High SchoolDevelopmentNortheast Leadership Academy Cohort IIHugh Scott . Zach Marks . Kelly Anne Mudd . Erin Robbins
2 As teens transition from mid to late adolescence, their cognitiveabilities also mature. Cognitive abilities in teens shift from onlythinking on a concrete level to a more abstract understandingof what could be possible.High school aged adolescents develop strong critical thinkingskills and are able to problem solve better than younger peers.The increased problem solving of the adolescent brain, new andcontinued questioning of personal identity, along with socialpressure all lead to teens changing interests and hobbies suchas fashion, music, jobs, religion, political issues, and socialcauses.These changes and increased exposure allow them to thinkmore critically in the classroom, and also plan for the future,balance many activities, appreciate other’s opinions, and betterunderstand the effects of their decisions.While late adolescents are better able to make decisions andcontrol their actions than children, they are not fully equippedwith the cognitive tools to do so until early adulthood. There aretwo main components of the brain responsible for judgment andimpulse control—the limbic system and prefrontal lobe.The limbic system develops first, and deals mostly with emotions;.The prefrontal cortex develops later, and aids in judgment anddecision-making. The delayed development of the prefrontalcortex contributes to the likelihood that adolescences will stillreact impulsively by partaking in reward- seeking, novelty, risk-taking, and sensation-seeking behaviors without soundjudgment. CognitiveDevelopmentStudents’ cognitive skills are expanding toinclude deductive and systematicreasoning that allow for the processing ofmultiple variables and scientific inquiry.Metacognitive skills and knowledgeimprove during adolescences as studentsbecome more focused and in control oftheir own thoughts.VocabularyTerms to know whenworking with HighSchool Students Adolescent Egocentrism:Assumption that all share one’sthoughts, feelings, concerns;teens become focused on owntheir ideas.Executive Functioning: Theneuropsychological skills that weneed to plan, focus andremember.Egocentricity: The assumptionthat others experience the worldthe way you do.Person-Environment Fit Theory:Theory that development andlearning are greatest when theneeds and characteristics of thelearner fit the characteristics ofthe learning environment.Stereotype Threat: Extraemotional and cognitive burdenthat your performance is a givensituation might confirm astereotype others may haveabout you.
jhhjghgh 3 PubertyBy high school adolescence, the majority of males and femaleshas already entered into puberty, and has begun to seechanges in their physical appearance.By the end of puberty, both girls and boys have an adultshape. Characteristics marking maturation for girls aredeveloped breasts and hips. For boys, an adult shape ismarked by a developed penis and broadened shoulders. Bothmales and females will have lower, more adult voices as well asnearly full adult height and shoe size. While both boys and girlsgradually grow taller until age 25, most females reach theiradult height by 15 or 16 years old; boys will not reach their adultheight until approximately 19 years old. The rate of maturationmay lead to physical, social, and emotional effects on teens.A national trend shows that puberty is happening earlier in thelives of young males and females – a secular trend. The causesof this secular trend are not conclusive, but research suggests anumber of factors including healthcare, nutrition, or increasedtoxins in the environment.Nutrition and SleepDuring high school adolescence, teens begin to developpatterns in diet, physical activity, lifestyle and exercise. Many ofthe patterns adopted during adolescences can impact thehabits well into adulthood as well.The increased physical growth during middle and lateadolescence requires additional energy, protein, vitamins andminerals. However, many teens make poor nutritional choices,contrary to their body’s needs during puberty. These poorchoices can be contributed to the heightened focus on bodyimage and physical appearances. Teens are unable to weighthe cause, effects and risks of such choices, and thus eatingdisorders can be a problem fro both boys and girls duringpuberty – but often are undetected in males.Teens require at least 9 hours of sleep per night, but many oftheir biological clocks are not set as adults or young children.This causes many adolescents to be sleep deprived as theystruggle to fall asleep during conventional nighttime hours.Many teens struggle to fall asleep before midnight.From 70 – 90% of teens in the United States reported engaging in sexual intercourse by the age of 18. Early sexual activity can impact behavior, aggression and depression during adolescence. It can also be linked to students having fewer positive connections with peers, and a negative outlook on school. There are two widely accepted approaches to sex education in the United Stated: Abstinence Only (AO) and Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). Abstinence Only curriculums teach that sex should always be delayed until marriage. Most research shows that AO is not effective in preventing sexual activity, but it can contribute to delayed first experiences. Comprehensive Sex Education programs include information about birth control, condoms and STI prevention. SexualDevelopmentPhysical DevelopmentIn High School Adolescence
4 Physical Activity Boys do tend to be more active than girls at most every developmental age; however, there is little biological difference between males and females in terms of physical activity in late adolescence. The U.S. Department of Health does recommend that teens engage in at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Unfortunately, approximately only 64% of females and 73% of males in the 9th grade are getting enough daily exercise. These percentages continue to drop throughout high school. Threats to Health & Well-‐‑Being Teenagers can be impulsive and lack self-‐‑control, especially when interacting with peers and within their social groups. Adolescents also feel overly optimistic and invulnerable. These characteristics can often lead to teens taking part in tobacco use, drug and alcohol abuse, and reckless driving. Over the last 20 years, such risky behaviors have led to an increase mortality rates for teens. Specifically for motor vehicle and alcohol-‐‑related crashes. Motor vehicle crashes of all types (involving and not involving alcohol) are most often the leading cause of death amount American teenagers each year. It can be assumed that the increased use of technology, such as cell phones and text messages, have contributed to this statistic. Approximately 27% of 10th graders report having used an illicit drug in the last year. This number increases throughout high school. Alcohol is the most widely used drug by teenagers, followed my marijuana. Students who have a negative connection with school and poor relationships with their teachers are more likely to partake in such risky behaviors. As mentioned previously, early sexual activity can influence additional risky behaviors such as tobacco, drug and alcohol use. Sexual activity can also lead to HIV/AIDS. Across the globe, half of the new HIV infections are among adolescents. VocabularyBody Image: An individual’s dynamic perception of his or her body – how it looks, feels and moves. Secular Trends: The trend for menarche and other events in puberty to be experienced earlier with each new generation. Primary Sex Characteristics: Physical characteristics directly involved with reproduction Secondary Sex Characteristics: Physical characteristics that are not needed for reproduction but are markers for mature Continued: Physical Development in H.S. Adolescence
jhhjghgh 5 There are three cognitive aspects that support forming andcommunicating a life story:• The ability to use language and memory to establisha coherent description of the teens identify.• The metacognitive ability to reflect on situations andthen ask such questions as, “Why did I do that?” or“Why did that happen?”• An understanding that, in addition to self, othershave thoughts, feelings, and personal histories aswell.During high school, older adolescents have the opportunityto develop personal narratives through creatingautobiographies, participating in job/college interviews,keeping diaries or journals, and introducing themselves tonew friends or possible dates.Teens connect with each other through a language oftheir own. This teen specific language may include specialvocabulary and varied pronunciations that may changedepending on time, place or situation. Thiscommunication also varies based on cultural influence,generational trends, and technology. Language &LiteracyA main aspect of adolescent languageand literacy is the development of thepersonal life story. Adolescents begin tosee themselves as a consistent figureacross different situations and multipletime spans. This developmentcontributes to personal identify.Technologyand theLanguage of Leadership Based on a 2006 digitalcommunity study (Cassell,Huffaker, Tversky, & Ferriman),young leaders did not usetraditional language of adultleaders when describingglobal issues online.Traditional adult leaders usepowerful vocabulary andcontribute many of their ownthoughts and ideas. Incontrast, young leaders focuson the group’s goals and referto group more often thenthemselves.The study suggest that thelanguage of young leadersmay reflect communityengagement when discussedwithin the online and digitalforum.
6 Much like their younger counterparts, older adolescents belong to peer groups that identify with a specific set of values or common set of behaviors. These groups are often guided by a set of rules that are understood by all members of the group. Rules might include the following: how to dress, talk, style hair, or interact with others. Romantic relationships provide older adolescents with an increased feeling of self-‐‑esteem and sense of self-‐‑worth. Teens who engage in romantic relationships experience more conflict and more severe mood swings than their non-‐‑dating peers. This conflict may be a result of how males and females view the need for dating. Male teens most often date for sexual reasons. Female teens are most often looking for a close and personal relationship. Girls are also often uncertain of sexual activity. Peer Culture: The social values and norms for behavior that different groups of adolescents share. Peer Pressure: The influence peers have on each other’s attitudes and behaviors. Peer Groups: Social groups formed on the basis of shared interest and values; they are typically composed of children of the same age, sex, race/ethnicity, as well as other commonalties. Selection: The process by which adolescents choose friends and peer groups. Deviancy Training: Learning that occurs in peer groups when members talk favorably about breaking rules and engaging in delinquent behaviors. VocabularyPeer RelationshipsMoral Development
jhhjghgh 7 Teens can often describe themselves in conflicting ways asa result of their setting, situation or circumstance. Thesecontradictions can lead to teens asking themselves, “Whois the real me?” Adolescents are very concerned with howothers perceive them, and rely on the opinions of others totry and determine the “real me”. Teens will listen to theopinions from peer groups and cliques to determine whichare the best attributes to adopt. However, as groups andcliques shift, their opinions of popular or favorableattributes also change.Older adolescents can begin to recognize the differencebetween their “real” self and the identity they develop inresponse to group/clique opinions. As teens begin torecognize this difference they begin to ask themselves,“How do I like myself?” If teens feel there is a largediscrepancy between their true identity and their socialidentify, they can develop a negative self-esteem andpersonal image.Throughout high school, as adolescents become older,many teens become less concerned about the opinions ofgroups and cliques. During this time, teens become lessconcerned with peer pressure and more concerned withthe reality of their future. Self IdentityDevelopmentAdolescents will try out many different rolesand most will begin to emerge with a strongsense of self throughout their tenure in highschool. This journey may be more difficult forsome, but identity is viewed as a gradual,life-long process.VocabularyTerms to know whenworking with HighSchool Students Identity Achievement: The resultof healthy exploration anddecision-making regardingidentities involved in occupations,political and religious afflictionsand relationships.Identity Foreclosure: Occurswhen adolescents makecommitments without exploringoptions.Identity Diffusion: A state in whichadolescents re not exploringidentity alternatives or makingcommitments.Gender Intensification:Adolescents’ decline in flexibility,which reflects their enhancedself-consciousness and increasedawareness of social norms andexpectations concerningmasculinity and femininity.