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Running head: Development During Early Adolescence

Monique Fitzpatrick

Development During Early Adolescence

Professor Czarnecki

April 2012

Seasons of Life Research Paper

The development of children ages 12 through 19 years old is expected to include predictable physical and mental milestones. What are the major physical, cognitive, self made motivational changes that early adolescent’s experience? Some are early adolescent’s relations with peers, teachers, and counselors. Can these changes have a significant impact on a variety of developmental outcomes of identity, morality, transitional stages, beginning of puberty and the full commitment to an adult social role, and sexual maturity? Hence, because of the potential impact of these changes, it is important to understand the cycles of adolescents.

Life has store many surprises for us as we develop throughout our whole life span. Developmental stages are the progress that occurs in humans from the time they are born until they grow old and die. Originally beginning with infants and children, development will subsequently progress into adolescence, followed by adult, and lastly elderly. The development occurs in many fields, namely physical, perceptual, cognitive, moral and social. Derived from the Latin verb adolescere (to grow into maturity), adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescent is a distinct and dynamic phase of development in the life of an individual. It is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood and is characterized by spurts of physical, mental, emotional and social development. Who considers "adolescence" to be the period between 10-19 years of age, which generally encompasses the time from the beginning of puberty to the full legal age. The early adolescent developmental period is when individuals experience many changes, including the biological changes associated with puberty, important changes in relations with family and peers, and the social and educational changes related to transition from elementary to middle school (Wigfield, Byrnes, & Eccles, 2002). The biological changes that occur at early adolescence are dramatic, as anyone working with this age group knows (Susman & Rogel, 2004). Pubertal developments, the timings of puberty is quite different for girls and boys; girls enter puberty approximately 18 months before boys do, which means that during early adolescence, girls mature faster. Adolescence can be prolonged, brief, or practically nonexistent, depending on the culture of their society. Adolescence is somewhere between childhood and adulthood.

It is also the period of life between the beginning of puberty and the full commitment to an adult social role, such as worker or parent. It is filled with constant change, uncertainty, but it can be wonderful and full of expectation. Everything a child learned to believe is suddenly challenged. One day you are a cute child that everybody seemed to adore, and the next day your skin and body are changing. Adolescence is a challenging period for both children and their parents. Three stages of adolescence early, middle, and late, are experienced by most teens, but the age at which each stage is reached varies greatly from child to child. These different rates of maturation are connected to physical development and hormone balance, neither of which the child can control. For this reason, adolescents should be treated as individuals and any guidelines should be modified to the particular child. It is very common to come across mood swings in this stage of development.

Gene Roland Medinnus and Ronald C. Johnson state that during adolescence, children develop the ability to:

• Understand abstract ideas, such as higher math concepts, and develop moral philosophies, including rights and privileges

• Establish and...
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