Human Growth And Development: Adolescence

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Adolescence is the third stage of human development, and it is known that this phase is a brisk progression in life. The difference in the transformation from childhood to this phase is outstanding. It must be understood that this stage is crucial; There are essential changes that are taking place within the physical, emotional, social and intellectual of an individual.

Physical changes in adolescence are strikingly noticeable. Within this period, both the female and male reproductive organs have reached maturity, which enables them to produce sex hormones (estrogen for females, testosterone for males). These hormones are responsible for the development of secondary sex characteristics- breast development, enlargement of the testicles and penis; growth of the hair in the armpit, face and pubic area. As the puberty starts in females, their menstruation begins, which is the sign of fertility. Similarly to females, males are fertile once they start producing sperm. The start of puberty varies, but they usually occur at the ages of 12 to 16.

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Due to the progressive changes in hormones, adolescents tend to have unpredictable emotions and frequently changes their temper. It is common to see them full of extreme happiness then feel like the world is against them. This is why parents are advised to know about the changes in their child as they can be impulsive with decisions which could lead them to danger. In this stage, being independent is a major concern; They will show rebellion as their desires conflict with the people around them. Being defiant is improper, but it is one of their ways to discover who they are.

In regards to their social changes, it links to their emotional being. As they lean more towards independence, they lessen their communication with their family. However, this could be avoided by influencing them with good values and morals. Making friends will be a teenager’s priority. Then they will eventually discover the world of insecurity and peer pressure- where they get affected in behavior and self-confidence. Additionally, they would be exploring romantic relationships, and learn their sexual preferences.

Cognitive changes within adolescents are very much vital in helping them progress to adulthood. On the onset of puberty, they are enhancing different skills such as decision making, organizing things, and controlling their impulsivity. They will think in a more complex way like asking about society’s standard. Also, they will be having their views on various subjects and debating what is right and wrong. As they come upon the peak of adolescence, they will start to think about the future- their career, financial, or family plans.  


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