Cognitive and Behavioral Development of an Adolescent Essay

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Riley's Behavior Analysis

Theories of moral and cognitive development can be used in understanding Riley's case and behavior. According to the Piaget's theory of development, children go through various stages in life. Theories of development reveal that when a student is in high school or the 10th grade, he or she undergoes through a period of personal development through the creation of identities. At this stage, individuals are preparing for adulthood and gaining more independence just as adolescents become experimenters in their lives. Piaget proposed a theory of development where moral reasoning for children develops from what he calls a naive understanding of morality. This naive understanding is usually based on behavior and outcomes. However, as they develop, they can have a more advanced understanding that is based on intentions. This means that Riley is using his independence in the wrong way. The identity crisis as described in the theories of development is a serious issue that he is facing. As a football player, he interacts with the other adolescents and conforms to some of the activities that they undertake, as he wants to fit in the group.

According to Kohlberg, Riley is on the conventional level where he is beginning to internalize some of the moral standards of valued adult role models.

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During this stage, authority is internalized but not questioned since the concept of reasoning is usually based on the norms that have been accepted by the group in which a person belongs. The issue of good interpersonal relationships is a characteristic of Riley's behavior. The implication of this is that he does things that make the rest of the group see him as a good person. It also means that the answers relate to the approval from others. Despite having thoughts of some of the activities being wrong and against his morals, Riley accepts them and even takes parts in them. Therefore, he does it to get the approval of others in the community. Riley wants to be part of the football team, which means that he has to do some of the things that are done by the other boys. Failure to do this will be a recipe for rejection.

According to the social learning theory by Bandura, children learn behavior from the environment through observational learning. The environment, therefore, determines largely the issue of behavior that the child or….....

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Carey, S., Zaitchik, D., & Bascandziev, I. (2015). Theories of Development: In Dialog with Jean Piaget. Developmental Review, 38, 36-54.

Woolfolk, A. E. (2016). Educational psychology (13th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill

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