Development During Adolescence

Development During Adolescence

Length: 1667 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Adolescence is the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood;
it generally refers to a period ranging from age 12 or 13 through age 19 or 21.
Although its beginning is often balanced with the beginning of puberty,
adolescence is characterized by psychological and social stages as well as by
biological changes.
Adolescence can be prolonged, brief, or virtually nonexistent, depending
on the type of culture in which it occurs. In societies that are simple, for
example, the transition from childhood to adulthood tends to occur rather
rapidly, and is marked by traditionally prescribed passage rites. to contrast
this, American and European societies the transition period for young people has
been steadily lengthening over the past 100 years, giving rise to an adolescent
subculture. As a result of this prolonged transitional stage a variety of
problems and concerns specifically associated with this age group have developed.
Psychologists single out four areas that especially touch upon adolescent
behavior and development: physiological change and growth; cognitive, or mental
development; identity, or personality formation; and parent-adolescent

Physiological Change:

Between the ages of 9 and 15, almost all young people undergo a rapid
series of physiological changes, known as the adolescent growth spurt. These
hormonal changes include an acceleration in the body's growth rate; the
development of pubic hair; the appearance of axillary, or armpit, hair about
two years later. There are changes in the structure and functioning of the
reproductive organs; the mammary glands in girls; and development of the sweat
glands, which often leads to an outbreak of acne. In both sexes, these
physiological changes occur at different times. This period of change can prove
to be very stressful for a pre-teen. For during this stage of life appearance
is very important. An adolescent child who develops very early or extremely
late can take a lot of ridicule from his or her peers. However, the time at
which a girl goes through this stage and a male goes through it are different.
Girls typically begin their growth spurt shortly after age 10. They
tend to reach their peak around the age 12, and tend to finish by age 14. This
spurt occurs almost two years later in boys. Therefore boys go through a
troubling period where girls are taller and heavier than them. This awkward
period occurs from ages ten and one-half to thirteen. Time is not the only
difference in the pubescent period for boys and girls.
In girls, the enlargement of the breasts is usually the first physical

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Development During Adolescence." 23 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Development During Adolescence: Questions Essay

- Question 1: Discuss adolescence: a)The period of adolescence and the cultural aspect thereof Pinpointing the start of any developmental phase is difficult as different people view adolescence and who is classified as an adolescent in different ways. This is because of perspective as well as cultural differences of what an adolescent is. As a rule of thumb,we say that the onset of adolescence is when puberty starts. This is fairly easy to notice because of the physical changes. However, determining the end of adolescence is much harder....   [tags: Child Psychology ]

Research Papers
993 words (2.8 pages)

Development During Adolescence Essay

- Adolescence is the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood; it generally refers to a period ranging from age 12 or 13 through age 19 or 21. Although its beginning is often balanced with the beginning of puberty, adolescence is characterized by psychological and social stages as well as by biological changes. Adolescence can be prolonged, brief, or virtually nonexistent, depending on the type of culture in which it occurs. In societies that are simple, for example, the transition from childhood to adulthood tends to occur rather rapidly, and is marked by traditionally prescribed passage rites....   [tags: Human Development Teenagers Essays]

Free Essays
1667 words (4.8 pages)

Is The Human Brain Undergoes Its Most Crucial Stage Of Development During Adolescence?

- The human brain undergoes its most crucial stage of development during adolescence which places it in a very vulnerable position. There are two types of tissues that the brain is composed of: grey matter and white matter. Grey matter serves as the foundation of the brain, for it is comprised of neurons which are responsible for processing information. White matter, on the other hand, refers to the wiring between brain cells which is in charge of circulating this information across the brain. Through further examination of these tissues, neurologists have discovered that the composition of a teenager’s brain is vastly different in comparison to their adult counterpart....   [tags: Brain, Human brain, Cerebellum, Neuron]

Research Papers
1080 words (3.1 pages)

Girls' Development During Adolescence: Diminishment of Self Essay

- Large numbers of American girls face a crisis during adolescence. Numerous studies document the disturbing trends that affect girls during this vulnerable time. Girls' IQ scores drop. Their grades in math and science decline dramatically. The confidence, curiosity, and willingness to take risks that mark their childhood years are replaced by unassertiveness, boredom, and a cleaving to the status quo. Girls at this age become prone to eating disorders, self-mutilation, and depression. Even girls without obvious signs of distress undergo a curious diminishing, as if all the interests and energies of their childhood must now be channelled into maintaining a narrow and alien definition of se...   [tags: Femininity Girls Females Teenagers Essays]

Research Papers
1480 words (4.2 pages)

Human Development : Adolescence And Adulthood Essay

- Individuals’ life and personal experiences play an important role in one’s development. As a matter of fact, the path from infancy to adulthood can be shaped by many factors that happen during the individual’s life. According to Drewery and Claiborne (2010), human development is an area of study that seeks to analyse and understand how ongoing changes affect people’s life and their development. There are many theories around human development, yet all of them share the notion that there are several universal stages that take place in every individual’s development: childhood, adolescence and adulthood (Drewery & Claiborne, 2010)....   [tags: Developmental psychology, Adolescence, Puberty]

Research Papers
1078 words (3.1 pages)

The Child Development Theory Of Adolescence Essay

- According to the Child Development Theory of Adolescence regarding physical development, elevated pubertal hormone levels are mildly associated with moodiness. Especially in early adolescence during which teenagers are more unstable, experiencing high levels of stress due to frustration with establishing peer likability, breakups, and enforcing discipline in school environment. During these years of pubertal maturation, Hazel’s social behavior has started to shift and her emotions have become more heightened....   [tags: Adolescence, Developmental psychology]

Research Papers
994 words (2.8 pages)

Adolescence As A Stage Of Human Development Essay

- The essay aims at an explicit discussion of adolescence as a stage of human development. The stage occurs at the age of 12 years to 18 years. The paper will discuss the transition stage in detail and the crucial social cultural and physical aspects associated with the stage. It will also look into the cognitive aspect in human development that result due to adolescence by mentioning to a theorist work. In every stage of human development, it has been found that they exist some important non-normative life transitions associated with it....   [tags: Developmental psychology, Jean Piaget, Adolescence]

Research Papers
1274 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Adolescence And Its Effects On Children

- Adolescence is considered one of the stages of increased stress for parents. The children are going through a difficult time, in which rebellion, nonconformity, the identity crisis multiply conflicts. The concern of parents for their children 's future, their education, the influence of his friends, who do not take alcohol, drugs, or misuse of sex, is added to generational conflict itself. During adolescence, there is a rapid physical development as well as deep emotional changes, although they can be exciting, however they can also be confusing and uncomfortable for the teenager and their parents....   [tags: Childhood, Developmental psychology, Adolescence]

Research Papers
1076 words (3.1 pages)

The Transition Of Adolescence : Exploring Self Identity Essay

- The process of human development across the lifespan is multifaceted and incorporates physical, cognitive, psychosocial and psychosexual developmental milestones. This essay will discuss the life transition of adolescence, exploring self-identity, identify some of the predictable and non-predictable life events during adolescence, as well as explain the implications for nurses and midwives caring for adolescents. This essay will incorporate the ideas and research of two leading theorists, Erikson and Kohlberg in an attempt to explain the psychological reasoning behind some of the changes across this life-transition....   [tags: Developmental psychology, Adolescence, Puberty]

Research Papers
1512 words (4.3 pages)

Adolescence Development Essay

- Adolescence is a period of physical and psychological development from the onset of puberty to maturity. The adolescent is no longer a child, but they haven’t yet reached adulthood. Adolescence is considered people between the ages of 13 and 21. Puberty is the physical maturing that makes an individual capable of sexual reproduction. Puberty is important to adolescence because when a child hits puberty, that’s when the child is becoming an adolescent. Puberty is a big part of an adolescent’s life....   [tags: Adolescent Behavior]

Research Papers
878 words (2.5 pages)

Related Searches

sign of puberty. Actual puberty is marked by the beginning of menstruation, or
menarche. In the United States, 80 percent of all girls reach menarche between
the ages of eleven and one-half and fourteen and one-half, 50 percent between 12
and 14, and 33 percent at or before age 11. The average age at which
menstruation begins for American girls has been dropping about six months every
decade, and today contrasts greatly with the average age of a century ago, which
is between 15 and 17.
Boys typically begin their rapid increase in growth when they reach
about twelve and one-half years of age. They reach their peak slightly after 14,
and slow down by age 16. This period is marked by the enlargement of the testes,
scrotum, and penis; the development of the prostate gland; darkening of the
scrotal skin. The growth of pubic hair and pigmented hair on the legs, arms,
and chest takes place during this period. The enlargement of the larynx,
containing the vocal cords, which leads to a deepening of the voice causes much
stress for a pubescent boy. In this transitional period in his voice tends to

Cognitive Development:

Current views on the mental changes that take place during adolescence
have been affected heavily by the work of the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget,
who sees the intellectual capability of adolescents as both "qualitatively and
quantitatively superior to that of younger children." According to Piaget and
the developmentalist school of psychology, the thinking capacity of young people
automatically increases in complexity as a function of age. Developmentalists
find distinct differences between younger and older adolescents in ability to
generalize, to handle abstract ideas, to infer appropriate connections between
cause and effect, and to reason logically and consistently.
Whether these changes in cognitive ability are a result of the
developmental stage, as Piaget suggests, or should be considered the result of
accumulating knowledge that allows for new mental and moral perspectives, an
enlarged capacity for making distinctions, and a greater awareness of and
sensitivity to others, is a question that psychologists continually debate.
Behaviorists such as Harvard's B. F. Skinner did not believe intellectual
development could be divided into distinct stages. He preferred to emphasize the
influence of conditioning experiences on behavior as a result of continuous
punishments and rewards. Trying to prove that intellectual ability in
adolescence differs from that of earlier years, as a result of learning, or
acquiring more appropriate responses through conditioning. Other investigators
have found a strong tie between certain socioeconomic characteristics and
adolescent intellectual achievement. Statistics suggest that well-educated,
economically secure, small-sized families provide the kind of environment which
intellectual development among adolescents is most apt to flourish. This
environment should also include parental encouragement, individual attention,
and an extended vocabulary use. Test scores, however, seem to be more related
to the verbal ability than to the performance aspects of adolescents'

Identity Formation:

Psychologists also disagree about the causes and significance of the
emotional and personality changes that occur during adolescence. Many Freudian
psychologists believe that the straightforward sexual awakening of adolescents
is an inevitable cause of emotional strain. This strain sometimes leads to
neurosis. Psychologists who have different beliefs place less emphasis on the
specific sexual aspects of adolescence. These physiologists consider sex as
only one of many adjustments young people must make in their search for an
The effects of physical change, the development of sexual impulses,
increased intellectual capacity, and social pressure to achieve independence are
all contributor to the molding of a new self. The components of identity
formation are connected to the adolescent's self-image. This means adolescents
are greatly affected by the opinions of people who are important in their lives
and interact with them. Gradually, the emotional dependency of childhood
transforms into an emotional commitment to meet the expectations of others. An
adolescent seeks to please parents, peers, teachers, employers and so on. If
adolescents fail to meet the goals set for them by the important people in their
lives, they usually feel like they have to reevaluate their motives, attitudes,
or activities. The approval that seems necessary at this stage can help
determine both their later commitment to responsible behavior and their sense of
social competence throughout life.
The peer group of an adolescent also provide a standard in which they
can measure themselves during the process of identity formation. Within the
peer group, a young person can try out a variety of roles. Whether taking the
role of a leader or follower, deviant or conformist, the values and norms of the
group allow them to acquire a perspective of their own. A peer group can also
help with the transition from reliance on the family to relative independence.
There is a common language amongst adolescents, whether it is clothing, music,
or gossip, these forms of expression allow them to display their identity. This
new form of association helps to ease the anxiety of leaving their past source
of reference to their identity. Parent-Adolescent Relations:
The family has traditionally provided a set of values for young people
to observe. Through this observation they can begin to learn adult ways of
behavior. In modern industrial societies the nuclear family has come to be
relatively unstable, for divorce is growing increasingly common and many
children reach adolescence with only one parent. In addition, rapid social
changes have weakened the smoothens of life experience. Adolescents a greater
difference between the parental-child generations then their parent did. They
tend to view their parents as having little capacity to guide them in their
transition from their world to the larger world. The conflict that sometimes
results from differing parent-adolescent perceptions is called the "generation
gap." Such conflicts are not inevitable, for it is less likely to happen in
families in which both adolescents and parents have been exposed to the same new
ideas and values.
Other parental characteristics that commonly influence adolescents
include social class, the pattern of equality or dominance between mother and
father, and the consistency with which parental control is exercised. Young
people with parents whose guidance is firm, consistent, and rational tend to
possess greater self-confidence than those whose parents are either overly
tolerant or strict. Adolescence In Modern Society:
Adolescence is often looked upon as a period of stormy and stressful
transition. Anthropologists have noted that in less developed cultures the
adolescent years do not always have to exhibit such characteristics, when
children can participate fully in the activities of their community. As life in
industrialized societies grows more complex, however, adolescents are
increasingly cut off from the activities of their elders, leaving most young
people with education as their sole occupation. Inevitably, this has isolated
many of them from the adult world and has prolonged their adolescence. In
advanced industrial societies such as the United States, the adolescent years
have become marked by violence to an alarming degree. The phenomenon of teenage
suicide has become particularly disturbing, but risk-taking behaviors of many
sorts can be observed, including alcohol and drug abuse.


Conger, John J., Adolescence: Generation under Pressure (1980) Dacey, J. E.,
Adolescents Today, 3d ed. (1986) Fuhrman, B. S., Adolescence, Adolescents (1986)

Hauser, Stuart T., et al., Adolescents and Their Families (1991) Santrock, J. W.,
Adolescence: An Introduction, 3d ed. (1987)

Sprinthall, Norman, and Collins, W. A., Development in Adolescence, 2d ed. (1985).

Table Of Contents

Introduction.............................................Page: 1
Physiological Changes....................................Page: 1-2
Cognitive Development....................................Page: 3-4
Identity Formation.......................................Page: 4-5
Parent-Adolescent Relations..............................Page: 5-6
Adolescence Today........................................Page: 6
Bibliography.............................................Page: 7
Return to