Adolescence and Adulthood Stages

Topics: Middle age, Cognition, Jean Piaget Pages: 8 (2792 words) Published: April 28, 2012
Adolescence and Adulthood Stages
Adolescence transitions into adulthood, a stage that an individual will remain in for the rest of their time on the Earth. Though the transition exists it may be important to remember that many changes still occur in adolescence, changes which allow for an individual to become an adult. Once the adult stage of life has been reached it can be broken down into three modes which give us early, middle, and late adulthood. As with other stages and periods of life they can be defined by marked physical, cognitive, and socioemotional changes. Though the changes in adulthood may not be considered as dramatic as those which happen in the years of childhood they hold their own importance as they begin to affect quality of life and how long an individual will remain independent. Physical Development Milestones in Adolescence

Adolescence is a time of many changes in an individual’s life and several physical changes take place during this time in the life span. A few of the most marked changes which occur regarding physical development deal with the endocrine and reproductive system. The endocrine system gives off hormones will allow for the beginning of puberty from a hormonal aspect then the pituitary gland controls the secretion of hormones (Boyd & Bee, 2006). Adolescence is the beginning of sexual maturity and changes of the body will appear which emphasize physical sexual characteristics. Other changes also occur in other body systems, the brain goes through several growth spurts in which portions of the brain further develop and allow for more complex functioning. The skeletal system also continues to grow and adolescents may grow up to six inches per yet during times of growth spurts (Boyd & Bee, 2006). The muscular system changes right along with the skeletal system in which joints grow and prepare themselves for the other changes the body will go through. The development of the heart and lungs continue to change and grow which allows for higher amounts of overall endurance of activity. Though these are some of the milestones that an adolescent goes through in development other health issues also exist. Health issues are important to examine not only because they relate to health but because they snow the cognitive thinking levels of an individual and his or her decision making skills. These types of issues will also effect socioemotional development and relationships with those an individual is surrounded by. Cognitive Development Milestones in Adolescence

In adolescence cognitive development is noted by the change sin thinking and memory that occur. Piaget proposes that in adolescence an individual reaches the formal operational stage where they are able to reason logically about abstract concepts (Boyd & Bee, 2006). This means that several types of problem solving become available to an adolescent and are able to use logic. With the idea of logic comes the idea of hypothetico-deductive reasoning which is the ability to come to a conclusion from a hypothetical situation, something an individual is not able to do in childhood (Boyd & Bee, 2006).

Advances in memory occur in adolescence that were not present in the years of childhood until several growth spurts of the brain occur. Information processing such as metacognition or strategy use become advance by the age of 15 and an individual is able to remember a higher capacity of elements (Boyd & Bee, 2006) all the way until early adulthood before cognitive functions slowly begin to decline. Teenagers also benefit more from particular trainings than younger children – this is especially applicable in text learning. As an individual becomes older learning becomes less interactive and more independent. Since learning is more independent text is often relied on to point out main ideas and objectives; researchers have shown that adolescents carry more information from text learning than younger children. Studies have also...

References: Boyd, B. & Bee, H. (2006). Lifespan Development. (4th ed). Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved April 23, 2009, from Denise Boyd & Helen Bee, Week Five, PSY375 Website.
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