Growth and Development Observation Analysis

The most intimidating stage for humans in their development is the adolescent age. Adolescence is the stage that acts as a bridge between childhood and adulthood, and is perceived as the most challenging stage in development. Major changes take place in cognitive, physical, social, moral and personality aspects of human development in the period of between 12 to 18 years of life. The changes have a distinct influence on the future development. The adolescent stage starts at the age of 12 unto the age of 18. The essay will be based on the growth and developments of a 16 year old female.

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Ailey is the girl in her 16th year of life. She lives with her parents and one older brother; they are the family of four. The family resides in the township, in a house they moved in when she was five. At the age of 16, she has started noticing some changes that she cannot explain to herself. Her behavior has been different and the way she see things has also changed. Aileys body is physically developing rapidly. Growth of pubic and body hair has already been experienced by Ailey, she has started her menstruation. Her body shape is more feminine, height has increase, and breasts developed.

At this stage, she experiences strong feelings and intense emotions. Her moods are unpredictable, and this usually leads to increased conflicts, as other family members seem to have difficulties understanding her. Ailey reads better other peoples emotions, thus, she becomes more sensitive. At this stage, she is feels self-conscious about her physical appearance, as she starts comparing herself to others, more likely to her female friends.

Searching for identity is one thing that troubles most of the girls at this stage. They want to define where they fit in this world and know who they are. Family expectations and cultural backgrounds, as well as peer groups influence teenagers search. Aileys social life occupies majority of her time as she seeks more freedom. The desire for freedom is based on the decisions Ailey makes, which require more responsibilities at home and school. She wants to be included in family decision making and adults conversations.

At this stage, she has started developing and exploring a sexual identity which includes whimsical relationships and outing with her significant other. Aileys perception of the opposite sex starts to change, as she becomes shy around boys. She wants to spend more time with her friends and peers than her family. The daily ritual of running to kiss her dad when he comes from work is not accepted by Ailey, as she shies away. Conflicts between Ailey and her mother are increasing as she seeks for more freedom that her parents cannot grant. Unlike Ailey, who comes from an intact family, other children of her age usually behave relentlessly as they experience divorce and violence within their families.

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The cognitive development is at the elevated rate as she acquires advanced reasoning techniques, which include the ability to think of more than one option. She starts to develop a logical thought process. Her parents and a brother ask many questions, and she is able to answer them clearly and consistently. In addition, she develops an abstract thinking whereby she understands the factors that cannot be seen. Her abstract thinking ability resulted in the idea of an imaginary audience of people, who are always listening or watching. A conclusion can be made that she demonstrates a certain degree of self-consciousness.

She thinks no one has understands her experiences; this attitude leads to one answer every time a family member tries to help her : You will never understand. At this stage, feelings seem to take over her actions and thoughts as she starts to understand some things in an adult way.

According to the authors of the book Experience Human Development, Ailey can accomplish the age-appropriate tasks by having breakfast every day. Balanced diet could improve her performance in school and at home, minimize her school absences and also improve grades. In addition, nutritious foods give her sufficient number of calories so she can fuel her body growth.

Moreover, acknowledgement of the personal differences implies that humans are different in many aspects, such as body size and build is helpful at adolescent age. Peer pressure that comes from the friends, society and family is an issue for Ailey. The girl should accept that she is not the only one to experience changes in physical, social and cognitive aspects. In conclusion, it is important for parents who have young adults in their homes to communicate with them about potential problems and challenges that adolescents can face before they encounter them. Communication will help the teenagers to make the wise decisions, as the entire life pattern of a person is influenced by the early events and decisions. The other advice for parents is not to compare their teens to others or criticize them extensively, as they are already self-conscious about their looks.

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