Journal#6 – Assignment Example

Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence Question Adolescence is the transition from childhood to adulthood, and it lasts from age 11 or 12 until early twenties or late teens. Puberty marks the end of childhood and it is triggered by hormonal changes. These changes can affect behavior and moods. Puberty usually lasts for four years, and it begins earlier in girls than boys (Kail & Cavanaugh 243). During this stage, both boys and girls undergo growth spurt. They begin to develop primary characteristics, which include the reproductive organs, and secondary characteristics such as growth of pubic hair around their genitalia. The leading characteristics of sexual maturity include menstruation, for females, and production of sperms, for males (Kail & Cavanaugh 296). Menarche occurs between the age of 12 and 13 while spermarche occurs at age 13. The adolescents are often concerned with their body images that lead to obsessive dieting, especially in girls. Peer pressure is more influential than parents’ pieces of advice and guides, and this leads to drug abuse and indulgence in criminal activities. Depression is also highly prevalent among the adolescent especially girls.
Question #2
First, the social environment significantly affects the onset of puberty. I have since known that the onset of puberty is standardized in spite of a teenager’s social environment. According to Belsky, Draper and Steinberge, girls whose mothers use harsh punishment on them usually experience their first menstrual cycle at a younger age. Additionally, Menarche occurs in younger girls who experience depression or chronic stress (Kail & Cavanaugh 298). I also learnt that early maturation varies across ethnic or racial groups. For instance, sexual activity, of early-maturing Latinas, was directly linked with having older boys, in the peer groups, who influence them to engage in negative activities such as smoking, drinking and sex.
Question #3
From the leadership perspective, I learnt that adolescents’ working memory almost has the same capacity as adults’ working memory (Kail & Cavanaugh 246). This means that they are capable of storing information required for a cognitive process. The processing speed is also sufficient to process information more efficiently. Additionally, early maturing boys are likely to become leaders because of self-confidence and high self-esteem, unlike early maturing girls, who are unlikely to become leaders because of the indifferences they have in social situations.
Works Cited
Kail, Robert V, and Cavanaugh, John C. Human Development: A Life-Span View. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.