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Amanda Kadleck

Mark O. Jarvis, PhD

FHS 1500
2 November 2016
Observation #4
Teenager Interviewed: Morgan
Age: 15 (almost 16)

Biological Development:
We have often heard that a good first impression is half the battle. And my first
impression of Morgan is that there is a lot going on with her development biologically. When I
walked into her living room, her 6 foot frame towered over mine, making me feel intimidated
even though I am nearly six years her senior and I could tell that she was lacking in sleep. Near
the end of our interview, I decided to ask when she hit her growth spurt. A growth spurt is the
relatively sudden and rapid physical growth that occurs during puberty, and it started for
Morgan about the same time that she first started having her period in 6th grade (Berger, p.322,
2016). She said that being tall was always in the cards for her because both her mom and dad are
6 foot as well give or take a few inches. However, knowing didnt prepare her for the social
awkwardness that followed in the next years, but more on that later. Next when I brought up the
topic of sleep, she threw her head back and said, Sleep, my favorite thing that I never get to
have. Morgan typically gets about six hours of sleep during the week, and when I gave her a
startled look, elaborated that she catches up on the weekends. This catching up that she does is
one of her favorite parts of the weekend, and yet it is terrible for her. This is because changing up
your circadian rhythm, a day-night cycle of biological activity that occurs approximately every
24 hours, so much often results in poorer sleep (Berger, p.318, 2016). But with all of her
homework and extra circulars, Morgan doesnt know when else she could sleep. All in all,
Morgan is hitting the biological developmental milestones at her pace and staying on track with
the norm.

Cognitive Development:
Morgan is currently a sophomore in high school. The subject of school came up easily
during our conversation because it is the primary focus of her life. She is taking a few intensive
classes and some easy ones. When asked what her favorite subject was, she took a second to
think about it and said that she liked math but wasnt that great at it. If she really had to pick one
subject, it would have to be her English class. I thought it was interesting that she liked a subject
she didnt particularly excel in because when I was a teen I hated the subjects that I didnt have
an A in. So I asked more about what learning strategies she uses in math, and instantly she said
that she just takes it little by little. This little by little theory is also known as the incremental
theory of intelligence, which believes that their knowledge in a subject can be increased though
effort and attention to practice (Berger, p.343, 2016). As someone who went through the process
of being a teenage girl, I was curious to know how she felt about herself. The ideal that I was

questioning is the adolescent egocentrism, which states that young people believe in their own
uniqueness and imagine that other people are also focused on it (Berger, p. 330, 2016). However,
Morgan doesnt seem to care what others think of her too much. She doesnt wear any makeup
yet and doesnt have a social media presence. While I would be pleasantly surprised to see a
young woman so comfortable in her skin, I think it is more plausible to think that she wasnt
being entirely truthful with me. All in all however, Morgan has a very strong cognitive mind and
she knows what works for her which will prove valuable during testing times.

Psychosocial Development
Morgan is almost 16 and she is already brimming with well concealed excitement. Why
is she so excited? Because once she turns 16, the rules in her household will know allow her to
begin dating. This topic of conversation led perfectly into our discussion of the relationships with
the people around her. Beginning with her peers, I found out that she has three or four close
friends all female. She is still a little awkward around boys, primarily because she has been taller
than all of them for most of the time she has known them. However, they are starting to catch up
so she hopes dating wont be too bad. Next, I asked her the four questions on page 357 of our
textbook for getting to know the relationship between her and her parents. She commented that
her mom is pretty much her best friend and always knows whats going on in her daughters life,
a good example of parental monitoring. Sitting in their living room, it was easy to see what the
central point of their family was simply based on the decor, their religion. When I asked her
about it, she consented saying that Christ was a big part of their family. I asked if her religion
was an issue at school, had she dealt with any peer pressure or judgement from her choices and
she said that maybe outside her circle of friends, but she hangs out with people who share the
same beliefs that she does for the most part. Her religious identity is the compass by which she
lives her life; she is committed to following in her parents footsteps as far as leading a righteous
life. As a result of this interview, it was clear that her psychosocial development is right on track
for the rocky period that is adolescence.
Berger, K. S. (2016). Invitation to the life span (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.