6b. Using the theories of Erikson, Marcia, Ginsberg, and Holland, discuss how parents and teachers can guide adolescents into thinking about appropriate careers.
During the adolescence age, teens are busy trying to find who they are as well as trying to think about their future appropriate careers. Parents together with teachers should be vigilant at this stage to help teenagers in wisely choosing their career paths as failure to guide them would lead wrong choice of career, which they will regret in future. In such a case, teachers and parents can use Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory to help adolescents in discovering their sense of identity within the society. Erikson came up with the Identity vs. Confusion adolescence stage (12-18 yrs) where he posited that at this stage, teens are turning out to be more independent and look at the future with respect to housing, families, relationships and career. Since they want to fit into a society, they venture to find their occupational identity. Therefore, because at this period teens experience some role confusion, it is the duty of parents and teachers to guide and counsel them in choosing the best career path that fits them. Parents and teachers should not respond to identity crisis by pressuring the teens as this brings about rebellion and formation of negative identity (Crain, 2011).
Parents and teachers can too apply Eli Ginzberg’s Occupational Choice Theory that basically tells the processes by which persons pick careers, from early infancy to early adulthood. During the tentative stage (11-17 yrs), teens are capable to focus and recognize better on work requirements. This phase has 4 sub-stages, interest, capacity, values and transition which all together guide a teen into choosing the career that fits them. Parents and teachers can use this approach in helping teens to learn how much their abilities align with their interests, and further assist them in becoming aware how work might fulfill their values (Liptak, 2001).
Canadian developmental psychologist James Marcia advanced as well as extended Erikson’s identity crisis concept on adolescent development. Marcia’s identity status theory argues that there exists two divergent parts that create a teen’s identity namely crisis and commitment. Crisis is when old choices and values are under reexamination while the result of crisis is commitment built to particular value or role. He defined a crisis as a time of upheaval where old values or choices are being reexamined. The end outcome of a crisis leads to a commitment made to a certain role or value. Teachers and parents can apply Marcia’s theory into guiding teens towards reevaluating their old values/choices and adopting those that are best for them. Identity foreclosure states that teenagers are likely to obey the expectations of other people concerning their future, therefore teachers and parents can actually shape teens’ career directions (Adelson, 1980).
John Holland came up with the career choice theory, which majorly looks at the career choices that are probable to lead to occupation success as well as satisfaction. Holland proposed six personality types, conventional, enterprising, social, artistic, investigative and realistic. The theory of Holland helps one in making the best choices regarding which training programs, majors or occupations best fit them. Parents and teachers can apply Holland’s theory in identifying the personality types of teens and helping in matching them with their respective work environments. Adolescents seek environments, which match their abilities and skills and express their attitudes and values. These work environments include conventional, enterprising, social, artistic, investigative and realistic. Therefore, teachers and parents should endeavor to match teen’s personality types with responding environments because people who operate in environments that go with their personality nature are further probable to be successful as well as satisfied in life Holland, 1973).
7a. Using the theories of Piaget, LaBouvie-Vief, and Denney (plus the ideas of fluid and crystallized intelligence), explain changes in cognitive functioning in adolescence, emerging adulthood, and middle adulthood.
Cognitive growth, described as changes in thinking, normally characterized by being progressively more efficient, complex or creative; in adolescence, emerging adulthood and middle adulthood is promoted by interactions of nurture and nature, brain growth or major life events. Jean Piaget postulated the 4 stages of cognitive development (sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational) where at each stage children acquire some certain aspects of cognitive capability. Piaget’s theory covered only up to adolescence, where he posited that during the formal operational stage (11+ yrs), adolescents acquire the capacity to think abstractly. They gain the capability to combine plus categorize items in a further sophisticated manner, in addition to having the ability for higher-order reasoning. They can apply abstract reasoning, think creatively, execute mathematical calculations and envisage the result of certain actions (Ginsburg & Opper, 1988).
Gisela Labouvie-Vief expanded on Piaget’s theory into adult cognitive development, where she maintained the outlook that growth is an active process, which entails constructing sequentially more activity adaptive levels. Labouvie-Vief’s standpoint is that as children grow to adults; their limitless opportunities are narrowed down to realistic ones when they come across real-world problems. They acquire pragmatic reasoning; create conscious commitments towards a single path. The making of a conscious commitment towards a single path as well as premeditated ignore of other rational choices marks the start of adult maturity. Therefore, Labouvie-Vief posits that cognitive development is a successive adaptations process of logical thought making it a permanent process all through human life just like crystallized intelligence, which holds up throughout an individual’s lifetime. Young adults acquire reflective capacity where they are able to put together cognition and emotion, making them able to make logic of discrepancies. Middle adults acquire cognitive-affect complexity, where they become further conscious of positive as well as negative feelings, and have the capacity to organize such feelings into a compound, organized structure. Cognitive-affective complexity is a major element of emotional intelligence in adults as it makes them have the capacity to handle pragmatic problems (Sternberg & Berg, 1992).
Fluid intelligence is defined as fast and abstract reasoning acquired in early and middle adults, although there is a decline as one ages off. People who have gained fluid reasoning have the ability to reason logically; solve issues found in fresh satiations without the use of acquired prior knowledge. Works best between ages of 20 and 30s, found in poets, scientists and mathematicians. This form of intelligence can be explained by Nancy W. Denney intellectual development theory, which claims that there is an upper biological limit in human with respect to intellectual skill. The capacity to use experience, knowledge and skills (crystallized intelligence) therefore declines with age, where optimally exercised and unexercised skills increase greatly up to emerging adulthood, but decrease steadily thereafter. Therefore, intellectual skills whether unexercised or well exercised always go down over time. Highly exercised ability usually approaches the biological upper limit where it invariably decline thereafter (Denney, 1984).
7b. Developmental psychologist Robert Havighurst stated that the developmental tasks for middle-aged adults are threefold: 1) managing a household, 2) child rearing, and 3) managing a career. Drawing on principles, you have learned in this course, speculate on how you will accomplish these tasks.
Robert Havinghurst’s Developmental Task and Education theory has six stages where one of them the stage of middle age (30-60). During this stage, women and men are at the summit of their production periods, and they influence many people within their vicinity as wives, husbands, friends, coaches, bosses, teachers, peers, mentors or parents. This stage is composed of 3 developmental tasks, managing a household, child bearing and managing career (Havighurst, 1972). To accomplish the task of managing a household, I would establish as well as maintain a standard of living, plus transform to the irregular variations that materialize with the shifting economy, alteration in the family size, taxing, final expenses, and the personal activities of the people within the household. I would be solutions-oriented, always have a contingency plan, be trustworthy as well as sticking to the schedule (Beeton, 1998).
To accomplish child rearing and produce a child who is healthy physically, mentally and socially, I would apply the best effective parenting practices. Initially, I would strive to experience aspects such as altruism, sympathy, empathy and self-awareness because these factors would ensure that I raise my children properly. I would detach the self from personal wants and in place focus on the children’s needs. Furthermore, I would separate the role of a mentor or friend from that of a “parent.” The child rearing practices that I would apply include showing love and affection, stress management, cultivate strong relationship skills, behavior management, practice autonomy and encourage them to be self-reliant and self-sufficient, safety, health, religion, teach life skills and promote education and learning (Gross-Loh, 2014).
Careers need to be managed because without being managed, one’s career stagnates and faces issues such as losing a job and having difficulties in getting a job. To achieve this, I would set and communicate clear goals regarding my career, generate an open feedback loop, focus on my strengths; focus on self-management and self-awareness, under promise as well as over deliver. In addition, I would find mentors; think about my accomplishments in terms of NEAR (Numbers, Examples, Achievements, and Results), and spend time maintaining my career through approaches such as chatting and connecting with new people, and maintain my social files. These approaches go along way at managing and even improving my career (Levinson, 1989).
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