Adolescence : The Critical Growth Period

Adolescence is the stage between childhood and adulthood. Puberty marks the beginning of adolescence and is the period of time when males and females become physically able to reproduce. Secondary sex characteristics begin to appear, such as breasts in the female and body hair and muscles in the male.

Physical Changes
Physical changes mark the beginning of puberty. Until puberty, males and females are about the same size and shape. As they enter puberty, there is a great variation in size.

It is important to remember that these differences are perfectly normal.
Puberty is the result of hormones, chemicals released into the bloodstream to travel to other organs and cause growth. The male hormone is testosterone, and the female hormones are estrogen and progesterone.

During adolescence, the brain matures and reaches its full size. The individual’s capacity to think and reason are increased. Also, memory and memory spans increase.

Emotional Changes
Emotional changes are even more uneven. Many teens describe puberty as being on a roller-coaster of emotions. They can be happy one moment, sad the next. The extra surges of energy and emotion are caused by changes taking place in the body.

Social Changes
Social changes are even more important. This is the development between the adolescents and their peers. Peer acceptance becomes very important. Forming healthy relationships is part of social change. This is different for every person based on their personal identity and self-concept.

You may also like: