit. He is already a few months into his welding program and successful so far. Preston is very shy but not easily distracted, quite determined, and very methodical with everything that he does. James (now a rather academically unsuccessful, off-again, on-again first semester freshman in college with no defined major) has the largest personality in a room, is very smart, the “class clown” at most of his schools, and is always impulsive with borderline ADHD. You move every two years with the Army, and the kids have to reintegrate and often reinvent themselves with each relocation—the older one more than the middle and younger ones. Frequent moving is stress that many other teens do not have to deal with growing up, but by moving they also have an opportunity to reinvent themselves if they did not have an easy time fitting in with one identity.

It is clear that James fits in to the diffusion category at this time, as he is doing very little to consistently form his identity. He appears to have given up on this for the time being. Preston appears to be in the achievement status due to the fact that he quickly found his niche after a bit of a struggle and is now successfully making his way through the trade school program. The daughter, Lizzie, is so interested in pleasing her parents and those around her that she is currently classified in the foreclosure status. She has put very little thought into what she wants and a lot of thought into what others want for her.

Do you recall your own search for identity? If you have raised teens, do you recall this process?


Bemporad, J. R. (1997). Cultural and historical aspects of eating disorders. Theories of Medicine, 18(4), 401-420.

Bukowski, W. M., Hoza, B., & Boivan, M. (1993). Popularity, friendship, and emotional adjustment during early adolescence. New Directory of Child Development, 60, 28-37.

Kail, R. B., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2014). Essentials of human development: A lifespan view. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Prince, R. (1983). Is anorexia nervosa a culture-bound syndrome? Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, 20, 299-300.


Human Development (HSM 320-1) Module 5

Module 5: Young Adulthood

For Your Success

This module requires quite a bit of reading to complete, a Discussion post, and provides the usual recommendation that you continue to work on the Portfolio Project, which is due before midnight on the last day of Module 8. There is no Critical Thinking (CT) assignment this week, so Week 5 will be a good time to make some progress on the Portfolio Project by refining your reference list and completing a first draft of the first parts of the assignment.

HSM320 Module 5

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze and discuss factors related to external forces that can impact personal, professional and academic goals.
  2. Recognize and explain causes and issues pertaining to domestic violence.
  3. Appraise the cultural, religious, or ethnic aspects of working with domestic violence victims.


  1. Young Adulthood

Young adulthood can be an exciting as well as difficult time, as there are many role transitions marking this period of life along with the sense of endless possibilities. A few examples include entering college, going straight to work, choosing a volunteer position, traveling the world, entering the military, selecting a trade, moving into your first apartment or home, developing new relationships and deepening existing ones, thinking about starting a family, etc. If you are not currently just entering young adulthood, then reflect back on what your plan was as you entered young adulthood.

College Bound

This young lady is being taken to college by her parents. Not only can this be an exciting and anxious time for the entering college student foraying for independence, this can be bittersweet for the parents as a child moves out of the family home.

Kail & Kavanaugh (2014)stated that 67% of high-school graduates go to college in our country, but this can vary depending on race and other social factors (p. 265). As the chart below illustrates, the United States’ international ranking in a related measure—the percentage of young adults enrolled in college–is relatively high among other more-developed countries, but no longer in the position of leadership that the country occupied during much of the second half of the 20th century.


Wagner, A. (2008). Percent of young adults (18-24) enrolled in college. Retrieved from


  1. Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can happen at any age to anyone in any racial or ethnic group, to anyone in any culture, religion, socioeconomic status, and to individuals of either sex. Your textbook goes into significant detail about the dark side of relationships where abuse can be manifest. In any abusive relationship, whether the abuse is verbal, emotional, physical, or a combination, the abusive situation gradually escalates

Click to Enlarge

Kail & Cavanaugh, 2014, p. 297

Please view the following video, which provides examples and explanations about verbal abuse.

Signs of Verbal Abuse in a Spouse

Video Summary: Verbal abuse takes on my forms. In this video from, licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, discusses the signs of verbal abuse from a spouse.

Physical abuse can take many forms: hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, burning, unwanted sexual intrusions, use of weapons, throwing things at the victim, or any other behavior that can cause physical harm.

Abuse of a wholly emotional sort is less frequently addressed in public discussion and even in scholarly work than is physical abuse. The following video provides discussion of how to address and reduce instances of emotional abuse.

Undersetanding Emotional Abuse

Vide Summary: Relatricks: Relationship “tricks” regarding emotional abuse. Do you feel judged, devalued or ridiculed in your relationship? Are you called names, and then that abuse is minimized and denied? This is emotional abuse, and you can learn to set healthy boundaries from Dr. David B. Hawkins, Your Relationship Doctor and Director of The Marriage Recovery Center

Check Your Understanding

Test and practice your knowledge of domestic abuse by taking the following scenario-based self-quiz:


Kail, R. B., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2014). Essentials of human development: A lifespan view. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Human Development (HSM 320-1) Module 6

Module 6 Middle Adulthood



  • Chapters 12 & 13 in Essentials of Human Development: A Life Span


For Your Success

This module requires assigned readings, a Discussion post, a Critical Thinking (CT) assignment, and suggests continuing work on the Portfolio Project that is due before midnight on the last day of Module 8. Pay particularly close attention to the topics relating to occupational attainment and development, unemployment, and the juggling of roles (such as parenting, working, school, etc.) associated with this stage of development, as these topics will inform your work on the Portfolio Project as well as professional aspirations. Also take careful note of materials covering personality and the five-factor model, and grandparenthood roles.

HSM320 Module 6

Learning Outcomes

  1. Suggest options to avoid occupational burn-out.
  2. Apply theory pertaining to midlife crisis.
  3. Assess content mastery on work life-related issues in middle adult development.


  1. Career Choice

The importance of occupation selection and the meaning one assigns to one’s work are of great importance to the development of an adult. Note the textbook’s focus on the meaning of work.

Reflect on your life, and ponder what is meant by the following statement, “Work is love made visible” by Gibran (as cited in Kail & Cavanaugh, 2014, p. 318). Do you love what you do for a living? If not, maybe that is why you are here, working on a degree in human services. If that is the case, why did you decide on this degree program?

Have you ever been so engaged in what you are doing that nothing around you seems to matter and you lose track of time? Does this happen when you sit down to work on your class assignments? If not in this course, then it is likely that during your education, some course or program will exercise power to engage and inspire. This experience is discussed in the book Finding Flow by Csikszentmihalyi (1998). Becoming aware of what greatly engages us will make us more aware of who we are (what are our world views), how we can achieve success, and what will bring us happiness in a specialization or professional career field.

View the following video clip in which Csikszentmihalyi discusses “Flow” as the secret to happiness.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: “When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” He is the architect of the notion of “flow” — the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.

Csikszentmihalyi teaches psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University, focusing on human strengths such as optimism, motivation and responsibility. He’s the director the the Quality of Life Research Center there. He has written numerous books and papers about the search for joy and fulfillment.

Following is a table illustrating Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow. As you can see, Flow is exactly opposite on this table from A.............

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