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Thinking involves the mind, which is determined by development in growth. According to (Hughes & Leekam, 2004), theory of mind has been defined as individual ability to figure out what someone else is thinking. The mind can be influenced by factors experienced during the developmental stages. Lockl and Schneider (2007) highlight that, children in their developmental stages with emphasis on teenagers, develop a thinking centered on themselves; egocentrism. Mostly, younger children have this tendency, with Anne-Marie’s example as portrayed in the case, on her parents’ separation and failure to acknowledge their respective partners. Young children minds (Hughes & Leekam, 2004) lack the ability to understand why things happen in certain ways. In pre-teen and early teen, Ann-Marie is at the height of egocentrism, as most children at her age have conceptions of being correct in whatever they do. As teenage phase starts the egocentrism develops into a more advanced state, such that relationships with their kin are coupled with problems, characterized by the notions of imaginary audiences in all their activities. Secondly, change in thinking related to educational performance in case of abstract theory of thinking which develops the child’s performance especially in her early teen since it is predominantly evident (Hurley & Novick, 2006).
Associations among children especially the teenagers is affected by thinking determined by the situation such as social setting which is a significant determinant of relationships. In teenage phase, relationships shift with preference of peers as opposed to the past relations with the parent(s). This is characterized by change of interests that were there before as compared to Anne – Marie’s case. At 14 and 15 years old she had more peers but the curve moves downhill with fewer friends at 16 which can be characterized by the developmental stages and egocentrism of her counterparts, undergoing the same developmental phase.
Some relationships dwell on acceptance from the peers (Stiles & Raney, 2004), whereby an individual will be recognized in the social setting based on status and level of being popular. Acceptance from peers influences teenagers’ social development as well as the emotional status, with overall performance standards determining how effective acceptance is. Too much and too little has respective implication towards an individual (McElhaney, Antonishak & Allen, 2008). Belonging somewhere instills confidence as the case portrays Anne-Marie’s involvement in social acceptance –improving activities such a cheer leadership, hence develops a strong base in self esteem.
On the other hand, friendship which differs from peer acknowledgment, involve a smaller group with respect and mutual acknowledgement. Further, this has serious implications on teenagers as opposed to peer acceptance, for if the bond is affected, loneliness is the resultant variable (Fox & Boulton, 2006). Loneliness is evident in Anne-Marie’s case in respect to friendship situation at age 16, and yet she was popular girl in school, especially in cheer leadership.
Development is determined by factors that can be controlled and others which are out of control especially from the parents’ and guardians’ perspective (Artar, 2007). As a child develops he or she becomes more and more associated with other people as compared to the parents or guardians. Austerberry & Wiggins (2007) contend that as development reaches teenage bracket, association with people of the same group and age becomes important.
Development in cognitive perspective is purported as reasoning in relation to thinking. More so, (Whitted, 2010) claims that, in early teenage phase, an individual derives his or her thoughts towards decisions on personal preferences. This is related to activities in school or vacations, friends , appearance fuelled by what others will think, and the authority in terms of parents’, guardians’ or the teachers’ regulations (Sauter, Heyne & Michiel, 2009). At mid-teen, an individual result in partial responsibility in decisions, future perspectives and personality which are developed with ability to personally make plans. Lastly, at late- teen, egocentrism is towards the end point with participatory and concern –geared roles in respect to society, views and careers (Whitted, 2010).
Development on social –emotion influence is also evident in Anne-Marie’s case, with outlook on how the social environment impact s on the emotions and performance of an individual. Due to associations in the social environments and events, it is hard for a parent or guardian to control them, especially in teenagers (Austerberry & Wiggins, 2007). They developed social attachments and find rules limiting their experimentation phase. However, when these social attachments fail or perfect the emotional development emerges. The development is mostly enhanced in the early and mid teenage since the individual is seeking for a sense of belonging, but as they develop towards late teenage, the influence of responsibilities and decisions based on life, overtake social –emotion development, but not completely.
In conclusion, thinking is affected by factors related to the environment and events in teenagers, and also, hereditary aspects. Understanding these developments enables parents in approaching their children, issues affecting them, giving solutions and helping them understand why things happen the way they do.
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