Chapter 8 - Physical & Cognitive Development in Adolescence - Chapter Eight Rites of Passage Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence

Chapter 8 - Physical & Cognitive Development in Adolescence...

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Chapter EightRites of Passage: Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence
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Lecture OutlinePhysical DevelopmentPubertyPsychological ImpactHealthNutrition & FitnessCognitive DevelopmentInformation-ProcessingMemory, problem-solving, etc.Morality
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Signs of Physical MaturationPuberty consists of two changes that mark the change from childhood to young adulthoodDramatic increases in height, weight, and changes in body’s fat and muscle contentChanges in the reproductive organs that mark sexual maturity, as well as secondary sexual characteristics (body and facial hair, growth of breasts)
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The Adolescent Growth Spurt
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Physical GrowthDuring the adolescent growth spurt, females gain as much as 15 pounds a year and boys 17 poundsGirls begin the growth spurt about 2 years before boysMuscle fibers become thicker and denser; heart and lung capacity increase, more so for boysBody fat increases, more so for girls
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Brain Growth in AdolescenceBy the beginning of adolescence, the brain is 95% of adult size and weightMyelination and synaptic pruning are nearly completeLimbic system reaches maturityHelps regulate reward, desire, pleasure, and emotional experiencesFrontal cortex continues developingAdolescents are more prone to risky behavior because desire swamps inhibition
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Functional Maturity
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Sexual MaturationAlong with height and weight, adolescents mature sexuallyIncludes changes in:Primary sex characteristics - the organs of reproduction Secondary sex characteristics - physical signs of maturity not directly linked to reproduction (breasts, facial hair, etc.)
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Mechanisms of MaturationThe pituitary releases a growth hormoneAlso stimulates other glands to produce estrogen in girls and testosterone in boysEstrogen and testosterone are present in boys and girls but in different amountsPuberty’s timing is genetically regulated and is affected by health and nutritionIdentical twins tend to mature in synchrony
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Mechanisms of MaturationEnvironmental affects on maturation as wellMenarche (a girl’s first period) occurs earlier in countries or SES levels where nutrition and healthcare are betterGirls start menarche earlier when stressed (e.g., when mothers had harshly punished them or had stressful relationships themselves) Stress hormone may trigger release of maturation hormones
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Psychological Impact of PubertyBody imageGirls are more critical of their appearance and are likely to be dissatisfied Especially when friends often discuss appearance
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  • Fall '14
  • Blumenthal,EmilyJeanne
  • adolescent growth spurt

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