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Discuss the Expected Developmental Milestones That Occur in Adolescence

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Adolescence is the period of transition between childhood and adulthood. It includes some big changes—to the body, and to the way a young person relates to the world. The many physical, sexual, cognitive, social, and emotional changes that happen during this time can bring anticipation and anxiety for both children and their families

Understanding what to expect at different stages can promote healthy development throughout adolescence and into early adulthood.

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Piaget, discusses a formal operational period which is the fourth and last stage of cognitive development. It follows the Concrete Operational stage and begins at puberty (11 years) and continues to adulthood. The operational period individuals starts to think in an abstract way, reasons logically and makes conclusions from available information and applies all the processes to situations that are hypothetical. The quality of an adolescents thought at the formal operational level is clearly evident in an adolescent’s verbal ability of solving problems. During adolescent stage, the logical quality of an individuals thought is when an individual is likely to solve issues in a trial and error way by using hypothetical deductive reasoning i.e. developing hypotheses or good guesses and deduces systematically and concludes. In order to understand the developmental milestone, there are sets of principles that characterize the patterns and processes of growth and development that typically describes development in a predictable and orderly manner. Most children will develop at the same rate as others. However there may be differences in a child’s personalities, activity levels and the timing of developmental milestones like age and stage. Developmental milestones attempt to explain the roles of mental functions in an individual and the social behaviour and also explore the physiological and the neurological processes that underlie certain functions and behaviour. Hence the concept of perception, an individual’s cognition, emotions, motivation, the functions of the brain, personality, behaviour and individual’s interpersonal relations are considered. In understanding developmental milestone, many psychodynamic theories emphasize on the unconscious motives and needs and the importance of a child’s experience in shaping personality, According to Freud, personalities arise due to the attempts by an individual to resolve conflicts that are essentially between unconscious, sexual and forceful impulses and the collective demands to control these impulses.

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The physical development process involves the attainment of specific body physique characteristics, which vary and change as an individual’s age changes. At puberty, the human body undergoes a rapid developmental process, characterized by sexual maturity and other bodily abilities. It is important to note that, the rapid development of human abilities at this stage occurs, because of the increased release of the gonadotrophic hormones from the pituitary glands; testosterone in boys and estrogen in girls. There exist three stages of adolescence development namely: early, middle, and late adolescence

Primary developments during the early adolescence stage include growth of body hairs, breasts and hips starts to appear in girls accompanied with the onset of menstruation whereas, in boys there is growth in testicles’ size and the general length of the penis, accompanied with the onset of wet dreams and change in the voice tone and pitch. Also, there is the rapid growth of the physical abilities of adolescents, accompanied by increased interest in sex-related activities; hence, the adolescents’ nature of relationships. Age 14 marks the onset of middle adolescent, characterized by the completion of puberty and decrease in physical growth rate in girls, although for boys the process continues at a rapid rate, by 19 years majority of the girls are fully developed. This contrary to boys of the same age, as most of them will continue with the development process, which eventually leads to increase in bodily hairs and other physical attributes for example, the muscle content, body tallness, and weigh (American Academy Of Child and Adolescent’s Facts for Families, 2008, p.1).During the early stages of puberty, most adolescents are in most cases are never interested in their future, a fact that makes them center their thinking on present times. Although this is the case, most adolescents thinking encompass deeper moral imaginations, a fact that boosts their abstract thinking. Age 14 marks the onset of middle adolescence, a stage characterized by increased abstract thinking capacities and development of enhanced moral reasoning, as most individuals would have started to set their life targets.As individuals enter their last adulthood stage, one primary factor determines their well-being and happiness in the stage, namely the level of success or failure in their early developmental stages. This is because; most individuals in this stage use their level of achievement or failure as a mechanism of gauging their lives. Therefore, depending on their level of achievement or failure, most individuals will either accord themselves respect or term themselves as useless, which is the primary cause of despair (Harder, 2010, p.1).

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Ordinarily, other conditions, such as the increased incidence of certain infectious diseases, for example, schistosomiasis, may simply result from the daily activities of adolescents during this period of their lives. Many of the health-related behaviours that arise during adolescence have implications for both present and future health and development

For example, alcohol use and obesity in early adolescence not only compromise adolescent development, but they also predict health-compromising alcohol use and obesity in later life, with serious implications for public health.

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American Academy Of Child and Adolescent’s Facts for Families. (2008). Stages of Adolescence Development. Web.

Branwhite, T. (2000). Helping adolescents in school. Westport: Praeger Publishers. Web.

Davis, J. (2007). The change in peer relationship during adolescence. Associated Content. Web.

Durkin, K. Adolescence and adulthood. Web.

Harder, Arlene. (2010). The developmental stages of Erick Ericson. Learning Place. Web.

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