Adolescent Development From An Agentic Perspective
This author addresses adolescent development and self-renewal from an agentic perspective. In this conception, people are considered to be self-organizing, proactive, self-regulating, and self-reflecting. They are contributors to their life circumstances and not just products of them. To be an agent is to influence intentionally one's functioning and life circumstances. Among the mechanisms of human agency, the author says, none is more central or pervasive than beliefs of personal efficacy. In this chapter, he starts with background on the three modes of agency, the interdependence of human agency and social structure, and the period of adolescent development. Then he examines the role of efficacy beliefs in family function, self-efficacy in educational development, self-efficacy beliefs as shapers of career aspirations and trajectories, and the role of self-efficacy in health promotion and affect regulation. Finally, he looks at the management of sexuality in adolescence, the management of high-risk activities, political participation and social commitment, and the implications for social cognitive theory.