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ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT THE WONDER OF IT ALL!!!. The Wonder Of It All!!!!. Central Massachusetts Regional Library System January 23, 2007 10am-1pm Worcester Public Library Saxe Room Joyce Fulmer Community Coalition for Teens

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the wonder of it all
The Wonder Of It All!!!!

Central Massachusetts Regional Library System

January 23, 2007


Worcester Public Library

Saxe Room

Joyce Fulmer

Community Coalition for Teens

North Quabbin Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coordinator

34 N. Main Street, Suite 5

Orange, MA 01364


  • What’s in a Name? Introduce yourself and share with the group how you got your name.
  • One thing you are hoping to learn from this training?
cognitive development
Cognitive Development
  • Children think in concrete fashions
  • Adolescents begin to develop more adult fashions of thinking starting at age 12.
  • Usually by age 15 this adult cognition is fairly in place.
cognitive development1
Cognitive Development
  • The Key Features of Formal Thought are:
    • Generate abstractions
    • Generate hypothesis
    • Consider contrary to fact information
    • Generate all possibilities from a specific situation
    • Approach a problem in a systematic fashion
    • Use Combinatory Logic
cognitive development2
Cognitive Development
  • Needs nurturing
  • An adult’s body, a child’s mind!
  • A realistic self-image

-early adolescence

-middle adolescence

-late adolescence

physical development
Physical Development
  • Most commonly referred to as puberty
  • Adult height and weight are reached
  • Physically capable of having children
  • Can start as early as 7 or 8
  • May not start for some until they become teenagers
physical development1
Physical Development
  • Puberty should take about 3-6 years
  • Growth Spurt-regular pace throughout childhood.

-explosion of growth happens for girls when they are into puberty about 2 years and for boys when they are into puberty for 2-3 years

-They grow very rapidly for several months then growth slows way down

physical development2
Physical Development
  • Girl’s grow taller earlier then boys
  • Girl’s start puberty earlier then boys
  • Girls are physically mature in general 2 years earlier then boys
  • A boy has to go through his “growth spurt” until he “puts on muscles”.
physical development3
Physical Development
  • Children also develop sexually during puberty
  • A girl will usually have her first menstrual period after her growth spurt
  • A boy is able to make sperm by mid puberty
  • A boy will also be able to have a nocturnal emission when is able to produce semen which will occur about a third or half-way through puberty
emotional development
Emotional Development
  • Study of Emotional Dev. in children is fairly new
  • Adolescents have become sophisticated at regulated their emotions
  • Adolescents are adept at interpreting social situation as part of the process of managing emotional displays
emotional development1
Emotional Development
  • Adolescents develop a certain of expectations
  • Children begin to break emotional ties with parents and develop them with friends
  • Boys will start to regulate (hide) their emotions.
  • Adolescents also regulate their emotions because of their sensitivity to other’s evaluations of them
emotional development2
Emotional Development
  • During adolescence (as early as age 10)….children begin to realize emotions aren’t as simple as they thought when they were children
  • Boys are less likely to display emotions of fear as girls are
  • Displays of empathy also increase during adolescence
social development
Social Development
  • Begin to form an organized system of personality traits
  • Self concept-allows them to add new aspects of self-esteem (how they feel about their “self”).
  • As confidence and self-awareness rises-they begin to form self-identity.
  • More able to develop friendships that are based on loyalty and intimacy.
  • These social milestones occur slowly over time.
social development1
Social Development
  • Social time spent with family decreases by about half from 5th to 9th grade
  • Then drops even more from 9th to 12th grade.
  • Time spent with friends increases and time spent alone increases especially for boys.
  • One study found that the average time adolescents spend with their parents was only 28 minutes/day! Time spent with their friends however was 4 times greater at 103 minutes/day.
social development2
Social Development
  • Teenagers lean on their parents for their main source of support until the 7th grade.
  • Then they move to not leaning just on their parents but on their same gender friends for equal means of support
  • By 10th grade they lean more on their same gender friends then their parents.
  • By emerging adulthood (starting around 17-18) they lean more on their romantic partners for their main source of support
social development3
Social Development
  • Provide support to teenagers when they need it
  • Understand that this social development and how it unfolds is a sign of maturity and a natural process
  • Help them make good academic decisions, realistic career goals, and plans for the future
moral development
Moral Development
  • Moral Development doesn’t develop all at once.
  • Earliest level-is that of a child-(pre conventional level)
  • Second level-level most adolescents reach-(conventional level)
  • Post conventional stage-defines right and wrong form a universal point of view.
moral development1
Moral Development
  • Many factors can stimulate a person’s growth through the levels of moral development.
  • One most crucial factor is education
  • Studies indicate that a person’s behavior is influenced by his or her moral perception and moral judgments.
moral development2
Moral Development
  • Moral issues great us everywhere.
  • First step is to get the facts…but facts alone will not tell us what ought to be…they only tell us what is.
  • Philosophers have developed five different approaches to values that deal with moral issues.
moral development the utilitarian approach
Moral DevelopmentThe Utilitarian Approach
  • Conceived by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill in the 1900’s to help legislators determine which laws were morally best
  • Using this approach…a person must identify various courses of action available
  • Then ask who will be affected by each action that will produce the greatest benefit and least harm
  • The ethical action is the one that provides the greatest good for the greatest number
moral development the rights approach
Moral DevelopmentThe Rights Approach
  • Rooted in the 18th century by a thinker named Immanuel Kent
  • Focused on the individual right to choose for himself or herself
  • According to these philosophers, human beings are different from any other beings because they have dignity based on their ability to choose freely what they will do with their lives, and they have a fundamental moral right to have those choices respected. (the right to truth, privacy, the right not to be injured, the right to what is agreed).
  • In deciding whether an action is moral or immoral using this approach, then you must ask if the action respects that moral right of everyone. Actions are wrong if they violate the rights of other, the more serious the violation, the more wrongful the action
moral development the fairness or justice approach
Moral DevelopmentThe Fairness or Justice Approach
  • Has it’s roots in teachings of Aristotle
  • Equals should be treated equally and unequally should be treated unequally.
  • How fair is an action
  • Does it treat everyone in the same way or does it show favoritism and discrimination
  • Favoritism and Discrimination are unjust and wrong
moral development the common good approach
Moral DevelopmentThe Common-Good Approach
  • Assumes that a society comprising of individuals whose own good is inextricably linked to the good of the community.
  • Originated in the writings of Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. Most recently contemporary ethicist John Rawls defined the common good as “certain general conditions that are….equally to everyone’s advantage”
  • Focus on ensuring that social policies, social systems, institutions and environments on which we depend are beneficial to all.
moral development the virtue approach
Moral DevelopmentThe Virtue Approach
  • Assumes that there are certain ideals towards which we should strive, which will provide for the full development of our humanity.
  • Discovered through thoughtful reflection on what kind of people we have the potential to be
  • In dealing with an ethical problem using the virtue approach, we might ask, What kind of person should I be? What will promote the development of character within myself and my community
moral development what the five approaches suggest
Moral DevelopmentWhat the Five Approaches Suggest
  • Once we have the facts, we should ask ourselves five questions to resolve a moral issue
      • What benefits and what harms will each course of action produce, and which alternative will lead to the best overall consequences?
      • What moral rights do the affected parties have, and which course of action best respect those rights?
      • Which course of action treats everyone the same, except where there is morally justifiable reason not to, and does not show favoritism or discrimination
      • Which course of action advances the common good
      • Which course of action develops moral virtues?
moral development3
Moral Development
  • Of course the last few slides about the approaches to values and moral decisions doesn’t provide anyone with an automatic solution to moral problems. It is not meant to. The method is merely meant to help identify most of the important ethical considerations. In the end each individual including adolescents must deliberate on moral issues for themselves keeping an eye on both the facts and on the ethical considerations involved.
early adolescence 12 14
Early Adolescence(12-14)
  • Rapid Growth
  • Confused by changes
  • Curious about final outcome
  • Personal interest in their own development
  • Rebellion against home
  • Acts in way that looks to be considerable maturity and in the next moment babyishness
early adolescence 12 141
Early Adolescence(12-14)
  • Absorption with close friends of same age and gender
  • Moodiness
  • Sloppiness and Disorder
  • Establishment of independence of self: Who am I?
  • Body-conscious
  • Strong desire to conform to and be accepted by peer group
  • Appearance of Sexual Maturity
  • Skin problems
early adolescence 12 142
Early Adolescence(12-14)
  • Constantly hungry (more than in younger years)
  • Companionship at meals and after school snacks provide dining pleasures)
  • Sleeps more than during younger years
  • Sleepy at “getting up” times
  • Wants to sit up at nights as sign of increasing maturity
  • Clash between physiology and culture
early adolescence 12 14 special characteristics of boys
Early Adolescence(12-14)Special Characteristics of Boys
  • Boisterous
  • Clumsy
  • Secretive, “clams up” especially around adults or at home
  • Aggressive
  • Dirty-can’t seem to get him near the bathroom
  • Gain more weight and height than girls
  • Much talk about sex and girls
  • Out of house more
early adolescence 12 14 special characteristics of girls
Early Adolescence (12-14)Special Characteristics of Girls
  • Vague and diffuse
  • Crush on older men
  • Interested in romantic love
  • Playacting
  • Talkative, but not communicative
  • Giggly!
early adolescence sexuality
Early AdolescenceSexuality
  • Boys express their sexuality through masturbation
  • Same-gender sexual encounters are relatively common
  • These occur frequently enough to be considered as a variant of normal sexual development
  • Questions that adolescents have about erotic feelings or behaviors toward the same sex need to be addressed directly and fully.
  • It is not helpful…to just say…this is no more then a passing phase.
middle adolescence 15 16
Middle Adolescence (15-16)
  • Greatest experimental, risk taking time
  • Drinking, drugs, smoking and sexual experimentation are often highest interest during the 14-16 years olds
  • Peer groups gradually give way to one-on-one friendships and romances
  • Peer groups tends to be gender-mixed
  • Dating begins
  • Less conformity and more tolerance of individual differences
  • Omnipotence and Invulnerability are the rule
  • This results in an inability to link drinking with auto accidents or drinking with pregnancy or STD’s
middle adolescence 15 161
Middle Adolescence (15-16)
  • Striving for independence and autonomy is greatly increased
  • Parental conflicts occur which need confrontation and resolution (these are normal and necessary)
  • Adolescents confide in each other
  • Sexual development results in unpredictable surges in sexual drive
  • Often accompanied by sexual fantasies
  • Sexuality is a MAJOR preoccupation of the middle adolescent
middle adolescence 15 162
Middle Adolescence (15-16)
  • Sexual activity occurs more frequently among boys than girls
  • Testosterone increases are found in both boys and girls but much more abundant in boys
  • Higher testosterone levels in boys may result in greater sexual drives, sexual aggressiveness and more purely physical gratifications
  • Girls at this age tend to view sexual gratification as secondary to fulfillment of other needs such as love, affection, self-esteem and reassurance
late adolescence 17 18
Late Adolescence (17-18)
  • Rebellious
  • Concerned with personal appearance (can’t get them out of the bathroom)
  • Moody
  • Interest in the opposite gender
  • Establishment of ego identity-”where do I fit into the world”
  • Growth finally subsided
  • Full stature almost attained
  • Sleep requirements approaching adult level
late adolescence 17 181
Late Adolescence(17-18)
  • Food requirement approaching adult level
  • Companionship when eating
  • Intimate relation with friend fades
  • Greater interest in opposite gender
  • Needs acceptance by society, in job and in college
  • Needs parental respect for opinion and acceptance of maturity
late adolescence 17 182
Late Adolescence(17-18)
  • “Whom am I as a vocational being?”
  • Work opportunities during these years allow exploration of tentative career choices
  • A choice of vocation reinforces the adolescent’s self-concept and is important to identify formation
late adolescence 17 18 factors influencing vocational choice
Late Adolescence (17-18)Factors Influencing vocational choice:
  • Family values
  • Social class
  • Socioeconomic conditions
  • Need for prestige
  • Vocational Independence
  • Special Abilities
  • Motivation
late adolescence 17 18 special characteristics of boys
Late Adolescence (17-18)Special Characteristics of Boys
  • Interest in plans for career
  • Sexual interest prominent and demanding
  • Less interested than girls in mate seeking
late adolescence 17 18 special characteristics of girls
Late Adolescence (17-18)Special Characteristics of Girls
  • Interest in boys, now directed towards mate seeking
  • Absorbed in fantasies of romantic love
  • Less interested than boys in plans for career
  • Sexual interest less demanding than in boys
issues that teens often face
Issues that Teens Often Face
  • Alcohol and Drug Use
  • Injuries
  • Sexual Behaviors
  • Tobacco Use
  • Skin Cancer
  • Food Safety and Adolescents
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Terrorism
  • Youth Violence