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Pubic hair growth becomes rapid and is slightly pigmented. Breast development advances, nipple pigmentation begins, and the areola increases in size. Axillary hair becomes slightly pigmented. Growth spurt reaches its peak, and then declines.

Menarche occurs. Public hair development is completed, followed by mature breast development and completion of axillary hair development. Menstruation The menstrual cycle is controlled by the hypothalamus, which acts as a menstrual clock. The clock operates through the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain.

The pituitary gland cyclically secretes two hormones which directly stimulate the ovary these hormones are follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormones.

As follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormones act on the follicle, its cells multiply causing a large fluid—filled cavity to form. The growth and activity of the follicular cells result in the secretion of estrogen by the cells, and this hormone is found in the fluid of the follicle.

Luteinizing hormones cause the cells of the follicle to rupture and expel the ovum. Then the fluids and cells form a new structure called the corpus luteum.

The corpus luteum is stimulated by the gonadotropins and initiate the production of the hormone, progesterone. Progesterone causes the lining of the uterus to change, thus getting it ready for the reception, embedding, and gestation of a fertilized ovum. The coordinated action of progesterone and estrogen makes the lining of the uterus an environment where an embryo can survive during pregnancy.

Menstruation occurs approximately every three to four weeks. If the ovum is not fertilized, most of the lining of the uterus mixed with blood is expelled through the cervix into the vagina.


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This bloody discharge is referred to as menstruation menses or a menstrual period. The entire cycle repeats itself with regularity throughout the reproductive life of the female. However, at its onset after puberty, menstruation may be irregular for up to a year or two. Because adolescents constantly and realistically appraise themselves, they are often characterized as being extremely self-conscious.

However, the self-evaluation process leads to the beginning of long-range goal setting, emotional and social independence, and the making of a mature adult. Three distinct stages can be identified in the psychological development of the adolescent, even though there is a great deal of overlap in the stages, and they may not occur during the age span indicated.

During early adolescence ages , development usually centers around developing a new self-image due to their physiological changes. Adolescents need to make use of their newly acquired skills of logical thinking and ability to make judgments rationally. When they reach the ages of fourteen and fifteen the period known as mid-adolescence , adolescents strive to loosen their ties to their parents and their emotions and intellectual capacities increase.

The adolescent becomes adventuresome, and experiments with different ideas. During this time, the adolescent battles over his own set of values versus the set established by parents and other adult figures. The adolescent also begins to take on more control of educational and vocational pursuits and advantages.

During late adolescence ages range from sixteen on , adolescents have a more stable sense of their identity and place in society.

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At this stage in life they should feel psychologically integrated and should have a fairly consistent view of the outside world. Adolescent should, by this time, have established a balance between their aspirations, fantasies, and reality. In order for them to achieve this balance they should be displaying concern for others through giving and caring, instead of the earlier childhood pattern of self-gratification. At the conclusion of late adolescence they should have had designed or discovered their role in society, have set a realistic goal in life, and have begun in ernest to achieve it.

Using Developmental Psychology To Understand the Adolescent Explaining the psychological development of adolescent is difficult due to the lack of empirical research and the great variety of adolescent behavioral modes. However, developmental psychologists have formulated theories describing human psychological development which are useful in understanding adolescents. They demonstrate sequential patterns of development and make some rough estimates about the ages at which they should demonstrate particular developmental characteristics. In developing lesson plans that utilize these theories, the teacher must find the overall level at which the class is functioning.

The more advanced the adolescents performing the experiment, the more systematically they will perform the task. In the lesson plans provided in this curriculum unit you will find exercises that will help children critically think about their personalities and future vocation.

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Developmental Psychology

Another vital aspect of adolescent psychological development includes the evolution of values through moral reasoning. This theory provides educators a basis for understanding how this aspect of adolescent psychological development occurs and helps to categorize the level at which the adolescent reasons. Through their discussions, adolescents become more aware of their power to make choices and decisions about their lives.

Lesson plans reflecting this theory have been included which involve two hypothetical situations which help to guide adolescent moral reasoning through group discussion. His work on cognitive development is the most complete theory available today and is widely used. Pulaski, According to Piagetian theory, children progress through four stages in their cognitive development—seriomotor birth to two years of age , pre-operational 2 to 7 years of age , concrete operational 7 to 11 years of age and formal operational 11 to 15 years of age.

During the concrete operational stage, children begin to understand the concept of conservation. From the Piagetian perspective, conservation means that children realize that quantities remain the same, even if they are placed in containers of different shapes and sizes. The adolescent also becomes less egocentric, that is, he now understands that everyone does not see things in the same way that he does.

The adolescent also becomes capable of reasoning deductively, perform simple operations with physical objects, and apply logic to arrive at conclusions. Even though adolescents at the latter part of this stage display some cognitive maturity, they still are incapable of thinking abstractly. During this stage, things are understood concretely and literally.

The Marks of Maturity | Psychology Today

Unrealistic math problems such as: if a dog has six legs, then how many legs will four dogs have, will result in a child arguing that a dog does not have six legs. They can communicate their position on complex ethical issues, and become capable of thinking abstractly. They can discuss abstract terms such as freedom or liberty without difficulty. Although Piaget was not interested in formal teaching strategies, educators have applied Piagetian concepts to educate children.

First, personality develops according to a predetermined pattern that is maturationally set. Second, each society is structured to encourage challenges that arise during these times. If the particular crisis is handled appropriately, the outcome will be positive. If not, then a negative outcome will be the result. The two stages which involve conflicts that significantly affect early and late adolescent development are stage 4, the latency state ages , and stage 5, puberty and adolescence ages At that time the child is faced with the conflict of industry versus inferiority.

If the child masters the skills, the child develops a sense of industry and has a positive view of the achievement. The fifth psychosocial stage occurs during the ages of Adolescents begin to consider their futures and decide on careers. During this stage they face the conflict of identity versus role confusion. In addition to monitoring skill mastery, the educator must cover the topic of career exploration, and expose the adolescence to as many career choices as possible.

7.3 Adolescence: Developing Independence and Identity

KohIberg viewed moral reasoning in three levels which included six sequential stages. KohIberg perceived these stages as universal, that is, no stage is ever skipped, and applicable to all cultures. Kohlberg stressed that the actual decisions people make are not important, but that the reasoning behind the decisions was important.

This reasoning determines which stage of development a child is in. Developmental levels are determined by the dilemmas people face and the reasoning they apply in making decisions to resolve these dilemmas. The levels of development range from reasoning based upon self-gratification preconventional morality , to reasoning based upon conformity conventional morality to reasoning based upon individual values that have been internalized postconventional morality.

As each level and its respective stages are discussed below, it is important to remember that adolescents will function at a level or stage more so than others. Level One: Preconventional Morality At this level, the child makes decisions based on cultural roles of what is considered to be right or wrong. The reasoning applied is based upon reward and punishment and the satisfaction of their own needs. This level is divided into two stages. The child demonstrates complete deference to rules. Often the interest of others are not considered. The reasoning applied during this stage is the one that satisfies the needs of the individual and sometimes the needs of others.

Level Two: Conventional Morality Conformity is the most important aspect at this level. The individual conforms to the expectation of others, including the general social order. KohIberg has identified two stages within this level.

Many students today appear mature but are actually missing these components.