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Adolescence and the Teenage Crush Commonlit Answers

  • 9th Grade
  • Lexile: 1220

Source: Adolescence and the Teenage Crush by Dr. Carl Pickhardt

Assessment Answers

PART A: Which of the following best describes a central idea of the passage?Puberty and developing identities are the main reasons teenagers are more prone to have crushes.
PART B: Which of the following quotes best supports the answer to Part A?“… early adolescence and the separation from childhood has caused young people to want to act more grown up, and sexual maturity from puberty has motivated them to act in more young manly and young womanly ways.” (Paragraph 4)
How does the concept of “idealization” contribute to the author’s key argument regarding crushes?The author argues that crushes, romantic or identity, involve the projection of idealized traits that a person values and desires onto another person (i.e. the crush).
Which of the following statements best describes the author’s point of view on how parents should react to their children’s crushes?Parents should support their children’s feelings, but be aware of the possible risks or fallout that come with crushes.

How does Dr. Pickhardt describe and/or differentiate between the three types of crushes? Cite evidence in your answer.

Dr. Pickhardt outlines three types of crushes in the text, each driven by different motivations:

1. Identity Crushes:

  • Description: Dr. Pickhardt describes identity crushes as admiration for someone with qualities the admirer “highly values and wants to be associated with” (paragraph 1). They see the object of the crush as a role model and aim to emulate their behavior and characteristics.
  • Differentiation: He differentiates them from romantic crushes by highlighting the focus on self-development rather than romantic attraction. He states, “the young person largely projects onto another person idealized attributes… then she or he attaches strong positive feelings to the perfectly wonderful image that has been created” (paragraph 1). This emphasizes the internal projection rather than genuine connection with the person.
  • Evidence:
    • “A shy 7th grade girl gets a crush on a very popular female classmate and wants to become highly social like her, hoping that regular association will rub off…” (paragraph 10). This example showcases the desire to adopt the admired person’s traits.
    • “… sometimes sexual feelings are aroused… but that does not usually signify a homosexual orientation has become established, only that the identity crush can have a sexual component” (paragraph 10). This clarifies that the attraction stems from admiration, not necessarily romantic interest.

2. Romantic Crushes:

  • Description: Dr. Pickhardt defines romantic crushes as driven by “powerful attraction” and a desire to spend time with the object of affection (paragraph 1). It involves “idealization and infatuation” rather than deep understanding (paragraph 5).
  • Differentiation: He distinguishes them from identity crushes by emphasizing the romantic desire and focus on the other person. He says, “In both cases, the person with the crush gives enormous power of approval to the object of their crush…” (paragraph 1). This highlights the outward projection of feelings towards the other person.
  • Evidence:
    • “…they find someone whom they find powerfully attractive, who they feel excited to be around, and with whom they want to spend a lot of time” (paragraph 1). This describes the emotional and social aspects of the attraction.
    • “Because a romantic crush is a potent mix of idealization and infatuation, it doesn’t require knowing another person well at all” (paragraph 5). This underscores the emphasis on fantasy and idealized perception rather than genuine connection.

3. Celebrity Crushes:

  • Description: Dr. Pickhardt briefly mentions celebrity crushes as admiration for idealized images presented in media, often lacking interpersonal contact (paragraph 1).
  • Differentiation: He differentiates them from the other two by their more distant and fantasy-based nature. He notes the lack of real interaction and emphasizes the role of media-created images in shaping this type of crush.
  • Evidence:
    • “… the third kind is the celebrity crush that shapes ideals and stirs fantasies, but there is usually no interpersonal contact to play them out… This is definitely where the market for celebrity posters comes in…” (paragraph 1). This directly explains the lack of interaction and role of media.

Discussion Answers

Do you agree with Dr. Pickhardt’s views on crushes? Why or why not? Cite evidence as to why you agree or disagree.

Points supporting Dr. Pickhardt’s views:

  • Emphasis on emotional development: Dr. Pickhardt highlights the role of crushes in exploring emotions, identity, and social dynamics during adolescence. This aligns with psychological theories about adolescent development.
  • Identification of potential risks: He acknowledges the potential risks associated with crushes, such as idealization, fixation, and exploitation. This awareness can help individuals and parents navigate these experiences more safely.
  • Balanced perspective: He avoids dismissing crushes as trivial while also recognizing their impermanent nature and potential for unrealistic expectations. This balanced approach can be helpful for both adolescents and adults.

Points to consider:

  • Individual experiences: Crushes can be highly individual and diverse, and Dr. Pickhardt’s categories (romantic, identity, celebrity) may not capture all their complexities.
  • Cultural variations: Cultural contexts can influence how crushes are perceived and expressed, and Dr. Pickhardt’s perspective may not be universally applicable.
  • Focus on risks: While highlighting potential risks is important, focusing primarily on them could create unnecessary anxiety or negativity around crushes.

Ultimately, whether you agree with Dr. Pickhardt’s views depends on your own understanding of adolescence, relationships, and individual experiences. Consider critically evaluating his arguments and evidence alongside other perspectives to form your own informed opinion.

It’s also important to remember that Dr. Pickhardt’s article is just one perspective on crushes. There are many other resources available that offer different insights and experiences.

In your opinion, what are the advantages or disadvantages of having a crush?

Potential advantages of having a crush:

  • Increased happiness and excitement: Crushes can trigger the release of dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters, leading to feelings of happiness, excitement, and motivation.
  • Personal growth and exploration: Crushes can prompt self-reflection and exploration of personal values, desires, and what you find attractive in a partner. They can also motivate you to step outside your comfort zone and try new things.
  • Development of social skills: Crushes can encourage you to interact with others, practice communication skills, and navigate social situations, even if the crush itself doesn’t work out.
  • Enhanced empathy and understanding: Experiencing feelings of infatuation and emotional vulnerability can increase your empathy and understanding for others going through similar experiences.

Potential disadvantages of having a crush:

  • Obsessive thoughts and behaviors: In some cases, crushes can lead to obsessive thoughts and behaviors, interfering with daily life and healthy relationships.
  • Unrealistic expectations and disappointment: Idealization in crushes can lead to unrealistic expectations, setting yourself up for disappointment if the crush doesn’t live up to the fantasy.
  • Rejection and emotional pain: The possibility of rejection, even if anticipated, can cause emotional pain and impact self-esteem.
  • Social anxiety and awkwardness: Crushes can trigger social anxiety and awkwardness, especially in situations where you need to interact with the object of your affection.

Ultimately, whether the advantages or disadvantages of having a crush outweigh each other depends on the individual and their specific experience. Some people find crushes to be enriching and personally rewarding, while others find them stressful and potentially harmful. It’s important to be mindful of your own feelings and experiences, and to seek support if necessary.

What are ways to get rid of a crush? Can they go away on their own?

It’s important to remember that crushes are often temporary experiences fueled by emotions and idealized perceptions. While you can’t force a crush to disappear instantly, there are ways to manage your feelings and encourage it to fade naturally:

Healthy strategies:

  • Limit contact: If possible, reduce close interactions with the person you have a crush on. Out of sight, often means out of mind.
  • Distract yourself: Engage in activities you enjoy and spend time with loved ones to shift your focus and emotions.
  • Talk to someone trusted: Discussing your feelings with a friend, family member, or therapist can provide support and perspective.
  • Challenge idealized thoughts: Reflect on whether your idealization of the person might be clouding your judgment.
  • Focus on self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and understand that crushes are common. Don’t judge yourself for having these feelings.


  • Crushes often fade on their own: As you get to know the person better or your circumstances change, the intensity of the crush may naturally decrease.
  • Focus on growth: Instead of solely aiming to “get rid” of the crush, view it as an opportunity for self-discovery about your values, desires, and communication skills.
  • Professional help: If the crush is causing significant distress or impacting your daily life, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.

Unhealthy strategies to avoid:

  • Obsessive behaviors: Don’t stalk, bombard the person with attention, or engage in unhealthy behaviors driven by the crush.
  • Unrealistic expectations: Avoid fantasizing about relationships or outcomes that are improbable.
  • Self-harm: Never resort to self-harm or destructive behaviors to cope with the crush.

Remember, everyone experiences crushes differently. Finding healthy strategies that work for you and seeking support when needed can help you navigate this common emotional experience.

How do you think the experience of having a crush can shape a person? Do you think you have experienced what Pickhardt describes?

Potential ways crushes can shape a person:

  • Exploring Identity and Values: Crushes can act as mirrors, reflecting values and qualities we admire in ourselves and others. They can prompt self-reflection, leading to a better understanding of personal desires and what constitutes an ideal partner.
  • Developing Social Skills: Crushes often involve navigating social interactions, expressing oneself, and potentially facing rejection. These experiences can refine communication skills, confidence, and emotional intelligence.
  • Understanding Emotions: Crushes can be intense emotional experiences, exposing individuals to feelings of infatuation, excitement, disappointment, and self-doubt. This can contribute to emotional intelligence and the ability to manage diverse emotions effectively.
  • Building Self-Esteem: Positive experiences arising from crushes, like expressing feelings reciprocation, can contribute to a sense of self-worth and confidence. However, negative experiences like rejection can also affect self-esteem, highlighting the importance of healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Setting Relationship Expectations: Early crushes can influence how individuals perceive and approach future relationships. They can shape expectations about communication, intimacy, and emotional compatibility.

Dr. Pickhardt’s specific descriptions:

  • Romantic Crushes: These can lead to an understanding of attraction, navigating romantic feelings, and potentially heartbreak, influencing future approaches to relationships.
  • Identity Crushes: These can inspire personal growth by motivating individuals to emulate admired qualities and potentially shape career paths or life goals.
  • Celebrity Crushes: These can introduce idealized notions of beauty, success, or talent, potentially influencing self-perception and aspirations.

It’s important to remember:

  • Individual experiences vary greatly. Not everyone experiences every crush in the same way, and the impact can be positive, negative, or neutral.
  • Cultural and societal factors also play a role in shaping how crushes are perceived and expressed.

While I cannot personally relate to your query about experiencing crushes as described by Dr. Pickhardt, I hope this information provides a helpful perspective on their potential impact on individual development.

How does love emerge? Use evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature or art to answer this question.

According to Dr. Pickhardt’s text:

  • Crushes, while temporary, can be seen as “early approximations of love” (paragraph 2). They involve idealization, infatuation, and a desire for closeness, laying the groundwork for future understanding of romantic feelings.
  • He differentiates between different types of crushes:
    • Romantic crushes: Driven by physical attraction, excitement, and a desire to spend time with someone.
    • Identity crushes: Admiration for someone’s qualities, leading to the desire to emulate them and develop similar traits.
    • Celebrity crushes: Idealization of distant figures, often based on media portrayals.

Insights from other literature and art:

  • Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”: Illustrates the passionate intensity and potential dangers of young love fueled by infatuation and idealization.
  • Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”: Explores the gradual development of love through shared experiences, overcoming obstacles, and deeper understanding.
  • Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner”: Showcases the enduring power of childhood friendship and how it can evolve into love over time.

Psychological perspectives:

  • Attachment theory: Suggests that early childhood experiences with caregivers shape how individuals form and experience love in later relationships.
  • Evolutionary psychology: Views love as a biological drive to ensure reproduction and raise offspring.
  • Social psychology: Highlights the role of social norms, cultural expectations, and personal values in shaping our understanding and expression of love.

Combining these perspectives:

Love likely emerges from a complex interplay of factors, including:

  • Biological predispositions: Evolutionary pressures have shaped humans to seek connection and intimacy.
  • Early childhood experiences: Secure attachments in childhood lay the foundation for healthy and trusting relationships.
  • Personal values and desires: What we find attractive, what we consider important in a partner, and our emotional needs all influence our experiences of love.
  • Social and cultural influences: Societal norms, media portrayals, and family dynamics shape expectations and perceptions of love.

Love as a process, not a destination:

While Dr. Pickhardt describes crushes as “approximations” and the text doesn’t delve into mature love, it’s important to remember that love is not a static state but an ongoing process. It evolves and deepens over time, influenced by shared experiences, mutual understanding, and commitment.

Other Commonlit 9th Grade Answers

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