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This article reviews the understanding of risk-taking in adolescents and its association with consequences that can be related during real-life experiences. This has been reviewed as the article believes there has been a neglection towards the analysis of decision making and “outcome-related processes” (2: 568-581). The overall aim of the study was to assess how results differ in relation to risky against safe decisions. It was “hypothesized that there would be no developmental differences in risk-taking behaviour” (2: 568-581). Furthermore, those differences would be identified in reward-related activity and outcomes.
Additionally, it was further hypothesized that the nucleus accumbens would identify a significant difference in good and bad outcomes subsequent to “risky rather than safe decisions”.
The participants used to conduct the study were a range of 81 adolescents extending from ages 11-17. Out of the 81 participants that completed the Yellow Light Game 46 were female (56.8%) and 35 were male. (43.2%). Furthermore, participants must have no previous history of mental disorders such as seizures, impaired vision in relation to colour blindness, brain tumours and is prone to seizures.
Individuals were presented with an adaption of the Spotlight Task being the Yellow Light Game. The test a computerised game that studies decision making with the knowledge of known and unknown outcomes.
With the usage of MIR scans during testing results indicated that in general, an increase in limbic brain activity resulted in a “peak in risk-taking behaviour” (2: 568-581). Thus, illustrating that adolescents aged (11-13) took more risks in comparison to the participants aged (14-17) and therefore establishing that within an increase of age comes an increase in compacity to make mature decisions.
Limitations of the experiment included features of the Yellow Light Game. These included the speed of the vehicle. Had participants been able to manipulate speeds greater assessment into risk-taking would have been able to be conducted.
The article reviews adolescents and how their emotional maturity is impacted by insecurity and self-confidence in relation to the difficulties faced.
The overall aim of the experiment was to assess the comparison males and females have in self-confidence and insecurity. This was further conducted with the comparison via gender and of whether you were characterised as having high emotional maturity or low emotional maturity.
The participants of the study were 250 adolescent’s ranging from years 15-17. The participants were analysed using the Emotional Maturity Scale and thus placed into 4 groups depending on results. These groups included “high emotionally mature males, high emotionally mature females, low emotionally mature males and low emotionally mature females” (3: 393-396). All participants were subjected to the Emotional Maturity Scale to determine emotional maturity. The scale tests “Emotional instability, Emotional regression, Social maladjustment, Personality disintegration and Lack of independence” (3: 393-396). The higher the score is given at the conclusion of the test, the lower your emotional maturity is.
The results indicated that adolescent participants that have a high emotional maturity have a significantly higher sense of self-confidence and are less likely to feel insecure in comparison to participants who scored low on the Emotional Maturity Scale. Thus, demonstrating that adolescents who have a higher emotional maturity are significantly more capable of making larger emotional based decisions. Other results recorded that differences in gender regarding self-confidence and insecurity “were observed to be non-significant” (3: 393-396). Though the article doesn’t present limitation in the methodology or things that could have been changed. Basing the emotional maturity based on 1 test could be increased as it would present and evaluate the emotional maturity of a participant to a greater degree.
This article reviews the effects of incarceration on adolescent males and their development of psychosocial maturity. It is largely hypothesized that incarceration on adolescents can significantly stunt psychological maturity as incarceration doesn’t present the opportunity to “practice responsible judgment and places them exclusively among deviant peers” (1: 1073-1090). The participants used for the study were 1,171 adolescents aged between 14-17 years. Furthermore, the participants used had felony offenses. The felonies were limited to “a serious property crime, a misdemeanour weapons offense, or a misdemeanour sexual assault” (1: 1073-1090). The incarcerated participants were presented with an interview. Participants were read questions while the interview gathered the results. The first sessions involved 2, 2-hour interviews over 2 days. Following the first sessions, participants were then reinterviewed every 6 months over a 3-year period.
Key results demonstrated that incarceration led to the short-term deterioration of “temperance and responsibility” (1: 1073-1090). However, those who were in a residential treatment facility saw a negative decline in psychosocial maturity. The researchers further concluded that older youths demonstrated a greater susceptibility to short-term negative effects of incarceration in comparison to younger youths however also presented a greater positive outcome when in a residential treatment facility.
The article reviews that the limitations of the study include the inability to determine whether incarceration affects mental health to a short- or long-term degree, whether adolescents during and post-incarceration are able to complete their education to a high standard and finally whether the process of incarceration has been rehabilitating and that participants have obtained the principles of the law. Other limitations of the study included the inability to find enough incarcerated female participants aged between 14-17, thus restricting the comparison between men and women.
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