Psychology of Children and Youth

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When opposed to adults and older people, children are more energetic and quick to perform things. Their zeal in completing various duties excites me. The disadvantage of this feature is that they are twice as likely as seniors to die as a result of putting themselves in risk during this time (Dahl 60). This paper examines how research evidence on self-regulation and emotional development supports the concept that teenagers are "all gasoline, no brakes, and no steering wheel" (Bell 565). It focuses on the difficulties that teens have when attempting to control their emotions and wants.  There has reported several cases of behavioral changes that occur during adolescence stage in human growth and development. The cases reported indicating a positive or negative impact on adolescent’s life. Most of the cases are a negative behavior of the youth emanating from lack of self-control and carelessness as well. Claims made on various deeds are used to justify declining responsibility the young and little capacity to make life determinations (Bonnie 158).

Adolescent behavior based on little levelheadedness and irregular reasoning before making choices. The critical phase of healthy development is supposed to allow the youth to learn how to function without being monitored in the society. Adolescents, in general, are not capable of making rational decisions due to immaturity in certain brain parts. According to Cohen (2005), lack of maturity of prefrontal cortex part of the brain which is 'rational' vulcanized region does not mature in time. The human brain grows gradually between early childhood and adolescence stage of human development. It, therefore, lead the controversy in in their conduct.

Adolescence being a transition stage, it begins with puberty and ends with self-reliant being from the parentage. G. Stanley Hall (Hall 1904) pointed out that adolescents show some signs self-control when they are in groups although they are incapable of making optimal decisions. By definition, they involve new difficulties as individual as they move away from family monitoring. The development period is not to human beings alone inhibiting, but it is also evident to other species. It observes in other species that there are interactions with peers and quarreling with (Romeo, 2013; Spear, 2013; both in this issue). Increasing sensitivity to socially pertinent cues is seemingly a better way of meeting some of the developmental issues.

Various human imaging studies have conducted in an attempting to evaluate a test for unique brain patterns, their activity and in adolescents in some risky behavior in incentives context. They included those researches conducted by Chein, Albert, O’Brien, Uckert, & Steinberg, 2011; J. R. Cohen et al., 2005; Geier, Terwilliger, Teslovich, Villanova, & Luna, 2010; Van Leijenhorst et al., 2010). The intent of their research was to challenge the perception that the lessening self-control in adolescents is because of undeveloped part of the brain that leads to unsuccessful control on behavior (Bell 565). To the contrary, most of the studies show an extraordinary sensitivity to motivational cues at adolescence stage which defies immature control systems triggered by an inhibiting factor.

Many people survived childhood to adolescence phases reasonably well. Not everyone faces extreme controversies at these steps as indicated by Hall (1904). To the contrary, youth falls come between views of Hall's storm-and-stress theory about adolescence and Margaret Mead's theory on the same (Mead, 1928). Human behavior gets determined by the environment that people are brought up in and genetic factors that control the brain's ability to withstand environmental variations. Different environmental demands apply to everybody while some only fit a given class of individual's experiences. Biological constraints as well as changing environmental demands determine how well we adapt to the diversity of environment. Adults though hardier, they may differ in ability to withstand challenges and change their behavior to that effect.

The dominant trait in a regulation of oneself conduct is a capacity to quash temptation of a small recompense for a larger one afterward. In can research on whether children could skip a little immediate reward for a larger one later Mischel (et al., 933) discover that children's behavior could categorize into two. Firstly, they took the offer immediately or delay for some better present. The changing behavioral pattern gave a good example of individualistic preferences and self-control among kids (Mischel et al., 933).

Research by Casey et al., (2011) shows that there is a difference in how individuals conducted themselves at childhood and adulthood at the age of forty years. The research indicated that although grown up, some people retain some of their childhood behaviors. People who in the group could not delay gratification at childhood showed little self-control at adulthood. It concluded that individual's self-control could persist as time goes by in one's life. People with little self-control are more likely vulnerable in their adolescence stage because they get more sensitive to emotional, environmental cues and thus their ability to resist diminishes.

Research concerning emotions related to self-regulation on children is changing steadily with time. Most of the research is concerning the failure of children's emotions to develop. Average conditions of development fail and risk aggravated to become normal developmental courses (Cicchetti & Cohen 2006). In developmental sciences, regulation of emotion and skills are said to be plain capacities that can developmental outcomes based on social and biological resources at the child’s disposal.

Because it’s hard to distinguish emotion from regulation of emotion, (Cole et al. 2004) indicates that it is of great essence to concentrate on a regulation of emotion instead of experience on expressed feelings. Efforts put in control of emotions seem to be from temperament. The basis of a character in self-regulation is often said to be effortful control. (Rothbart & Bates 2006, p.129). Effortful control gets geared towards inhibiting illegal behavior to trigger an action where it tends to avoid.

Gross & Thompson (2007) pointed out that things that are done to regulate emotions happen automatically and in many cases unintentionally. It is of great importance to distinguish the self-regulatory processes used in control from controls that appear basic but involuntary. Most of the responses that affect emotion may be automatic although it does not have to be uncontrollable (Bargh & Williams 2007). An example to support this is that of driving a car. People tend not to control all their activities in driving a car consciously but they all the time aware of self-regulatory processes. Where there is a need for automatic action of driving a car, it becomes more mindful and voluntary in nature. The consideration that, it is important to differentiate behaviors intentional responses can get controlled where need arise.

Kopp & Neufeld (2003) indicated that change controlling effort is typical at the onset of human being's life. He recommended a change from external to internal power sources with time variation. Children are said to progress and can be able to monitor their conduct with little or no monitoring. Young infants depend on their caregivers to moderate their emotions early in life. And later rely on nobody entirely.

The issue of regulation of emotions and behavior amongst infant children and the youth has had extensive attention over time. Varying individual differences about children's emotion regulation majorly are as a result of failure to adjust and also emotional functioning. A case for reference is that children's self-regulation has related to internalizing problems. The issue of how to differentiate between effortful emotional regulation and less voluntarily ones show reactivity compared to effortful control. It is hard to separate the two empirically because of the level of complexity.

In some occasions, differentiating between forms of inhibition of behavior is important when spelling out the associations between control and problems. Sometimes it is not possible to accurately assess an inhibition control particularly when people involved have some dominant responses.

The most common controls are either inhibitory or intentional. Not much is known concerning activation control because it is a control that most likely is linked to adjustment problems and is most particular on children whose adapting to changes is difficult. Inabilities to externalizing problems related to self-regulatory capacities to change get connected to low levels of self-regulation. People’s failure to externalize different problems, different areas of development, get insufficiently delineated. Promising pathways have described by researchers such as Nigg (2006). The resultant outcome of such research is entirely different from what conventionally expected. Variously, emotions regulation associated with problems occurring as a result of externalizing changes. Age is also said to be a factor of externalizing problems variance. Different researchers have come up with various outcomes about self-regulation and adjustment problems in their quest to unravel differences in adjustment difficulties. It is prudent for researchers to look for similar problems in their researches to prevent arriving at unauthentic relations between self-regulation, internalizing or externalizing difficulties.

It is not easy to find and authenticate causal relationships and activities regardless of the abundance of relations amongst maladjustments and regulation of children’s emotion. Genetics get associated with adjustment and maladjustment to changes. According to (Lemery- Chalfant et al. 2008), genetic factors are contributors to variance in both regulation and maladjustment. The relationship between genes and regulation also varies with age. It is, therefore, necessary to know and identify all the significant factors that influence management and precisely determine their relation to maladjustment. Another combination of factors useful for use in predicting regulation about maladjustment is age about the degree of maladjustment.

Genetic variations amongst children and the youth is a major determinant of adjustment. It is of great essence to consider genetics as well as environmental factors and how they interact in predicting regulation. Hereditary factors are seen to determine child’s behaviors and emotions that inform maladjustment. Children who are subject to less control show signs of negative responses that lead to maladjustment. It is good to intervene when environmental factors influencing the adjustment or maladjustment seem to bring vulnerability and which appear to reduce the children’s improvement of self-regulation (see Li-Grining 2007).

Psychological control which naturally manipulates children’s behavior makes parental love acceptance core. I also have a substantial impact on the way a child regulates emotions according to Morris et al., 2002. The connection between the two is rooted in psychological features of control. Parents who manage their children's psychologically instill negative emotional climate amongst children who influence their emotion regulation. Such strategies when used by parents they do not consider child’s need to reason by themselves. These environments enforce children only to go by their parents’ desire (Morris et al., 2002).

Parents do not take in consideration how carefully children observed and evaluated them. Most parents hold a notion that they understand their children better. Some kids in the transition between young children and young adults admire their parents so much that they idolize them for various capabilities. Children take their parents as their primary role models, and they live up to that until they grow up and start realizing new things. As the child transits to adolescent and young adult, he or she begins to shed off old childhood lifestyles. The change gets shown through new attitudes, associations and actions they tend to adapt. The transformation associated with many adverse changes usually at the initial stages observed by the parents. When parents see their children are deviating from the norm, they start constituting reprimands for various misdeeds. As a result, there arise conflicts over freedom which becomes a standard throughout the adolescence stage.

The young adult phase of life poses a lot of negativity which is usually very scary to the parent. It is at this point that contact and communication keep on diminishing. Parents who are understanding and patient involve a reconciliatory tone in calming down their sons and daughters. With growing acceptance, a deep relationship gets realized. With coping skills amongst parents and their children, it helps them feel happier and can achieve life goals. Children emotional issues are a significant life stress for a family at large. In addressing their psychological needs, the family has to be involved in getting workable solutions. Since every case is unique, it requires adequate time to understand them so as to know how to handle them.

Youth behaviors are characterized by a consistent breaking of the rules and going against regulations. With time, these practices become extreme and therefore require a professional to control them. Majorly, these behaviors are oppositional defiance or conduct disorder and degenerate into regular tempers. Children refuse their responsibilities and ignore or protest their parents' advice. Handling a defiant child is very tedious activity and full of frustrations particularly when a parent is supposed to deal with such cases on a daily basis.

Many adolescents nowadays face various worldly problems all of which they have to deal. Among these pressures they have to handle emanates from their family, teachers and their peers. Those that are in danger are those that don't have adequate control of themselves from pressures that include poverty, drugs, and parental problems. Youth also get gravely concerned about their roles in the society, religions and ethnic background. The community, on the other hand, tries hard to present itself decently.

Teenagers indulge in risky activities which increase their parents' concern for them. They indulge in fast driving, reckless road, and railway crossing and are not mindful of repercussions of everything they do for the safety of themselves and others. Where children are found guilty, parents are not supposed to take the blame, and therefore children must remain responsible for their actions. It is, however, the obligation of the parents to make sure that kids avoid habits such as smoking. Many teenagers develop a habit of staying away from their homes at night. All this poses a lot of worries on parents because they cannot tell where they are and the behaviors they are engaged. Some teenagers replicate the actions of their parents who in some cases act in indecent manners. Parents are intended to lead by example where they require them, children, to grow morally upright. Negligence on children by their parents leaves them to make choices on various aspects of life. Children would easily get lost into oblivion with time, and they may grow into spoilt characters that cannot get fixed.

Essential to thing to overcoming psychology of the youth and children challenges is developing patience in handling them and fostering relationships. Nurturing relationship amongst teenagers and parents is important because it cultivates respect which in return encourages acceptable behaviors. In conclusion, the best way to handle teenage behaviors is to subject them to limitations, merits, and demerits of all matters in the child age. Kids are more likely to understand what their parents require of them and obey them compared to teenagers. It is not easy to set limits on teens because they always rebel where they feel that their freedom gets curtailed. It is easier, therefore, to shape a child's behavior and psychology when they are still young and thus grow that way past puberty.

Works Cited

Bell, Carl C., and Dominica F. McBride. "Affect regulation and prevention of risky behaviors." JAMA 304.5 (2010): 565-566.

Bonnie, Richard J., and Elizabeth S. Scott. "The teenage brain: adolescent brain research and the law." Current directions in psychological science 22.2 (2013): 158-161.

Benedict, Ruth. "Coming of Age in Samoa. A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilization." The Journal of Philosophy 26.4 (1929): 110-111.

Cohen, Jonathan D. "The vulcanization of the human brain: A neural perspective on interactions between cognition and emotion." The Journal of Economic Perspectives 19.4 (2005): 3-24.

Cross, Tracey L., Laurence J. Coleman, and Roger A. Stewart. "The social cognition of gifted adolescents: An exploration of the stigma of giftedness paradigm." Roeper Review 16.1 (1993): 37-40.

Dahl, Ronald E. "Affect regulation, brain development, and behavioral/emotional health in adolescence." CNS Spectrums 6.01 (2001): 60-72.

Mischel, Walter, Yuichi Shoda, and Monica L. Rodriguez. "Delay of gratification in children." Science 244.4907 (1989): 933.

Nigg, Joel T. "Temperament and developmental psychopathology." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 47.3‐4 (2006): 395-422.

Somerville, Leah H., Todd Hare, and B. J. Casey. "Frontostriatal maturation predicts cognitive control failure to appetitive cues in adolescents." Journal of cognitive neuroscience 23.9 (2011): 2123-2134.

April 26, 2023



Child Development

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