Influences on Adolescence Stage of Development

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Did you know the most intimidating human developmental stage for most individuals is the Adolescence stage? The adolescence stage is between the childhood to adulthood stages. Major changes begin to take place in the physical, cognitive, social, moral, and personality aspects of human development during the adolescence stage. The changes which take place during the adolescence stage have various influences. In addition to changes being influenced, factors affect physical, cognitive, social, moral, and personality development. The adolescence stage consists of numerous complex concepts. Adolescent development is separated into three different stages. The three stages are known as: early adolescence, middle adolescence, and late adolescence. Individuals generally begin early adolescence between the ages of 12 and 14. The middle stage is normally experienced between the ages of 14 to 17. Late adolescence ranges from the age of 17 to 19. (Delcampo, 2005) Teenagers may experience some of these changes during the early adolescence stage: moodiness, friendships gaining importance, peer pressure toward certain interests and clothing styles, greater interest in privacy, or occasional experimentation with cigarettes, marijuana and alcohol. During the middle adolescence stage teenagers are more likely to pay more attention to their appearance, examine inner experiences, and take an interest in moral reasoning. (Santrock, 2005) The late adolescence stage is when adolescents are starting to realize they are becoming adults so they begin to have more emotional stability, start determining the future, and engage in serious relationships. (Delcampo, 2005) Teenagers can become overwhelmed with all the influences and changes that occur, especially in the physical type of development. Physical development is any changes in biological nature this includes genes inherited from parents, changes in hormones, changes within the brain, height, weight, and motor-skills. (Santrock, 2005) Physical changes are influenced by genotypes or genetic inheritance, as well as, environmental experiences. An example of an environmental influence on physical change is good nutrition allows adolescents to grow healthier. Adolescent physical development consists of rapid increases in height and weight, development of secondary sex characteristics also known as puberty, and continued brain development. (Huebner, 2000) During puberty girls begin their menstrual cycle, their breasts begin to grow, and the uterine develops as a result of their Estradiol hormone increase. Depression can occur as a result of puberty within girls. Boys on the other hand start to grow hair on their chest, under arms, and face. The boys hormone testosterone level increases during puberty and causes the genitals to develop, the voice to change, increases their height; and high levels of testosterone are thought to influence violence and other problems. Due to the brain still developing during early and middle adolescence teenagers sometimes experience an “emotional rollercoaster.” Adolescents not only experience physical developments, but they also experience cognitive developments.

Cognitive development is a change in an individuals thought, intelligence, and language. Cognitive development is influenced by hereditary and environmental factors. The environmental factors which influence cognitive development are school because this is where they are getting an education to succeed in a career. Another influence is parenting and family. Parents should allow their adolescent to explore and discuss different ideas in their mind. Some hereditary factors which influence cognitive development are birth defects or viruses, such as autism or a learning disorder. During the time of adolescence teenagers are developing a more complex process of thinking known as formal logical operations. According to Piaget’s Theory, adolescents start to think more idealistically and logically. (Santrock, 2005)...
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