Chapter 11
Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence

Adolescence and Puberty

Adolescence - Developmental transition between childhood and adulthood entailing majorphysical, cognitive, and
                        psychosocial changes. Begins about age 11 or 12 and typically lasts about a decade. Typically
                        considered to start with the onset of puberty (the process of sexual maturation).

What social conventions do we usually observe for the beginning of adolescence?  for the beginning of adulthood?

Beginning of puberty

    When does puberty begin - Typically around 10-13, girls beginning earlier than boys.

    Adolescent growth spurt - Sharp increase in height and weight that precedes sexual maturity.

    Spermarche (first ejaculation) - Occurs around age of 13.
    primary sex characteristics -     enlargement and maturation of testes, penis, scrotum, seminal vesicles and
                                                    prostate gland
    secondary sex characteristics - broadening of shoulders, narrowing of the hips and waist, growth of pubic, facial,
                                                    axiallary (armpit) and chest hair, deepening of voice

    Menarche (first menstruation) - Occurs around age 13.  White females later than black females.
    primary sex characteristics - enlargement and maturation of ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and vagina
    secondary sex characteristics - enlargement of breast and areolae, narrowing of waist, broadening of hips, growth
                                                    of axiallary hair.

What factors affect onset of puberty

    Health and nutritional factors - Secular trend:  Over the last 100 years, better health and nutriotion in western
                                                        countries has led to quicker onset of puberty.

    Emotional factors - Close relationship with father related to later onset of puberty in girls.  Girls from single
                                     parent homes tend to begin puberty earlier than similar girls from 2 parent homes.
                                    May be related to pheremones (mate attracting chemicals).

    Genetic factors - Girls first menstruation has been shown to begin around same time as their mothers.
    Physical exercise - Strenuous exercise can delay the onset of puberty.
    Body weight - Larger body weight may lead to earlier onset of puberty.

The implications of early and late sexual maturation

    Boys - Early onset of puberty leads to positive outcome.  Strength which leads to dominance in sports
                (and probably less bullying) leads to higher self-esteem.  Also leads to advantages in dating.

    Girls - Early onset of puberty leads to negative outcomes.  Physical changes may be frightening.  Girls are less
                sociable, less expressive, more introverted.  Higher risk for mental health problems (depression,
                disruptive behaviors, eating disorders, substance abuse, and attempted suicide.

How did puberty affect your life?

Cognitive Development

Formal Opermational stage (Piaget) - The final stage of cognitive development characterized by the ability to
think abstractly.  Attributed to a combination of brain maturation and expanding environmental opportunities.
Piaget agreed that culture and schooling also contribute to the development and onset of this stage of cognitive

Hypothetical-deductive reasinging - Ability to develop, consider and test hypotheses.
(Read Piaget's pendulum problem, p. 426)

Elkind's Immature Characteristics of Adolescent Thought
    Elkind, a clinical psychologist, has observed characteristic attitudes and behaviors that teenagers exhibit which
    represent the interaction of their new found freedom with their gross inexperience. Sound familiar to you?!

argumentativeness - Children's arguing is motivated by their desire to try out new reasoning abilities
indecisiveness - Caused by the incredible increase in opportunities made available to adolescence
Finding fault with authority figures - They finally figure out that we're not perfect.
Apparent hypocricy - Children develop ideals and the desire to follow them, but they may not follow ideals perfectly
Self-consciousness - Your teenager may think their thoughts and problems are the most impt things in the world.
Assumption of invulnerability - Children at this age think they are beyond

Moral Reasoning

"A woman is near death from cancer.  A druggist has deiscovered a drug that doctors believe might save her.  The
druggist is charging $2,000 for a small dose-ten times what the drug costs him to make.  The sick woman's husband,
Heinz, borrows from everyone he knows but can scrape together only $1,000.  He begs the druggist to sell him the
drug for $1,000 or let him pay the rest later.  Heinz, desperate, breaks into the man's store and steals the drug.
Should Heinz have done that?" (Kohlber, 1969)

Kohlberg's Stage Theory of Moral Reasoning.

Description of moral reasoning and judgment.  Kohlberg asked children for over 30 years to decide what they
would do and why they would do it.  Kohlberg was most interested in the "why" of the the problem.  What
motivations do people have for the choices that they make.  Kohlberg described 3 basic levels of moral reasoning,
each of which was divided into two stages.

    Level I - Preconventional morality (ages 4-10)
        Choice of behavior based on learning theory principles.  Children act to avoid punishment or reap rewards.

            stage 1 - orientation towards punishment and obedience
            stage 2 - exchange
    Level II - Conventional morality (morality of conventional role conformity) (after age 10)
        Choice of behavior based on internalized standards of authority.  Concerned with being "good".

            stage 3 - maintaining mutual relations and the approval of others
            stage 4 - social concern and conscience

    Level III - Postconventional morality (morality of autonomous moral principles) (some never make it)
        Principles of justice, fairness and the abstract question of right vs. wrong.
        Typically reached in late adolescence or early adulthood, if ever.

            stage 5 - morality of contract and democratically accepted law
            stage 6 - morality of universal ethical principles