Physical Cognitive Development of Adolescence

Daniel Offer – healthy self images of adolescents were displayed * Personal experience + medial portrayals = public attitudes * Acting out and boundary testing are an adolescent’s way of accepting rather than rejecting parents’ values * Life course is influenced by ethnic, cultural, gender, socioeconomic age, and lifestyle differences Physical Changes . Puberty * Period of rapid physical maturation * Hormonal and bodily changes in early adolescence * Ends long before adolescence does * Signs of sexual maturation and increase in height and weight 2. Sexual maturation, height and weight * Male pubertal changes * Increase in penis and testicle size, straight pubic hair, minor voice change, first ejaculation (masturbation), kinky *

Pubic hair, maximum growth in height and weight, armpit hair growth, detectable voice changes, facial hair growth * Female pubertal changes Enlarged breasts, pubic hair, armpit hair, increase in height, wider hips than shoulders, no voice change * Menarche – first menstruation (late in pubertal cycle) * May be irregular and not ovulate until after a year or two * Breasts are rounder * Weight * Girls overweight boys until age 14 when boys surpass them * Height * Girls are the same height until middle school years * Growth spurt (beginning) – girls: 9; boys: 11 * Growth spurt (peak) – girls: 11 ? ; boys: 13 ? * Increase in height – girls: 3 ? ; boys: 4 3. Hormonal changes Hormones – powerful chemical substances secreted by the endocrine gland via bloodstream * Testosterone – development of genitals, height and a change in voice * Estradiol – breast, uterine, and skeletal development * Hormone-behavior link is complex 4.

Timing and variations in puberty * Pubertal sequences * Boys: 10-13 ? until 13-17 * Girls: 9-15 * Precocious puberty – very early and onset of puberty * Before 8 years (girls) and before 9 years (boys) * 10 times more in girls * Treated by medically suppressive gonadotropic secretions * Short stature, early sexual capability, and engaging in age-inappropriate behavior . Body image * Preoccupied with bodies – especially in early adolescents (dissatisfaction) * Gender differences * Girls: less happy and have more negative body images – body fat increases * Boys: more happy – muscle mass increases 6. Early and late maturation * Boys * Early: self-views are positive; successful peer relations * Late: (at 30) stronger sense of identity * Girls * Early: greater satisfaction with figures; more age-inappropriate behavior * Late: (10th grade) are more satisfied than early-maturing girls; taller and thinner

The Brain * Connections that are used are strengthened while those are not are replaced by other pathways – “pruning” * Fewer, more selective effective neuronal connections * Activities of the adolescent affects the neural connections to be strengthened or destroyed * Corpus callosum (fibers connecting the left and right hemispheres) thickens – improves ability to process information * Prefrontal cortex (highest level of frontal lobes) – ends 18-25 years of age * Amygdala (seat of emotions) matures earlier

ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY 1. Developing a sexual identity * Learning to manage sexual feelings and skills to regulate sexual behavior to avoid undesirable consequences * Sexual identity – physical, social and cultural factors * Activities, interests, styles of behaviors, orientation * Recognition of sexual orientation (mid-late adolescence) 2. Risk factors in adolescent sexual behavior Still not emotionally prepared to handle sexual experiences * Linked with: drug use, delinquency, and school related problems * Factors: alcohol use, early menarche, poor parent-child communication, socioeconomic status, low level of parent monitoring, peers * Prevention: better academic achievement, maternal communication 3. Contraceptive use * Risks: unwanted pregnancy and STDs – prevented with contraceptives * Increase contraceptive use but many still do not use/ inconsistent use 4. Sexually transmitted infections Contracted through sexual contact – oral-genital and anal-genital * Gonorrhea and chlamydia 5. Adolescent pregnancy * Perpetual intergenerational cycle – daughters of teenage mothers were 66% more likely to become teenage mothers themselves * Outcomes * Health risks: low birth weights, neurological and childhood illness * Mothers drop out of school, never catch up economically with women who postpone childbearing, come from SES backgrounds, low achievement * Benefits: age-appropriate family-life education (life skills)

ISSUES IN ADOLESCENT HEALTH Adolescent Health 1. Nutrition and exercise * Living on fast food meals contributes to high fat levels * Individuals become less active – risk of depression, drug use * Television, computers * Good eating habits: regular family meals * Regular exercise (9-16 years) has a positive effect on the weight status, reduced triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, and lower risk of type 2 diabetes, 2. Sleep patterns Older adolescents get inadequate sleep (less than 8 hours) than younger adolescents * More tired, cranky, sleepy, and irritable * Sleeps in class, be in depressive mood, drink caffeinated drinks * Not due to work or social pressures – biological clock undergoes a shift (pineal gland and melatonin) * Sleep deficit: making up for loss sleep in the weekends * Average of 9 hours and 25 mins (if given the chance) 3. Leading causes of death in adolescence * Accidents, homicides, suicides 15-24 years of age: unintentional injuries – motor vehicle accidents * Risky driving habits and DUI of alcohol or drugs Substance Use and Abuse – alcohol, cigarette, drugs 1. The roles of development, parents, peers and education * 8-42 years: early onset of drinking is linked to binge-drinking in middle age * Parental monitoring, eating dinner with family, more peers, educational success Eating Disorders 1. Anorexia nervosa – eating disorder involving relentless pursuit of thinness through starvation * Can lead to death Weight less than 85% of BMI, intense fear of gaining weight, distorted image of their body shape * Never feel thin enough – weight self frequently: taking body measurements and looking critically self in the mirror * Early-middle adolescent after dieting and type of life stress * 10 x in females than males * Distorted body images, family conflict * Set high standards, stressed if not met and have insecurity issues * Turn to something they can control: weight * Factors: media, family, genetics * Treatment: family therapy 2.

Bulimia nervosa – individual consistently follows a binge-purge pattern (using laxative/ self-induced vomiting) * Twice a week for three months * Pre-occupied with food, strong fear of being overweight, depressed/ anxious, have a distorted body images * Difficult to detect * Factors: being overweight before, dieting * Late adolescent-early adulthood ADOLESCENT COGNITION Piaget’s Theory 1. Formal operational stage * More abstract * Not limited to actual, concrete experiences for thought * Make believe situations, abstract propositions and events, purely hypothetical, logical reasoning * Verbal problem solving activity Logical inferences can be solved through verbal presentation * Increased tendency to think about thought itself * Enhanced focus on thought and its abstract qualities * Idealistic thoughts * Extended speculation of ideal characteristics – qualities they desire, social comparisons * Thoughts are fantasy flights into future possibilities * Logical thoughts * Hypothetical-deductive reasoning – creating a hypothesis and deducing its implications * Steps, trial and error, devising plans 2. Adolescent egocentrism – heightened self-consciousness * Elkind: (2) key components ) Imaginary audience – belief that others are as interested in them 2) Personal fable – sense of uniqueness and invulnerability 3. Information processing * Kuhn: Executive functioning – higher order cognitive activities * More effective learning *

Variation in cognitive functioning 4. Decision making – which friends to choose, which person to date, etc * Generate different options, examine a situation, anticipate consequences, consider the credibility of sources * Emotions play a role in decision making * Social context – substances and temptations are available * Dual process model Decision making is influenced by two cognitive systems: 1) Analytical 2) Experiential – monitoring and managing actual experiences 5. Critical thinking – mature when fundamental skills have developed SCHOOLS The Transition to Middle or Junior High School * Top dog phenomenon – moving from oldest & most powerful to being the youngest and least powerful * Less stressful with positive relationships with peers, more committed to school, have team-oriented schools * Feel more grown up, have more subjects to select, have more opportunities with peers, enjoy independence High School Higher expectations and better support * Effective programs to discourage drop-outs: early reading programs, tutoring, counseling, and mentoring * Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: keep students at risk with the same teachers throughout their high school years * Programs: I have a Dream (IHAD) – comprehensive dropout prevention program Extracurricular Activities * Wide array of activities – after school hours sponsored by the school/ community * Promotes positive adolescent development – competent, supportive adult mentors, opportunities for increasing school connectedness, etc

Service Learning * Form of education that promotes social responsibility and service to the community * Tutoring, helping older adults, working in a hospital, etc * Adolescents become less self-centered, more motivated to help others * Education out in the community * Effects: Higher grades in academics, increased goal setting, higher self-esteem, improved sense of being able to make a difference for others Socioemotional Development in Adolescence SELF, IDENTITY, AND RELIGIOUS SPRITUAL DEVELOPMENT Self Esteem * Self-esteem – overall way we evaluate ourselves Drops in adolescence – negative body images in girls * Lack of self-esteem: poorer mental and physical health, worse economic prospects, higher levels of criminal behavior * Perceptions do not always match reality * Justified perceptions of one’s worth and successes * Indicate arrogance, grandiose,, unwanted sense of superiority * Low self esteem: Insecurity and inferiority * Narcissism – excessively self centered and self concerned approach towards others * Unaware of actual self and how they are perceived *

Contributes to adjustment problems Identity 1. What is an identity? Self-portrait of oneself including vocational, political, religious, relationship, intellectual, sexual, cultural, interests, personality and physical identity * Development is gradual, not neat 2. Erikson’s view * First to correlate identity to adolescent development * Identity versus identity confusion – deciding who they are, what they are, and where they are going life * Psychosocial moratorium – gap between childhood security and adult autonomy * Free of responsibilities and free to try out different identities * Experiment with different roles and personalities Identity confusion – withdrawal, isolation, or immersion (into the crowd) 3. Developmental changes * James Marcia – four statuses of identity or ways to resolve identity crisis * Crisis – exploring alternatives * Commitment – personal investment in identity * Four statuses of identity: 1) Identity diffusion – neither experienced a crisis nor made any commitments * Undecided about choices, no direction 2) Identity foreclosure – already made a commitment but have not experienced a crisis * Parents dictate future ) Identity moratorium – midst of a crisis but commitments are either absent or vaguely defined * Know what they want, no idea how to attain * No means of attaining 4) Identity achievement – undergone a crisis and made a commitment 4. Emerging adulthood and beyond * Emerging adulthood: 18-25 years old * Develop “MAMA” cycles – identity status changes from moratorium to achievement to moratorium to achievement * College produce key changes in identity – new experiences between the home, peers, school 5.

Ethnic identity – enduring aspect of the self; sense of membership along with attitudes, feelings * Bicultural identity – identify in some ways with their ethnic group and in other ways with the majority culture Religious and Spiritual Development 1. Religion and identity development * Logical questioning regarding religion 2. Cognitive development and religion in adolescence * Piaget’s theory influences religion development * Think more abstractly, idealistically, logically – ability to develop hypotheses and systematically sort through answers regarding spirituality 3.

The positive role of religion in adolescent’s life * Adopt religion’s message about caring and concern for people * Positive outcomes – less likely to smoke, do drugs, and drink FAMILIES Autonomy and Attachment 1. The push for autonomy * To show who is responsible for successes and failures * Predicts how strong an adolescent’s desires are * Acquired through appropriate adult reactions to their desire for control * Parent relinquishes control but guides the adolescent to make reasonable decisions * Gradually acquire the ability to make mature decisions 2. The role of attachment Securely attached at 14 years are more likely to stay in an exclusive relationship with intimacy, has financial independence (21 years) 3. Balancing freedom and control * Staying connected with families – having dinner five or more days a week Parent-Adolescent Conflict * Escalates in early adolescence until high school years * Lessens at 17-20 years * Positive developmental function – minor disputes and negotiations facilitate adolescent’s transition from being dependent on their parents to become an autonomous individual PEERS Friendships * Important in meeting social needs No close friendships, experience loneliness and reduce sense of self-worth * Early adolescence – need of intimacy * Dependent more on friends than families (companionship, reassurance of worth, and intimacy) * Gossips – negative comments about others * Relational aggression – spreading disparaging rumors to harm someone Peer Groups 1. Peer pressure – young adolescents conform more to peer standards 2. Cliques and crowds * Cliques – small groups (2-12 individuals), same-sex, about the same age * Crowds – larger than cliques and less personal; based on reputation

Dating and Romantic Relationships (Conolly and McIsaac) – development of romantic relationship in adolescence 1. Romantic attractions and affiliations (11-13) – triggered by puberty; intensely interested in romance, may conversations with same-sex friends 2. Exploring romantic relationships (14-16) – Casual (individuals mutually attracted) and Dating in groups (peer context, friends often as a third-party) 3. Consolidating dyadic romantic bonds (17-19) – more serious romantic relationships develop; strong, stable and enduring emotional bonds (1 or more years) Dating in gay and lesbian youth To clarify their sexual orientation or disguise it from others * Have had same-sex sexual experiences – “experimenting” ADOLESCENT PROBLEMS Juvenile Delinquency – adolescent who breaks the law or engages in behavior that is considered illegal Interrelation of Problems and Successful Prevention and Intervention Programs 1. Intensive individualized attention – high risk adolescent is paired with a responsible adult, who gives him attention and addresses specific needs 2. Community wide multiagency collaborative approaches – 3. Early identification and intervention

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