What have you learned about Adolescence

What I need is this:

[What have you learned about Adolescence (from the Text, Powerpoint, and our Class Discussions) that is meaningful and relevant for you?  Approx. 2-3 pages of double-spaced text for your response.  If you refer to the textbook or Powerpoint, please “cite” your information (e.g., “According to our Powerpoint on Adolescence….”  OR “As Boyd and Bee point out on Adolescent Health (p. 286)…”  No need for a “Works Cited” page (earn up to 20 points).]

All you need is attached below.


Physical & Cognitive


Sources include: Boyd & Bee (2012) “Lifespan Development”

Defining Adolescence

Challenging: Synonymous with teenage years?

Physical changes may occur by age 9

Level of increased maturity/responsibility

Transitional Period (Childhood – Adult)

Def. Puberty – Collective term for all physical changes (seen/unseen) required for reproductive maturity

Prefrontal Cortex

Changes in Brain

13 – 15 years:

Cortex thickens

Neural pathway efficiency increases

Increased energy produced/consumed

Just before Puberty

Synapses from Cortex form w/ other parts of brain

Changes in Brain

At Approx. 17 years – beginning Early Adulthood

Frontal lobes (logic/planning) more developed

Still, limited

Prefrontal Cortex (PFC)

Executive Functioning – control & organize thought processes

Impulse Control Won’t be complete until mid 20s

May lead to impulsive actions (Not well thought out- consequences)

Body Systems

Adolescents: may grow 3 – 6 inches/year

Full adult height:

Girls: by 16 years Boys: by 18 – 20 years

Cephalocaudal/Proximodistal Dev – “Reversed”

Hands/feet full adult size before arms/legs

Shoe size rapid changes – signal of puberty

Muscle mass differences:

Men – 40% of total body mass is muscle

Women – 24%

Milestones of Puberty

Pituitary Gland (Master Gland – controls all glands)

Signals Adrenal Gland to increase “Androgen”

Adrenarche – begins around aged 7-8

Hormone that stimulates growth of:

Ovaries (Girls) – Estradiol (Form of estrogen)

Testes (Boys) – Testosterone

Pituitary Gland

Pituitary Gland (cont.)

Pituitary gland secretes two other hormones:

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

General Growth Hormone

Two sets of body changes triggered:

1. Development of sex organs

2. General changes in brain, bone, muscles…

Puberty: Physical Changes

Physical change most obvious and most associated with adolescence is sexual maturity

Primary Sex Characteristics Females – Ovaries, Uterus, Vagina

Males – Testes, Penis

Secondary Sex Characteristics Females – Breast development, body hair

Males – Voice pitch, facial hair, body hair

AGING – Biological / Psychological / Social

Sexual Development: Females

First Menstruation (Menarche):

Tends to occur 2 years after other visible changes

10% females experience Menarche before age 11

90% females by age 14

Still possible to become pregnant after menarche

However, irregular cycles initially

Approx. 2-3 years after Menarche – no Ovum released

Full adult development takes years

Historical Trends

Timing of menarche

Between 1850 – 1950 (approx. 4 mos./decade earlier)

1840: age 17 years (Dropping 4 months/decade until 1950s)

Secular Trend Changes that occur in developing nations when nutrition and health improve.


Increases in protein and fat consumption

N. Korean refugee camps (limited food): age 16

Critical value: 17% body fat

Sexual Development: Males

First Ejaculation (Spermarche)

Typically between 13-14 years

First viable sperm not produced for several months

Facial Hair and lowering voice not until late adolescence

Secular trend among males less apparent than for females.

Timing of Puberty

If discrepancy between Expected and Actual:

Females develop early (before 10-11 years)

Neg. body image (believe self to be fat)

Trouble (home/school)

More sexually active


Males – if either Early or Late


If early (leaders, academics/$ success in adulthood)

Increased Substance use (both sexes if early puberty)

Adolescent Sexuality

Puberty Hormonal changes underlie sexual attraction and sexual behavior

Other Factors besides Hormones



Prevalence of sexual behavior (Trends)

Boys more sexually active

Both sexes: Increases from grades 9 – 12


67% African American High School students (at least 1 exp.)

51% Hispanic

44% White

Adolescent Sexuality Historically

15-19 Year Olds reporting at least 1 sexual experience

1988 60% of Males

51% of Females

2008 43% of Males

43% of Females

Ethnicity Females 39% Whites

43% Hispanics

45% of African Americans

Males 39% Whites

45% of Hispanics

61% of African Americans

Contributing Factors

Social Factors


Lacking Adult Monitors/supervision

Alcohol (assoc. with 25-30% of sexual encounters)

Abused/Neglected in Early Childhood

Psychological Factors (Beliefs)

Premarital sex “morally wrong” less likely

Religious observance/attendance less likely

Sports or other after-school events less likely

You’ve missed till here


Despite high level of sexual behavior:

50% can identify highest fertility time in menstrual cycle Little Knowledge of STD and consequences

90% learned about STD issues in school

Condom Use among Sexually Experienced Teens

1988 31% Females 2008 57% Females

53% Males 79% Males

Adolescent Pregnancy

Rate of pregnancy among teens in U.S. higher than other industrialized nations:

40 pregnancies per 1000 teens in U.S.

27 in United Kingdom

10 in Germany

5 in Japan

Misleading statistic in U.S. b/c only consider < 20 years

1 pregnancy per 1000 for females under 15 years

22 per 1000 for 15-17 years

70 per 1000 for 18-19 years

Changing Statistics

Birth rates among teens dropped since 1960s

Increased – birth rates among unmarried teens:

1960s +80% teen mothers were married

2003 14% teen mothers were married

Moms eventually marry baby’s father – Ethnicity

< 5% African American teen mothers marry baby’s father

26% Hispanic teen mothers

41% White teen mothers

17% teen moms maintain romantic relationship with dads after birth

Sexual Identities in Adolescence

Heterosexuality Developing attraction to opposite sex is a key process for many teens

92% of teens identify selves as exclusively heterosexual

7% Uncertain about their sexual orientation (Questioning)

1% identify self as exclusively gay, lesbian, or bisexual

By Adulthood: 94% heterosexual

5% gay, lesbian, or bisexual

Small Percentage still questioning

Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Orientation

Twin Studies – when one twin is Homosexual

Identical Twins: 50-60% other twin is homosexual

Fraternal Twins: 20%

Unrelated (adopted) boys in same family: 11%

Psychological Experience

Research: Often report Isolation/Rejection by peers

Higher levels reported: Depression Suicide attempts Substance use


Def: One’s psychological gender not consistent with his or her biological sex

Transgendered Adolescents often report interest in activities typically associated with other gender since early childhood

However, most children interested in cross-gender activities (even desire to be the opposite gender) don’t exhibit transgenderism after puberty

Some evidence for Atypical levels of Androgens in Womb

Adolescent Health

Sensation-Seeking (arousal)

Explain: gain approval/establish autonomy

Remember PFC limitations

Popular media (sex, violence, drug/alcohol…)

13-17 year olds: tv, music, video (more than school)

Parents have few (if any) rules for media use

Parenting Styles


Used In last 12 months:

Drug 8th Grade 10th Grade 12th Grade

Alcohol 30% 53% 66%

Marijuana 12% 27% 33%

Vicodin* 3% 8% 10%

Diet Pills* 4% 7% 7%

* Recreational Use – outside of medical approval

Explaining Use

High interest in sensation-seeking

Peer influence (if friends share sensation-seeking)


Parenting Style (Authoritative less likely)

Eating Disorders

50% Women and 33% Men – weight loss diet

Teens 40% diet regularly 20% use extreme means, e.g., “diet pills”

Distorted body image

Extreme cases – even in starvation, believe fat

Can be fatal

More common among girls than boys

Eating Disorders (cont.)

Anorexia Nervosa: characterized by Self-starvation

More distorted body image than Bulimia

Extreme dieting

Fear of gaining weight

Obsessive exercise routines

Physical Symptoms:

Sleep disturbance Lose hair on head

Stop menstruating cardiovascular issues

Insensitivity to pain

Bulimia Nervosa: Binge eating / Purging

Intense weight issue & cycles of binging (& purging)

Teens with bulimia not usually thin, but obsessed w/ weight

Shame about behavior

Often depressed

Teeth decay and stomach irritation

Freq: 1-3% adolescent girls/young adults (20% show signs)

Eating Disorders (cont.)


18-30% of teens experience depression

Girls 2X more likely report depression than boys


17% high school students consider suicide seriously

2-8% actually attempted

1 in 10,000 die (misleading b/c car accidents not incl.)

Boys 4X more suicide completion

Girls attempt suicide 3X more often than boys

Happiness Formula…

Someone to love…

Something to do…

Something to look forward to…

Changes in Thinking/Memory

Piaget – “Formal” Stage

Logical reasoning re: Abstract issues

Systematic Problem-Solving

Search methodically for solutions to problems (isolate potential factors)

Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning

Conclusions based on hypothetical premises

Something maybe interesting but not real

Changes in Thinking/Memory

Metacognition – thinking about thinking

Adolescent Egocentrism

Adolescent Egocentrism

Imaginary Audience (when you slip in front of everyone, and everyone is thinking about u)

Believe everyone is as concerned about you, as you are about yourself. Watching You: “On Stage”

Exaggerate other’s reactions to your behavior

Text: Behavioral standards that come from peer group

Personal Fable (story that is not true) (no one can unders. how I feel)

Stories/mind set that influences thoughts/behaviors

Eg, “No Use helmet” (accidents won’t happen to me).

Virtue or Fidelity

Transition to Formal Thinking

There is a typical house (4 sides) and each side of the house has a Southern exposure.

A bear comes along…

What color is the bear?

Formal Thinking (11+)

Abstract thinking

Combine and classify objects in many ways

Higher-Order Reasoning

Manipulate objects in the mind without having to actually manipulate them(props)

Trial and Error

Imagine outcomes of particular actions

Creative Thinking

Formal Thinking (11+)


If Paul is taller than Sarah And Sarah is taller than John

Who is tallest?

Abstract Inferential Reasoning – if child not experienced this, and they can draw conclusions from just thinking

3rd Eye Problem

Where would you put an extra eye (if you could have a third one) ?

5 y/o – Silly ? – Kyle bumped my eye today at recess…

9 y/o – Forehead, because that is where eyes go.

11 y/o – “hand” so that you could see around corners.

Thinking about Thinking

Interesting article about introducing Abstract thinking:

Article on Flowers

Transition to Formal Thinking

Transition to Formal Thinking

Formal Thinking

Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning

Not Trial and Error – think with mind…

Refined Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

“What if” thinkers

Logical thinking is not limited to their direct experiences

Logic can violate beliefs and what they ‘know’ to be true: Abstract Logic

Formal Operational Princess

King had three children: two sons and daughter. King old – leave kingdom to brightest child. He gave instructions:

“You will enter a dark room together and I will paint dot on each of your foreheads. You won’t know color of dot – Red or Blue.

You will all sit down and the lights will turn on. If you see Blue dot on anyone’s head, stand up.

If you know color dot on YOUR head, sit down. First one to sit down and identify color dot on their head wins.”

King took them into dark room – paints Blue dots on each forehead. Lights came on, all stood up. Hesitated, and then daughter sat down, “I have a blue dot.”

How did she know?

Two Doors Problem

Two doors, one leads to certain death and one door leads to freedom.

Two guards in front of doors – will allow you to go through one and only one door:

One guard always lies.

Other guard always tells the truth.

You don’t know who is who…

You can ask one question to one guard  – what is the question you should ask to know which door is right?

Solution to Puzzle

Ask either guard:

“What door will the other guard tell me leads to freedom?” – and then to walk through the other door)

Social/Personality Development

Erikson’s Identity vs. Role Confusion

Individual Uniqueness


Social Solidarity (تضامن, تكافل)

Identity achieved:

Sense of direction

At home in body

Knowing that you matter

James Marcia

Identity Diffusion

Little (if any) commitment to path/identity

Eg., Major of the week – Rebel without a clue

Identity Foreclosure

Accepts parental/culturally defined role

Hands over the keys

Identity Moratorium

Maybe in midst of identity crisis, but no commitment

Decide to not decide, put off a decision

Identity Achievement

Life Direction (and commitment)

William Perry Intellectual/Ethical Development*

Reflects attitudes toward knowledge/understanding

9 Positions – 4 Stages

No clear boundary exists between stages

*Source: Parks, S. D. (2000) “Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith”

Stage 1: Dualism (Authority Bound)

What you know, trust, believe…comes from authority

Even life direction determined by others

Knowledge is absolute – Right / Wrong answers

Answers exist and authority’s (teacher, instructor, therapist…) job is to inform you

Disagreements unthinkable – facts are facts

Students job: Learn right answers

Stage 2: Multiplicity

When Authorities fail (or conflict)

Initial response: just need a better teacher/book…

Assumption: knowledge attainable…

Authority may not have all answers, but they will.

Eventually, illusion of certainty gives way to multiplicity

I have my truth, you have yours, “Whatever”

Difficult to sustain position over time Eventually realize – not all positions equal

Stage 3: Relativism

Grey areas are the rule of life – not the exception

No knowledge is absolute – Right/Wrong

Typical response to dilemma: “It depends…”

Balanced Views important

Authority figures seen – Fellow Seekers

Point: Truth is relative, knowledge constructed

Stage 4: Commitment in Relativism

Formal Reasoning (Abstract)

Decisions based more on Personal Values and Situation

Dialectical thinking (see multiple sides of issues (think in different ways, like why this is YES and why this NO. why this is RIGIT and why this is WRONG)

Psychological Defense Mech.









Moral Reasoning

Moral dilemma?

Human need vs. Law or Social Constraint

Larry Kohlberg Moral Reasoning

Level – I Pre-Conventional – Self-Interest

Stage 1 Avoid Punishment (stay safe) Stage 2 Personal Concrete Rewards (What’s in it for me?)

Level – II Conventional – Laws and Social Convention

Stage 3 Social Approval (Good Boy-Nice Girl) Stage 4 Law and Order (Duty to others – no questions)

Level – III Post-Conventional – Abstract Principles

Stage 5 Social Contract Orientation (Affirms agreed-upon rights) Stage 6 Own principles (Own principles) Dialectical thinking

L. Kohlberg – Moral Development

Level-I (Preconventional Moral Reasoning –Self Interest)

Stage 1. Avoid Punishment (stay safe)

Stage 2. Concrete Rewards (What’s in it for me?)

Level-II (Conventional Reasoning – Law/Social Rules)

Stage 3. Social Approval (Good Boy-Nice Girl)

Stage 4. Law & Order (Duty to family/Society,

No questions asked!!)

L. Kohlberg – Moral Development

Level-III (Postconventional Reasoning – Abstract Princ.)

Stage 5. Social Contract (Agreed-upon rights)

Stage 6. Own principles (Own ethics / principles)

“Dialectical Thought”

C. Gilligan

Morality based on “self” needs

Morality that demonstrates commitment to specific individuals (family or friends)

then community, and finally to universal principles (e.g., truth, freedom, fairness and equity).

G. Allport Dimensions of Maturity:

* Extend Self

* Relating Warmly to Others

* Emotionally Secure

* Realistic Perceptions

* Possess essential Skills and Competencies

* Knowledge of Self

* Develop philosophy of Life

Identity – your story of You

Feeling at home in your skin

Having a sense of direction/purpose

Knowing that you matter to a particular group family, friends, teammates…


Dependent – relying on someone too much

Co-Dependency – loving too much!

Needing to make others dependent on you (to validate yourself)

Independent – On your own but willing to take assistance

Counter-Dependent – Unwillingness to rely on others

Inter-Dependent – realizing we’re in this together – your actions impact me and my actions impact you. “Takes a village…”

Illustration: Someone buying you dinner.


Intimacy v. Isolation 20+

Eros – physical aspects of relationship, excitement

Ludus – self-centered, flirt, no commitment “love is game”

Storge – calm, companionship, emotion deemphasized

Manic – intense, obsessive. Anxiety, continual reassurance

Agape – altruistic love, care deeply about partners

Pragma – practical and realistic – logical

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