Adolescents represent a diverse and interesting group of people for observation and investigation. Moshman (2011) highlights that the one thing that unites persons within this group is their engagement in psychological development. The author explains what is meant by this term gradually, starting with identifying its components. Primarily, Moshman (2011) draws a line between two fundamental kinds of change: simple learning and developmental change, which is a more progressive, qualitative, and “internally directed process” (p. 15). Usually, such type of change is expressed in the anatomical or psychological development of adolescents.
However, the latter notion might be misleading since it implies a broad understanding of a person’s long-term way to psychological maturity and, thus, inevitably relies on certain biological factors. This is often referred to as the nature-nurture issue that sets a confrontation between nativists and empiricists. In fact, as Moshman (2011) notes, “nature and nurture interact in influencing the course of development” (p.17). Nonetheless, constructivists make a step further by claiming that a person’s abilities are dictated by their involvement and supported but not limited to their genes or environmental history.
Based on these concepts and discussions, one can now apply psychological development to adolescence. It turns out that the timeframe of adolescence is not that easy to identify since it is not always clear which parameters characterize this period. Moshman (2011), however, suggests thinking of this stage as the first step of adulthood. Thus, the described notions can be helpful in classroom instructions since all of us may associate ourselves with the proposed ideas. For example, depending on the background, people will interpret the end of adolescence differently and might argue with provided views on psychological development.
Moshman, D. (2011). Development, psychology, and adolescence. In Adolescent rationality, and development (3rd ed., pp. 15–18). Routledge.