Children, when they reach the ages between thirteen and eighteen undergo developmental changes. Physical changes during this time are considered the onset of puberty, when which the child now becomes capable of the ability to reproduce. The breasts and sex organs enlarge, menarche (the first occurrence of menstruation) and spermarche (the first ejaculation of sperm) begin, hair begins to appear in previously barren places, the body’s bones ossify, reaching skeletal maturity, culminating in finalization of wrists and ankles bone formation. A final growth spurt occurs, although physical growth during this spurt does not adhere to the principles of cephaolcaudal and proximodistal development (Bukatko, 2008).
Social changes through puberty become the basis for new emotional experiences in children. As their bodies’ characteristics change, they may garner more attention or less attention for their physical appearance from peers and adults. As this unfamiliar attention to their bodies increase, the youth becomes also more interested in their physical appearance than they had previously displayed. It is during these years as new and enjoyable sexual arousal feelings emerge they engage in relationships that can be intense, romantic, emotional and sexual in nature. An onslaught of hormones causes moodiness, irritability and sexual moods-often a confusing time for child and family alike as the teens’ bodies adjust to fluctuating hormone levels (Oswalt & Dombeck, 2015). While male teens typically adjust well and feel positive about changes in their bodies, and have better relationships with their parent and peers, female teens often struggle with body dissatisfact...
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...tion and accommodation, and learning through exploration and questioning (Jrank.org, 2015). It should be noted, however, that despite Piaget’s vehement assertions that this is how every child develops, it has since been shown that not all children reach concrete operations, much less formal operations. Indeed, some American adults show a lack of reaching formal operational thought (Neimark, 1979, as cited by Bukatko, 2008).
Culture can have an influence on adolescent development. Not all children in all cultures reach Piaget’s formal operational thought stage. There is emphasis on different values and skills in different cultures, independence, modesty, and group dynamics and to name a few. Specific cultures, religious beliefs, and social class all play a part in identity formation, a sense of self, and fostering and nurturing different characteristics in its members
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