Adolescence and Adulthood Developmental Stages Worksheet

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PSY 375 Life Span Human Development

Adolescence and Adulthood Developmental Stages Worksheet

Using the text for this course, the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources, answer the following questions. Your response to each question should be at least 250 words in length.

What are the major milestones related to the physical development in adolescence? Briefly describe these milestones.

There are many major physical changes that take place during the course of adolescence. Many would argue that the most prominent changes involve puberty and the endocrine system. The various endocrine glands present in the body begin to secrete hormones that influence puberty and initiate physical changes such as: brain development, the development of secondary sex characteristics (including breast development in females, changing of pitch in the voice in males, and the growth of body hair for both sexes), the development of the menstrual cycle in girls, and physical maturation (more defined muscles and height and weight increases for example) (Boyd & Bee, 2006).

Secondary sex characteristics typically occur in specific stages, first introduced by J.M. Tanner. The pituitary gland will begin secreting increased gonadotrophic hormones (which are responsible for 'sex hormones' - testosterone in males and estrogen in females), along with thyroid stimulating hormones and general growth hormones. The hormonal changes brought on by these hormones are the 'trigger' for the broad changes in sex organs and changes in the brain, bones, muscles, and other body organs (2006).

Other physical changes involve primary sex characteristics. These changes involve things like: the growth of the testes and penis in males, and the growth of the vagina, ovaries, and uterus in females (Boyd & Bee, 2006).

More physical changes that occur in the brain, skeletal system, muscular system, heart, and lungs allow adolescents to develop new cognitive and motor skills (Boyd &...