PHYSICAL AND COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
Adolescence is the
transition from childhood to adulthood. Neither its beginning nor its end is
clearly marked. It last about a decade, between ages 11 or 12 until the late
teens or early twenties.
Adolescence is fraught with risks to healthy development as well as with opportunity for physical,
cognitive, and psychosocial growth.
Risky behavior patterns such as drinking alcohol, drug abuse, sexual and gang activity, and use of
firearms tend to be established early in adolescence. However, about 4 out of
5 young people do not experience major problems.
If you have, or had Adolescence, can you identify with the statements above?
( Process by which a person attains sexual maturity and the ability
to reproduce )
Puberty is triggered
by hormonal changes, which may affect moods and behavior. Puberty takes about
four years. It typically begins earlier in girls than in boys, and ends when a person can reproduce.
During puberty, both boys and girls undergo an adolescence growth spurt.
Primary sex characteristics
(reproductive organs) enlarge and mature during this stage. Secondary sex characteristics
(breast development, body hair, etc) also appear.
Teenagers, especially girls, tend to be sensitive about their physical appearance. Girls who mature early tend to adjust less easily than early maturing boys.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH DEVELOPMENT
For the most part, the adolescent years are relatively healthy.
Health problems often result from poverty or a risk taking lifestyle. Adolescence
are less likely than younger children to get regular medical care.
Most high school students, especially girls do not engage in regular vigorous physical activity.
Most adolescence do not get enough sleep because the high school schedule is out of sync with their
circadian timing system. The release of Melatonin, a hormone that causes
One to feel sleepy
is secreted much later at night in adolescents than other individuals, therefore, they say up later, thus causing them to
need to sleep later in the morning. However, this does not coincide with their
school schedule that requires them to get up and start early.
Three common eating disorders in adolescence are obesity, anorexia, and bulimia.
All can have serious long term affect. Anorexia and Bulimia
affect mostly girls. Outcomes for bulimia tend to be better than anorexia.
USE AND ABUSE OF DRUGS
Substance abuse, which
can lead to substance dependence, is less common among adolescents today than during recent decades, despite a rise in drug
use during most of the 1990s. Drug use often begins as children move into middle
school. Marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco, which are called gateway drugs, are
most popular with adolescents. All involve serious risks.
What makes it likely that a particular young person will abuse drugs? Research
has pinpointed a number of risk factors:
Poor impulse control
and a tendency to seek out sensation.
Family influences (a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, parental use or acceptance of drugs)
Early and persistent
Academic failure &
lack of commitment to education
Associating with drug
Drug use often begins as children move from elementary school to middle school where they meet new
friends and become vulnerable to peer pressure.
The prevalence of depression increases during adolescence. As many
as 2.5 percent of children and 8.3 percent of adolescents have major episodes of depression at given times.
Adolescents girls, especially early-maturing girls-like adult women- are especially subject to depression.
DEATH IN ADOLESCENCE
Death at an early age is always tragic. However,
at this early age, inexperience and immaturity leads to much risk taking and carelessness causing a higher possibility of death.
The three leading causes of death among adolescents are:
Boys are six times as likely as girls to take their lives.
Native American boys pose the highest risk category.
African American girls compose the lowest risk category.
Access to firearms is a major factor in homicide, and suicide.
Adolescents’ thinking differs from that of younger children. They
are too old to be treated like children, but are not old enough to be treated as an adult.
Adolescents’ immature brain development may permit emotions to interfere with rational thinking.
According to David Elkin (1984, 1998), immature thought patterns characteristics of adolescence include
finding fault with authority figures, argumentativeness, indecisiveness.
INFLUENCES THAT AFFECT SECONDARY SCHOOL AND WHY SOME STUDENTS DROP
Academic motivation, parenting styles, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and quality of schooling,
all influence educational achievement. Self efficacy (sense of capability to master challenges and achieve goals) beliefs and parental and peer attitudes can influence motivation to achieve. Poor families whose children do well tend to have more social capital (family resources to draw on) than families
whose children do not do so well.
Although most American graduate from high school, the dropout rate is higher among poor, Hispanic,
and African American students and among those not living with both parents. Active
engagement in studies is an important factor in keeping adolescents in school.
PASS OUT MID-TERM