Stages of Teen Development. Resources for parents of teenagers, including therapeutic schools and boarding schools and therapeutic schools.

Stages of Teen Development

Teen development is important because it involves social, emotional, mental, and physical changes. Many of these changes happen during puberty where a teenager becomes mature sexually. Puberty occurs between 10 to 14 years old for girls and 12 to 16 years old for boys. When a teenager’s body changes, he will surely have many questions regarding sexual health.

Noticeable changes during puberty include development of one’s unique opinions and personality as well as being influenced greatly by peers. Teenagers also start to establish their independence from their parents as well as increased ability to differentiate right and wrong. They are also more concerned about their clothes and body image. Teenagers may be overwhelmed by these changes thus they may experience moodiness or sadness which is just normal. However, if they feel worthless, hopeless, or very sad then they have a mental health problem. Teenagers who experience these feelings must be guided by a health care provider, school counselor, or their parents.

During puberty, drastic changes occur to girls and boys. These changes are primarily hormone-driven thus; growth spurts can easily transform these teenagers into mature teenagers physically. Teenagers who are in the puberty stage must be provided some physical activities, a well-balanced diet, as well as healthy eating habits so that they will continuously grow and develop.

For teenage girls, they can expect their hips to be rounded and their breasts to develop. They will also increase in height and pubic hair will start to grow at least 6 months after the commencement of breast development. The vagina, uterus, clitoris, and labia will also increase in size. Menstruation will also commence.

For teenage boys, physical changes can occur as early as 10 years old but they will have the most growth from 12 to 15 years old. The testicles and penis will also increase in size as well as pubic hair, facial hair and underarm hair will appear. They can expect their voice to break or crack as it deepens. The larynx cartilage or the Adam’s apple will also grow. Testicles will start to produce sperm.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/teendevelopment.html

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