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Free Body Image and Eating Disorders in Adolescents Essay Sample

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Adolescence is a period in a human being’s life when rapid and intense physical and emotional changes occur. This period occurs in both boys and girls at a round the ages of 12-18 years. The two personalities experience different changes like enlargement of breasts in girls and beards grow in boys. Some of the changes are common to both, for example, the growth of hair in the armpits and appearance of pimples in the face.

Many girls in adolescent stage value their physical appearance as a major part of their self esteem. Poor health habits and low self esteem can crop up from the experiences of body dissatisfaction. The poor eating habits can affect their health behaviors leading to depression, dieting, anxiety and many eating disorders as illustrated below (Rosen, Reiter & Orosan 16).

Anorexia and bulimia are some of the eating disorders that lead to extreme emotions, behaviors that go around weight and food issues as well as attitudes.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder whereby individuals and mostly adolescent girls undergo starvation for fear of becoming fat or take heavy exercises. Some of the symptoms that are experienced are: a lot of weight loss within a short duration, loss of bone minerals, and irregular menstrual cycles to girls, irregular heart beat that could lead to a heart attack among others (Rosen, Reiter & Orosan 18).

Bulimia nervosa is also an eating disorder whereby an individual undergoes periods of binge eating and then induces vomiting. Some of its behavioral symptoms are: binge eating, visiting bathrooms after eating, eating in secret and using diet pills. These two disorders have got similar consequences and their treatments are quite difficult, although, drug therapy can work.

The media plays a great role in perpetuating these disorders in youths and more especially in girls as they recommend that slim girls with figure eight are more beautiful than fat ones. These girls are also used to bring romantic and beautiful adverts on media (Rosen, Reiter & Orosan 24).

Fostering Literacy in Children

The best way to foster literacy in children is to enable them to think scientifically. A constructive approach to educating children is making them understand that knowledge is constructed by children and not given to them. Children should be theory builders as they interact with the surrounding environment. Young children are believed to develop their own complex varying theories about the world they live in (Mayesky 23).

The best books I will choose for my children are those with an environment that enhances scientific reasoning that will give the children time and the necessary materials to exercise their curiosity of the world. The books should also allow them to explore experiment and explain their child centered views. The books should have questions to test the children’s reflective thinking and further experiments.

Some of the best books for children are “Science in Early Childhood: Acquiring Fundamental Concepts and Skills” by Lind K. K. (1999) and “Creative Activities for Young Children” by Mayesky M. (1980). These two books are enjoyable because they emphasize to children the importance of scientific thinking. They also put children in an environment of thinking and processing of information, instead of learning what other people have discovered. Scientific thinking enables children to make their own discoveries through asking questions, carrying out investigations, collecting relevant data and searching for answers to the questions.

The best techniques to use when reading with children is to provide them with information that is accurate, understandable and in interesting language, then offer them information that is topical from various view points, assist them to develop minds that are enquiring and use the scientific models of hypothesizing formula, observing, gathering data, experimenting, monitoring and evaluating. Teach them to appreciate, respect and understand all the living things (Mayesky 40).

Lawrence Kohlberg

Three Stages of Moral Development

The three moral stages of Lawrence Kohlberg are very much similar to that of Jean Piaget’s psychological theory who was a Swiss psychologist. Kohlberg did this work in 1958 while being a post graduate student at the University of Chicago. He continued developing and expanding his work throughout his life.

Pre-conventional Stage

It is associated with children although some adults exhibit it. The reasoning capacity at this level judges directly the consequences of an action. The stage is solely concerned with the personality in a manner which is egocentric. An individual at this stage has not yet internalized the conventions of the society on what is right or wrong to do. Instead, he considers the external effects that may result from certain actions.

Conventional Stage

It is typical of adolescents and adults. They judge the morality of doings by comparing the actions to the society’s norms or views and expectations. In this stage, the society’s conventions of what is right and wrong are embraced.

Post Conventional Stage

At this stage, there is a realization that an individual is a different entity from the society. Individuals live by their own principles on what they consider right or wrong. Some of the considerations made are based on justice and life. Individuals at this stage respect rules and view them as changeable mechanisms and this is the stage I belong to (Kohlberg 4).

Sub Stages

Obedience – refers to doing what you have been asked to do by someone or doing according to the laws stipulated.

Self-interest – this is giving the interest in one, the priority of gaining favors without considering the welfare of others.

Conformity – this is a behavior considered proper because everyone else in the society behaves the same way.

Law and Order – these are conditions that are considered safe and peaceful in a setting like society that prevails when people obey the law.

Human Rights – the rights everyone is entitled to in a society, like, for instance, right to life and right to speech.

Universal Human Ethics – these are the common human principles applied to all human beings and they are used to decide on what is right or wrong (Kohlberg 11).

I found myself in a dilemma of saving either my grandmother or my younger sister who were both sick and needed blood transfusion. Doctor insisted that I had to donate for one because I did not have enough blood. I decided to save the life of my younger sister because she was still young and had a life to live as compared to my grandmother who had aged and had few days to live.

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