Lifespan Psychology Lecture 5.1

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  • Prefrontal cortex undergoes considerable development throughout adolescence which is not fully developed until around the early 20s. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that allows people to think, evaluate, and make complex judgments in a uniquely human way. It underlies the increasingly complex intellectual achievements that are possible during adolescence. During adolescence, the prefrontal cortex becomes increasingly efficient in communicating with other parts of the brain. This helps build a communication system within the brain that is more distributed and sophisticated, permitting the different areas of the brain to process information more effectively.

Transcript

  • 1. Chapter 5: Adolescence Module 5.1 Physical Development in Adolescence
  • 2. Growth During Adolescence
    • Adolescence is the developmental stage that lies between childhood and adulthood. It is generally viewed as starting just before the teenage years and ending just after them. It is a transitional stage. Adolescents are considered no longer children, but not yet adults. It is a time of considerable physical and psychological growth and change.
    • One aspect of this transformation is the adolescent growth spurt, a period of very rapid growth in height and weight. On average, boys grow 4.1 inches a year and girls 3.5 inches a year. Some adolescents grow as much as 5 inches in a single year.
    • Boys’ and girls’ adolescent growth spurts begin at different times. As you can see in the graph on the next slide, girls begin their spurts around age 10, while boys start at about age 12. During the 2-year period starting at age 11, girls tend to be taller than boys. But by the age of 13, boys, on average, are taller than girls—a state of affairs that persists for the remainder of the life span.
  • 3. Growth During Adolescence
  • 4. Physical Manifestations of Puberty
    • Rapid growth
    • Development of primary and secondary sex characteristics :
      • Begins when the pituitary gland in the brain signals other glands in children’s bodies to begin producing the sex hormones, androgens (male hormones) or estrogens (female hormones), at adult levels.
      • Males and females produce both types of sex hormones, but males have a higher concentration of androgens and females a higher concentration of estrogens.)
      • Pituitary gland also signals body to increase production of growth hormones that interact with the sex hormones to cause the growth spurt and puberty. In addition, the hormone leptin appears to play a role in the start of puberty.
    • Changes in body composition
    • Changes in circulatory and respiratory systems
  • 5. Puberty in Girls
    • Begins earlier for girls than for boys:
      • Girls start puberty at around age 11 or 12, and boys begin at around age 13 or 14
      • Wide variations among individuals - some girls begin puberty as early as 7 or 8 or as late as 16 years of age.
      • Normal range is ages 9-15 - average age of onset (around 12 years) of puberty has not changed
    • Influenced by environment
  • 6. Onset of Menarche
    • Menarche , the onset of menstruation and probably the most obvious signal of puberty in girls.
      • Varies in different parts of world - girls who are better nourished and healthier are more apt to start menstruation at an earlier age than those who suffer from malnutrition or chronic disease
      • Influenced by proportion of fat to muscle in body- some studies have suggested that weight or the proportion of fat to muscle in the body play a critical role in the timing of menarche.
      • Related to environmental stress- such factors as parental divorce or high levels of family conflict can bring about an early onset
  • 7. Puberty in Boys
    • Penis and scrotum begin to grow at accelerated rate around age 12 and reach adult size about 3 or 4 years later
    • Enlargement of prostate gland and seminal vesicles
    • A boy’s first ejaculation, known as spermarche usually occurs around the age of 13, more than a year after the body has begun producing sperm. At first, the semen contains relatively few sperm, but the amount of sperm increases significantly with age.
  • 8. Primary Sex Characteristics
    • Further development of sex glands
      • Testes in males
      • Ovaries in females
  • 9. Secondary Sex Characteristics
    • Changes in genitals and breasts
    • Growth of hair:
      • Pubic
      • Facial
      • Body
    • Further development of sex organs
  • 10. Summary of Changes in Adolescence Sexual Maturation
  • 11. Changes in body composition
    • Body fat
      • Quantity and distribution of fat
    • Muscle
      • Quantity and distribution of muscle
  • 12. Changes in Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
    • Increase in strength
    • Increased tolerance for exercise
  • 13. Onset of Puberty
    • Gradual process
    • Roles of hormones (Collaer & Hines, 1995)
      • Organizational
      • Activational
      • Hormones change brain at 8 weeks in utero when hormones feminize/masculine brain; presence of absence of certain hormones early in life may program brain and nervous system to develop in certain ways later on; hormonal changes before birth set an alarm clock that goes off in puberty  not necessarily causal
    • Endocrine system levels of sex hormones
      • Feedback loop
      • Hypothalamus  pituitary gland  gonads(ovaries and testes)
  • 14. Adolescent Growth Spurt
    • Weight and height increase - due to simultaneous release of growth hormone, thyroid hormones, and androgens; peak height velocity at adolescence and toddler years
    • Skeletal changes - closing of long bones; ethnic differences
    • Accelerated growth spurt - extremities first (head, hands, feet)  arms and legs  torso and shoulder growth
    • Asynchronicity in growth = awkwardness!
  • 15. Sexual Maturation in Boys Secondary Sex Characteristics
    • Penis and scrotum
    • Stage 1: Infantile
    • Stage 2:Enlarged scrotum and texture change
    • Stage 3:Lengthening and thickening of penis
    • Stage 4:Further penis and scrotum enlargement
    • Stage 5:Adult size and shape in genitals
  • 16. Sexual Maturation in Boys Secondary Sex Characteristics
    • Pubic hair
    • Stage 1: No true pubic hair
    • Stage 2: Sparse growth at base of penis
    • Stage 3: Hair darkens, spreads, curls
    • Stage 4: Hair adult in appearance but less
    • Stage 5: Inverse triangle to mature female
  • 17. Sexual Maturation in Girls Secondary Sex Characteristics
    • Breasts
    • Stage 1: No breast development
    • Stage 2: Breast budding
    • Stage 3: More distinct breast but no separation between contours of breasts
    • Stage 4: Further enlargement; greater contours; secondary mound of areola
    • Stage 5: Fully developed
  • 18. Sexual Maturation in Girls Secondary Sex Characteristics
    • Pubic hair
    • Stage 1: No true pubic hair
    • Stage 2: Sparse growth along vaginal lips
    • Stage 3: Hair darkens, spreads, curls
    • Stage 4: Hair adult in appearance but less
    • Stage 5: Inverse triangle
  • 19. Timing and Tempo of Puberty
    • Variation of timing and tempo great
    • No relationship between onset and rate of pubertal development
    • Some differences; causes are inconclusive
  • 20. Psychological Impact of Puberty
    • Biological changes can have direct impact on behavior
    • Biological changes can impact self-image which in turn affects behavior
    • Biological changes transform appearance which may affect reactions of others, especially peers
  • 21. Impact of Specific Pubertal Events
    • Females
      • Menarche
        • Positive attitude  gains in social maturity, peer prestige, self-esteem
        • Negative attitude  greater menstrual discomfort
    • Males
      • Ejaculation
        • Little research
        • May be related to how culture views masturbation
  • 22. Immediate Impact of Puberty
    • Self-esteem
      • Modest decline among girls when accompanied by other changes that require adaptation  social context is important
  • 23. Nutritional Problems in Adolescence
    • Poor eating habits
      • High consumption of junk food/sugar/fats
      • Large portion sizes
      • Lack of variety
      • Most nutritional problems in adolescents are related to the consumption of too much “junk food,” or food with limited or no nutritional value. Most junk food is characterized by high levels of fats, particularly saturated fats, and refined sugar. The portion sizes of junk food also typically are very large. In addition, most adolescents eat very few fruits and vegetables per day or chose items, such as iceberg lettuce, with low nutritional values.
    • Related health concerns
      • Obesity
      • Osteoporosis
      • Diabetes
      • Heart disease
      • The eating habits of today’s adolescents will lead to future health care problems. Obesity is related to a number of health problems, including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer (NHLBI, 2004). Osteoporosis also is a growing problem, even among adolescents. Poor nutrition and insufficient exercise both contribute to low bone density among teenagers.
  • 24. Obesity
    • Ratio of body fat to muscle increases
    • Basal metabolism rate decreases
    • Overall physical appearance changes
    • 20% overweight; 5% obese; 15% seriously overweight
    • The incidence of obesity among six- to eleven-year-olds in the US has more than doubled in
    • the past 20 years (USDHHS, 2004).
    • As reported by the Office of the Surgeon General
    • (USDHHS, 2001), most young people are not
    • following recommendations set forth in the Dietary
    • Guidelines for Americans.
    • 67% of youths aged 6-19 exceed dietary
    • guidelines for fat intake and 72% exceed
    • recommendations for saturated fat intake.
  • 25. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia
    • Definitions
      • Anorexia=starvation to maintain low weight
      • Bulimia=binge and purge eating
        • 1% anorexic and 3% bulimic
        • Higher incidence among females
    • Disordered eating and body dissatisfaction reported across socioeconomic lines
  • 26. Adolescent Health
    • One of healthiest times in life span
    • Relatively low incidence of disabling or chronic illness
    • Secular trend shows decrease in rates of death and disability
    • Medical technology has improved health care for children and youth
  • 27. Adolescent Health
    • Unhealthy behaviors
      • Drug use
    • Violence
      • Self-inflicted and other-inflicted
    • Risky activity
      • Unprotected sexual intercourse
      • Drunken driving
    Period of relative great physical risk
  • 28. Brain Changes in Adolescence
    • Brain changes:
        • Size
        • Maturity
    • Growth spurts:
        • Different part of brain
        • Different times
    • As the number of neurons (the cells of the nervous system) continue to grow, and their interconnections become richer and more complex, adolescent thinking also becomes more sophisticated.
  • 29. Brain Changes in Adolescence
    • Brain produces oversupply of gray matter during adolescence which is later pruned back at rate of one to two percent per year
    • Myelination—the process in which nerve cells are insulated by a covering of fat cells—increases and continues to make the transmission of neural messages more efficient.
    • Both the pruning process and increased myelination contribute to the growing cognitive abilities of adolescents
  • 30. Brain Changes in Adolescence
    • ““… as the teenage brain is reconfigured, it remains more exposed, more easily wounded, perhaps much more susceptible to critical and long-lasting damage than most parents and educators or even most scientists had thought.”
    • -- (Strauch, 2003)
  • 31. Brain Changes in Adolescence
    • Prefrontal cortex undergoes considerable development throughout adolescence which is not fully developed until around the early 20s. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that allows people to think, evaluate, and make complex judgments in a uniquely human way. It underlies the increasingly complex intellectual achievements that are possible during adolescence.
    • During adolescence, the prefrontal cortex becomes increasingly efficient in communicating with other parts of the brain. This helps build a communication system within the brain that is more distributed and sophisticated, permitting the different areas of the brain to process information more effectively.
  • 32. Sleep and Adolescence
    • Sleep Deprivation:
    • Adolescents go to bed later and get up earlier
    • Sleep deprivation takes its toll
      • Lower grades
      • More depressed
      • Greater difficulty controlling their moods
      • Greater risk for auto accidents
    • Older adolescents in particular experience the need to go to bed later and to sleep later in the morning, and they require nine hours of sleep each night to feel rested.
    • Because they typically have early morning classes but don’t feel sleepy until late at night, they end up getting far less sleep than their bodies crave.
  • 33. Adolescent Drug Use
    • Why do adolescents use drugs?
      • Pleasurable experience
      • Escape
      • Peer pressure
      • Biological and psychological addiction:
        • Addictive drugs are drugs that produce a biological or psychological dependence in users, leading to increasingly powerful cravings for them.
          • Biological addiction  presence in body becomes so common that body is unable to function in their absence;.
          • Psychological addiction  depend on drugs to cope with everyday stress of life  prevent adolescents from confronting—and potentially solving— problems that led them to drug use in first place.
  • 34. Adolescent Alcohol Use
    • Incidence and Binge Drinking Rates
  • 35. Signs of Adolescent Drug Use
    • Identification with drug culture:
      • Drug-related magazines or slogans on clothing
      • Conversation and jokes that are preoccupied with drugs
      • Hostility discussing drugs
      • Collection of beer cans
    • Signs of physical deterioration:
      • Memory lapses, short attention span, difficulty concentrating
      • Poor physical coordination, slurred or incoherent speech
      • Unhealthy appearance, indifference to hygiene and grooming
      • Bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils
    • Dramatic changes in school performance:
      • Marked downturn in grades—not just from C’s to F’s, but from A’s to B’s and
      • C’s; assignments not completed
      • Increased absenteeism or tardiness
    • Changes in behavior:
      • Chronic dishonesty (lying, stealing, cheating); trouble with the police
      • Changes in friends; evasiveness in talking about new ones
      • Possession of large amounts of money
      • Increasing and inappropriate anger, hostility, irritability, secretiveness
      • Reduced motivation, energy, self-discipline, self-esteem
      • Diminished interest in extracurricular activities and hobbies
        • (Adapted from Franck & Brownstone, 1991, p. 593–594.)
  • 36. Adolescence and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)
    • One out of four adolescents contracts an STI before graduating from high school.
    • Overall, around 2.5 million teenagers contract an STI, such as those listed below
  • 37. Other Sexually Transmitted Infections
    • Human papilloma virus (HPV) - The most common STI is human papilloma virus (HPV) . HPV can be transmitted through genital contact without intercourse. Most infections do not have symptoms, but HPV can produce genital warts and in some cases lead to cervical cancer. A vaccine that protects against some kinds of HPV is now available. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends it be routinely administered to girls 11 to 12 years of age—a recommendation that has provoked considerable political reaction (Friedman et al., 2006; Kahn, 2007 ).
    • Trichomoniasis - Another common STI is trichomoniasis, an infection in the vagina or penis, which is caused by a parasite. Initially without symptoms, it can eventually cause a painful discharge. Chlamydia , a bacterial infection, initially has few symptoms, but later it causes burning urination and a discharge from the penis or vagina. It can lead to pelvic inflammation and even to sterility. Chlamydial infections can be treated successfully with antibiotics (Nockels & Oakshott, 1999; Favers et al., 2003).
    • Genital herpes - is a virus not unlike the cold sores that sometimes appear around the mouth. The first symptoms of herpes are often small blisters or sores around the genitals, which may break open and become quite painful. Although the sores may heal after a few weeks, the infection often recurs after an interval, and the cycle repeats itself. When the sores reappear, the infection, for which there is no cure, is contagious.
    • Gonorrhea and syphilis - are the STIs that have been recognized for the longest time; cases were recorded by ancient historians. Until the advent of antibiotics, both infections were deadly. However, today both can be treated quite effectively.