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Chapter 11. PHYSICAL AND COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT IN ADOLESCENCE. Learning Objectives. PHYSICAL MATURATION. Physical Manifestations of Puberty. Growth during Adolescence: The Rapid Pace of Physical and Sexual Maturation. Adolescent g rowth spurt Weight increase Skeletal changes Accelerated

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  2. Learning Objectives


  4. Physical Manifestations of Puberty

  5. Growth during Adolescence: The Rapid Pace of Physical and Sexual Maturation Adolescent growth spurt • Weight increase • Skeletal changes • Accelerated • Asynchronicity in growth

  6. Growth Pattern

  7. What is a secular trend? • Earlier start of puberty is example of significant secular trend • Pattern of change occurring over several generations • Trends occur when physical characteristic changes over course of several generations • Result of better nutrition over centuries

  8. Puberty in Girls Begins earlier for girls than for boys • Girls start puberty at around age 11 or 12, and boys begin at around age 13 or 14 • Wide variations among individuals Influences • Nutrition • Health • Environmental stress

  9. Onset of Menarche • Varies in different parts of world • Begins later in poorer, developing countries • Influenced by proportion of fat to muscle in body • Related to environmental stress

  10. Puberty in Boys • Penis and scrotum begin to grow at accelerated rate around age 12 and reach adult size about 3 or 4 years later • Enlargement of prostate gland and seminal vesicles • Spermarche around age 13

  11. Primary Sex Characteristics Further development of sex glands • Testes in males • Ovaries in females

  12. Secondary Sex Characteristics • Changes in genitals and breasts • Growth of hair: • Pubic • Facial • Body • Further development of sex organs

  13. Body Image: Reaction to Physical Changes in Adolescence Some of the changes of adolescence do not show up in physical changes, but carry psychological weight • Menstruation and ejaculations occur privately, but changes in body shape and size are public • Teenagers entering puberty frequently are embarrassed by the changes • Girls are frequently unhappy about their changing bodies

  14. Sexual Maturation

  15. Timing and Tempo of Puberty • Variation of timing and tempo great • No relationship between onset and rate of pubertal development • Some differences; causes are inconclusive

  16. Consequences of Early and Late Maturation

  17. The Consequences of Early and Late Maturation

  18. The Consequences of Early and Late Maturation

  19. The Consequences of Early and Late Maturation

  20. Nutrition, Food, and Eating Disorders: Fueling the Growth of Adolescence

  21. Fueling the Growth of Adolescence For most adolescents, the major nutritional issue is ensuring the consumption of a sufficient balance of appropriate foods • Rapid physical growth of adolescence is fueled by an increase in food consumption • Particularly during the growth spurt, adolescents eat substantial quantities of food, increasing their intake of calories rather dramatically • During the teenage years, the average girl requires some 2,200 calories a day • The average boy requires 2,800 • Several key nutrients are essential, including, in particular, calcium and iron

  22. Nutritional Problems in Adolescence Poor eating habits • High consumption of junk food/sugar/fats • Large portion sizes • Lack of variety Related health concerns • Obesity • Osteoporosis • Diabetes • Heart disease

  23. Pubertal Changes and Eating Disorders

  24. Pubertal Changes and Eating Disorders • Ratio of body fat to muscle increases • Basal metabolism rate decreases • Overall physical appearance changes • 20% overweight; 5% obese; 15% seriously overweight

  25. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Definitions • Anorexia=starvation to maintain low weight • Bulimia=binge and purge eating • 1% anorexic and 3% bulimic • Higher incidence among females • Disordered eating and body dissatisfaction reported across socioeconomic lines

  26. Brain Development and Thought: Paving the Way for Cognitive Growth

  27. A No Brainer????? • Brain changes • Growth spurts • No clear 1:1 correspondence

  28. Use It or Lose It • Brain produces oversupply of gray matter during adolescence which is later pruned back at rate of one to two percent per year • Myelination increases and continues to make transmission of neural messages more efficient

  29. How is this related to adolescent impulse control? • Prefrontal cortex provides for impulse control • Adolescence prefrontal cortex is biologically immature = ability to inhibit impulses is not fully developed Figure 11-5 Pruning Gray Matter This three-dimensional view of the brain shows areas of gray matter that are pruned from the brain between adolescence and adulthood. (Source: Sowell et al., 1999.)

  30. The Immature Brain Argument: Too Young for the Death Penalty? Are the brains of adolescents so immature that teenage offenders should receive less harsh punishment for their crimes than those with older, and therefore more mature, brains? What do you think?

  31. Yawning of the Age of Adolescence Sleep Deprivation • Adolescents go to bed later and get up earlier • Sleep deprivation takes its toll • Lower grades • More depressed • Greater difficulty controlling their moods • Greater risk for auto accidents

  32. Review and Apply

  33. Review and Apply

  34. Review and Apply


  36. Cognitive Development Approaches • Piaget • Information processing • Adolescent egocentrism

  37. Piagetian Perspective • Fixed sequence of qualitatively different stages • Fundamentally different than child thinking • Utilized in variety of settings and situations

  38. Piagetian Stages Related to Youth Development Formal operations • 11+ years • Development of abstract and hypothetical reasoning • Development of propositional logic • Cultural differences in use

  39. Developmental of Formal Operations Emergent • Early adolescence • Variable usage depends on conditions surrounding assessment Established • Late adolescence • Consolidated and integrated into general approach to reasoning

  40. Consequences of Adolescents’ Use of Formal Operations Ability to reason abstractly, embodied in their use of formal operations, leads to a change in their everyday behavior • Questioning parents and authority figures • Exhibiting greater idealism and impatience with imperfections • Experiencing indecision

  41. Piaget…Pros and Cons Pros • Catalyst for much research • Accounts for many changes observed during adolescence • Helps explain • Developmental differences • Multidimensionality • Metacognition Cons • Fails to prove • Stage like fashion of cognition • FO is adolescent cognitive stage • Fails to account for variability • Between children • Within child • Within specific situations

  42. Information Processing Perspectives: Gradual Transformations in Abilities • Changes in adolescents’ cognitive abilities are evidence of gradual transformations in the capacity to take in, use, and store information • Number of progressive changes occur in the ways people organize their thinking about the world, develop strategies for dealing with new situations, sort facts, and achieve advances in memory capacity and perceptual abilities • Incorporates same techniques to understanding human reasoning that computer scientists employ in writing programs

  43. Changes in Information Processing • Gains during adolescence help to explain developmental differences in abstract, multidimensional, and hypothetical thinking • Store of knowledge increases as the amount of material to which they are exposed grows and their memory capacity enlarges

  44. Egocentrism in Thinking: Adolescents’ Self-Absorption • New abilities make adolescents particularly introspective and self-conscious • These hallmarks of may produce a high degree of egocentrism • Adolescent egocentrism is a state of self-absorption in which the world is viewed as focused on oneself • Imaginary audience • Personal fables

  45. Thinking about Thinking… Metacognition improves during adolescence • Thinks about own thoughts  self-consciousness • Monitors own learning processes more efficiently • Paces own studying

  46. School Performance

  47. True or False? Grades awarded to high school students have shifted upward in the last decade.

  48. School Performance Do higher grades mean smarter students? • Independent measures of achievement, such as SAT scores, have not risen • Consequently, a more likely explanation for the higher grades is the phenomenon of grade inflation • According to this view, it is not that students have changed, but grades have been inflated • This is future supported by comparison of U.S. students to those in other countries

  49. Students Around the World Figure 11-6 U.S. 15-Year-Old Performance Compared with Other Countries When compared to the academic performance of students across the world, U.S. students perform at below-average levels. (Source: Based on National Governors Association, 2008.)

  50. The Lazy Days of Summer Summer learning loss • Socioeconomic differences Remedy • Summer enrichment programs • Stealth learning/Not traditional summer school

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