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Adolescent Development

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Adolescent Development

Adolescence is the developing phase between childhood and adulthood. Often parents feel as if the adolescence period is a painful and stressful time. This is the time when his or her child will become rebellious and irresponsible, moods will change rapidly and tempers will flare. Each theorist has his or her beliefs about why children behave the way he or she does during this time frame. According to one researcher these behaviors are exaggerated and according to another researcher these behaviors do happen. This is an important time frame where the parents are feeling the effects of the behaviors. The child's body is rapidly changing and he or she is feeling many mixed emotions and trying to handle the situation as good as possible. Every person develops differently as well as at different times.

Females and Males

There are similarities and differences between females and males. During the puberty phase the boy or girl will start to change dramatically over the course of time. This means that the child will feel hormonal. On average a female will develop before a male will. Females will start to develop physically and emotionally, helping the females become mature before males. Normally a female will develop about two years prior to a male. During this time males are dealing with the testosterone and females are dealing with estrogen. Dealing with these hormonal changes will cause his or her body to change. For females she will start to develop, gaining weight, developing breasts, and body hair. For a male he will start to develop by his voice becoming deeper, growing taller (growth spurt), developing muscles, developing hair over the body including facial hair. Females tend to develop gradually and males tend to develop in growth spurts. During this phase there are also brain developments and changes. "This sculpting of the adolescent brain supports diverse cognitive skills, including improved processing speed, attention, memory, planning, capacity to integrate information, and self-regulation" (Berk, 2010, pg. 367).

Sexual Orientation

During this time there are about two to three percent of people who identify his or herself as gay or bisexual. This is just the percent that is open to acknowledging it, there is an undisclosed percent that feel this way but have not realized it or are willing to tell anyone. "Homosexual males tend to be later in birth order and to have a higher than average number of older brothers" (Saewyc, 2011, pg. 257). "Females exposed prenatally to very high levels of androgens or estrogens - either because of a genetic defect or from drugs given to the mother to prevent miscarriage - are likely to become homosexual or bisexual" (Saewyc, 2011, pg. 257). It can be common for an adolescent to identify him or herself as heterosexual but involved in heterosexual behaviors. "There is evidence to date that suggests genetics and prenatal biological influences are largely responsible for homosexuality" (Calzo, Antonucci, Mays, & Cochran, 2011, pg. 1672).

Historical Era

Over the course of time historically there have been changes between the developmental periods of adolescences. Genetically males and females have gone through the same changes today as there was years ago. The differences between now and before are how the changes were handled. It is common for girls to develop prior to boys this was the same then. It is also common for girls to develop between the ages of eight and 12. Development has started earlier than it did years ago. Children are developing earlier as the years come. Grandparents may have developed when he or she was in his or her late teens and children are currently developing and changing as early as eight. Many years ago teen marriages were not unheard of as well as starting a family at this time. Currently teen marriages are frowned upon as well as teen pregnancies. There are several places including churches and pregnancy



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