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NCJ Number: 120209 Find in a Library
Title: Focal Theory of Adolescence: A Psychological Perspective (From Social World of Adolescents: International Perspectives, P 43-56, 1989, Klaus Hurrelmann and Uwe Engel, eds. -- See NCJ-120206)
Author(s): J C Coleman
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: The focal model of adolescent development suggests that particular relationship patterns come into focus at different ages, that no pattern is specific to one age only, and that patterns overlap.
Abstract: The focal model may help explain the apparent contradiction between the amount of adjustment required during adolescence on the one hand and the relatively successful adaptation of the general population on the other. Since adolescents have to adjust to potentially stressful change but pass through this stage of their lives with relative stability, the focal model contends that adolescents cope by dealing with one issue at a time. Different problems and different relationship issues come into focus and are tackled at different stages so that stresses resulting from the need to adapt to new modes of behavior are rarely concentrated all at one time. The focal model is only one of several possible ways of explaining adolescent development, but it has two particular advantages: (1) it is based directly on empirical evidence; and (2) it goes at least some way toward reconciling the contradiction between the amount of adaptation required during the transition from adolescence to adulthood and the ability of most young people to cope successfully with the pressures inherent in this transition. The focal model relates to psychological parameters of the transition to adulthood and not to individual economic circumstances. The focal model is linked to key features of the lifespan perspective on adolescent development; the lifespan approach emphasizes the context of human development and the fact that growth and change result from a reciprocal interplay of forces and pressures. 20 references, 5 figures.
Main Term(s): Juvenile social adjustment
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Behavior under stress; Causal models
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