Communicating Concepts

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Behavior -
Understanding Causes and Effects

      In some social circles it is fashionable to pigeon hole an individual's behavior by using stereotypical personality classifications such as Type A and B. However, it not that simple since many individuals may display different types of behavior depending on what group they are attempting to join or impress.

Guilt or Acceptance by Association
      A person's image depends on how the groups, they have joined, are viewed by nonmembers. Members of fringe or controversial groups may hold a wide spectrum of unpopular beliefs and values that may even be considered subversive, radical, cultist, offensive, or dangerous.

      Joining some groups, organizations, and clubs are widely accepted as being important in establishing business contacts and opportunities for networking. A prestigious college or university is also considered a stepping stone for those with political ambitions by participating in student government, joining a fraternity or sorority, professional society, political committee, and/or by participating in elite sports and the dean's list leading to internships, becoming a Rhodes Scholar, Nobel Prize nominee, etc.

Influences on Behavior
     Everyone is subjected to conscious and subconscious inputs from the temporary and permanent environments in which they reside. Every change in the structure of our social, economic, and the family units makes a considerable difference in how we react to and interact with others.

     Usually it is within the immediate family structure that we display our worst behavior, perhaps because we feel less inhibited in front of family compared to friends/peers outside outside the family unit and whom we interact with in school, church, jobs, and social situations. 

Note: Unfortunately the consumption of drugs and large amounts of alcohol can substantially
lower the
level of inhibitions that normally prevent us from initiating or being involved in unacceptable and out of character behavior.

     Personality changes, ranging from subtle to extreme, can occur as a result of:
  • Deaths,
  • Life altering illness
  • Marriages,
  • Divorces, Separations, Extra marital affairs
  • Birth of children and grandchildren, both natural and adoptions,
  • Drug, Alcohol, and Nicotine Addiction, and Transmittable Diseases
  • Graduations,
  • Career opportunities, Purchasing a home or condo,
  • Job losses or job related transfers,
  • Interpersonal relationships at home, on the job, at school, and it social situations,
  • Reduced earnings related to down sizing causing job loss or demotion
  • Job related moves - intra and inter state transfers,
  • Changes in schools,
  • Moving out of town, state, or country to secure a better job,
  • Military deployment and separation from families
  • Assimilation problems after deployment
Understanding someone's behavior
      First we need to be able to observe multiple examples of behavior to put these situations into context of total behavior. With this information as a base, it is possible to assess if a specific incidence is an aberration or part of a pattern. 

      Experiences of childhood help to form psychological goals and determine if unmet emotional needs carry over into adulthood. The assumption that everyone does their best to achieve or to reach personal goals in all areas of their life is not necessarily true. Some individual may not be totally able to accomplish to their satisfaction for every goal. Others may be so discouraged that they completely give up pursuing their hopes, dreams, and ambitions.

     The key to understanding a person's behavior is to find the connection between their behavior and psychological goals.

     The perception of relationships within various social, educational, or economic groups can vary depending on the value the individual places on these relationships. The following list provided is only a partial example of group environments we daily interact with:

  • Family
  • Peer groups at:
    • School,
    • Social settings,
    • On the job,
    • Church,
Other activities:
  • Sports
  • Dance
    • Ballet
    • Irish Dance
    • Ballroom
    • Square
    • Clogging
  • Community and school volunteer organizations
  • Political organizations and causes

     Generally people desire establishing long, positive, and rewarding relationships within their family and peer group(s). Unfortunately some who live in a perennially dysfunctional family unit also are in denial about the negative behavior caused by individuals to whom they are related. In many cases they are unwilling to acknowledge the need for professional counseling. In more extreme cases a restraining order may be needed for protection of someone who has displayed to a propensity for violence.

      The following guidelines are based on the previous examples. We hope that this information can help you understand how to view patterns of behavior with a different perspective:
  • One situation is not enough to understand the behavior of others: Observations based on one or two situations, which may be isolated and not representative of a behavior pattern, do not provide a statically reliable pattern of behavior.

  • Collect historical information: It is very important to collect as much information as possible to observe if there have been different levels of intensity.

  • Discover unmet needs: Begin by listing the person's psychological and life goals. Then attempt to determine to what degree these goals are being fulfilled.

  • Connect the dots: Observation and analysis of behavior patterns generally corresponds to the person's psychological and life goals.

Adolescence Behavior
       Most children experience various behavioral change as they grow and pass through various physical, mental, emotional, and social stages on the way to achieving adulthood.  Understanding the stages of growth plays a helpful role in parenting, medical treatment and everyday life.

      In order to truly understand the growth process, it is necessary to separate the process into two distinctive human growth stages:
  • Physical growth stages describe changes in body mass and bone development. A physician's growth chart, is an example of physical growth periods in which the child experiences changes in the type and amount of food consumed and sleeping patterns.
  • Mental growth and development fall under the province of psychologists who study linguistic, emotional and social developments, and how this changes coincide with  stages of physical growth.
     Erik Erikson, a psychologist who lived and worked throughout the twentieth century, outlined eight stages of human development.
  • Infancy, lasting from birth to eighteen months is when a baby develops rapidly from a newborn that is completely dependent and helpless to a walking of a toddler to entering a stage of becoming relatively autonomous. This stage is where the endocrine system goes from barely functioning in the newborn, to being complete and active in the 18-month old child.

  • Early Childhood (eighteen months to three years), is when development in linguistic abilities occur. The average 18-month old child can only say a handful of words transitions into a three-year-old who can form sentences.

  • Play Age (three to five years) involves additional linguistic development, so that by the age of five the child, on average, knows about 2,000 words: however, hey may not be able to understand the meanings and concepts well enough to use them in sentences.

  • School Age (six to twelve years) continues the increase in height and weight. At this stage there are strong influences on the child shifting from the parents and the immediate family to peer groups outside he family structure.

  • Puberty and adolescence usually last from ages 12-18. Teens under go through very important biological changes (such as the menstrual cycle and breast development for girls, and voice deepening and increased body hair for boys). Hormones are crucial at this stage, and the increased presence of estrogen and testosterone can result in various behavioral transformations.

  • Adulthood starts about  the age 19 after the changes of puberty have passed with no significant cell growth occurring. Both men and women experience a decrease in estrogen and testosterone (respectively). Women usually enter menopause around the age of fifty. Erikson designates the three stages of adulthood:  
    • Young Adulthood (eighteen to thirty-five),
    • Middle Adulthood (35-55 or 65),
    • Late Adulthood (55/65 to death).
Effect of Sports on Personality and Behavior
The effect of participation in sports on personality and behavior can vary widely depending on the perception by the individual of their status in the family, school, and various peer groups. Some talented athletes have a hard time maintaining perspective and their egos may cause them to feel that rules do not apply to them.
      Our society and cultural norms affect a child's development of their personality and behavior at each stage of physical and mental development.  Each society has different belief systems that affect self image that govern how boys and girls interact in play and later in social situations. These beliefs influence how children dress, the emphasis on learning, and skill set development by gender.

      In some societies adolescence is regarded as a time of preparation for becoming an adult. An emphasis is placed on acquiring skills in logic and problem solving, plus being able to demonstrate increased levels of responsibility. Depending on their technological development, societies may have a distinctive difference in their view of adolescence. In some it is not viewed as being separate from adulthood, but as the start of contributing serious labor to provide income to the family and for girls to be come married. Their are cultures that require a bride price that is paid to the bride's parents, Others require a dower, which is real property (money, livestock, etc.) which the bride brings to the marriage. Some cultures may require both a dowry and a bride price.

Recommended Reading:

  • Topics on Human Growth and Development Topics on Human Growth and Development. Within the subject of human growth and development, the words "growth" and "development" have very different meanings.
  • Growth & Development in Human Beings Growth and development in humans occurs over a lifetime. At every stage of life, there are physical and psychological changes in the human body.
  • Culture's Effects and the Stages of Human Development Human development occurs over what are described as stages of physical and social growth. Developmental stages are marked by age, and assume a cumulative progression of acquiring individual identity, social behavior, and standards for personal achievement.

Modifying Skater Behaviors


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

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