Physical Growth and Development in Adolescence paper

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Topic: Physical Growth and Development in Adolescence paper

Adolescence stage (12 – 18 years).

According to many people, including professionals, the adolescent stage is essential because it represents a transition from childhood into adulthood. Both boys and girls undergo numerous physical, mental, sociological, and psychological changes. In this paper, I choose to explore the book "The Catcher in the Rye," focusing on the sixteenth-year old Holden Caulfield. Though Caulfield has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the fictional death of his beloved younger brother, Allie, his behavior reflects that of an adolescent teenager who is making decisions due to changes they are experiencing as a result of developmental changes Physical Growth and Development in Adolescence paper.

Physical development.

Characters led by Caulfield, Ackley, Stradlater, among others, are lost in the world of sexual activity and pleasures. According to the book, "In late adolescence, dating involves exclusive, intense relationships that are short-lived or are long-term committed partnerships, either way their importance should not be minimized. Adolescents spend a great deal of time focused on romantic relationships or lack thereof." (COC, 2019, p. 407). Caulfield finds himself lost in a relationship with Gallagher, one of the girls he respects and finds attractive. Being in a relationship encourages him to try engaging in sex, which proves to be harder than he expected. Caulfield is on a mission to lose his virginity, though he is not successful. However, according to him, Stradlater is sexually active despite being in Prep school. Caulfield refers to Stradlater as a "sexy bastard." He also identifies that Ackley is lying about his sexual experiences, especially due to his poor hygiene and his mouthy nature on sex. The interest in sex is a result of physical development that takes place during adolescence Physical Growth and Development in Adolescence paper.

According to the book, "However, sex hormones do not directly regulate the ability to have sexual intercourse or to copulate in primates (including humans); rather, they are only one influence on the motivation to engage in sexual behaviors." (COC, 2019 p. 413). Adolescents develop an interest in sex due to hormonal changes within their bodies. These changes prompt them to experiment with sex which explains the need for sexual education. Sex education helps in emphasizing the need for the use of protection and abstinence since engagement in sex might contribute to other mental and psychological effects.

Cognitive development.

According to the book, "Along the way, most adolescents try on many different selves to see which ones fit; they explore various roles and ideas, set goals, and attempt to discover their "adult" selves. Adolescents who are successful at this stage have a strong sense of identity and are able to remain true to their beliefs and values in the face of problems and other people’s perspectives" (COC, 2019, p. 385). Physical Growth and Development in Adolescence paper Adolescents are constantly looking to identify their identity or their true self. At this stage, adolescents portray different personalities, resulting from them experimenting with different selves. The identification of these identities is based on both internal and external factors, including cultures. During this stage, adolescents may misinterpret their environments or people around them because they are in a state of confusion.

The book further states, "Erikson saw this as a period of confusion and experimentation regarding identity and how one navigates along life’s path. During adolescence, we experience psychological moratorium, where teens put their current identity on hold while they explore their options for identity." (COC, 2019, p. 385). Caulfield demonstrates this confusion when he criticizes others for hypocrisy and distrust. Caulfield is revealed as mean and hypocritical, just like any other character in the book. Caulfield and the other characters are not aware of their behavior or the true nature because they are in the process of finding out about their true identities, which is rough and confusing.

Social/Personality Development.

According to the book, "As children become adolescents, they usually begin spending more time with their peers and less time with their families, and these peer interactions are increasingly unsupervised by adults. The level of influence that peers can have over an adolescent makes these relationships particularly important in their personal development." (COC, 2019, p. 398). Adolescence changes social behaviors in adolescents as it prompts them to prefer interacting with other peers instead of their families. This is very clear from Caulfield, who spends most of his time during the summer with Jane Gallagher instead of his family. Gallagher becomes one of the few women that he respects and finds attractive Physical Growth and Development in Adolescence paper.

The book further explains that "Relationships with peers are valuable opportunities for adolescents to practice their social and conflict resolution skills. But negative peer pressure can lead adolescents to make riskier decisions or engage in more problematic behavior than they would alone or in the presence of their family." (COC, 2019, p. 398). Though hormonal changes contribute to Caulfield’s interest in sex, they are also due to the influence of his friends and peers who are sexually active. Caulfield admires the life of Stradlater and Carl Luce due to their sexual activity and experience. However, he is opposed to how the two mistreat girls. This does not stop him from making advances to have sex and lose his virginity, though they do not bear any fruits. He always terminates the advance whenever he encounters resistance after his senses kick back in that he might be doing the wrong thing Physical Growth and Development in Adolescence paper.

Works cited

Paris, Jennifer, Antoinette Ricardo and Dawn. Raymond. "Chapter 15: Adolescence –Social Emotional Development". Child Growth and Development. College of the Canyons, 2019.

Salinger, Jerome D. "The Catcher in the Rye [1951]." Boston, MA et al. (2001).