Developmental Profile

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Developmental Profile

Developmental Profile for Adolescents

Physical Characteristics

1. Concerning boys in this period, in general the penis and scrotum get much larger, hair appears in the axillae and in the pubic area, the voice begins to deepen, and the spurt of height and weight begins. This period, for girls, is a time of rounding out and completing major changes in the secondary sex characteristics. For example, most have begun menstruation and the weight and height gains have slowed down (Babcock, 1967).

2. Puberty is set into action by the increase of the hormone testosterone in males and estrogen in females (Rathus, et al., 1986).

3. The primary sex characteristics enlarge and mature: in males--the testes, prostate gland, penis and seminal vesicles, in females--the ovaries, uterus and vagina (Papalia, et al., 1998).

4. Acne develops in some adolescents, due to the change in hormones, and can last well into adulthood (Edelman, et al., 1994).

5. Toward the end of puberty, menarche in girls and ejaculation in boys signals reproductive potential. Puberty that is early or late can be stressful, although the specifics depend on gender, personality, and culture (Berger, 1998).

Intellectual Characteristics

1. According to Piaget, adolescents enter the highest level of cognitive development--formal operations--when they develop the capacity for abstract thought (Papalia, et al., 1998).

2. An adolescent may be adult in his ability to reason and vote, but he's more childish in his attitude toward sex and marriage (Babcock, 1967).

3. Adolescent egocentrism, along with feelings of uniqueness and invincibility, can cloud judgment, as well as make them extraordinarily self-absorbed (Berger, 1998).

4. The specific intellectual advancement of each teenager depends greatly on education. Each culture and each school emphasizes different subjects, values, and modes of thinking, a variation which makes some adolescents much more sophisticated in their thoughts and behavior than others (Berger, 1998).

5. Erickson's Theory of identity vs. identity confusion emerges. This is involves the adolescent determining his/her own sense of self or experience confusion about roles (Edelman, et al., 1994).

Socio-Emotional (Behavioral)

1. Some young adolescent girls, more so than boys, are dealing with eating disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia (Papalia, et al., 1998).

2. Sexual activity rises for a variety of reasons, such as, seeking affection, peer pressure, as a symbol of maturity, spontaneous experimentation, to feel close, and because it feels good (Edelman, et al., 1994).

3. Given the restrictions placed on adolescents, their yearning for independence, and a sex drive heightened by high levels of sex hormones, it is not surprising that many adolescents report frequent conflict with their families (Rathus, et al.

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