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Stress and Strain During Adolescence

  • Date Submitted: 02/07/2011 05:19 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.7 
  • Words: 2985
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Adolescence is just one big walking pimple.
Carol Burnett

The process of rapid physical changes in adolescence is called puberty. It starts gradually, from around eleven years for girls and thirteen for boys. The age at which puberty starts has been dropping in most countries, probably due to better nutrition. So, your children may hit puberty earlier than you did. The hormone changes responsible actually begin some years earlier and may produce periods of moodiness and restlessness. Girls start these changes before boys and will, for the first three or four years, appear to be maturing much faster. After this, boys catch up. These changes include:
For girls: menstrual periods, growth of under-arm, body and pubic hair.
For boys: voice breaks (becomes deeper), growth of body and pubic hair, facial hair, erections and wet dreams. For both: Rapid physical growth. By the age of 17, they'll be young men and women who may be bigger than their parents and capable of having children themselves. In spite of this, they often still need support from you. It is not surprising that, with the speed of these changes, some adolescents become very concerned about their appearance. They may need a lot of reassurance, especially if they are not growing or maturing as quickly as their friends. They and their parents may worry less if they remember that there's a lot of difference in the ages at which these changes occur. Growth and development uses a lot of energy, and this may be why teenagers often seem to need so much sleep. Their getting-up late may be irritating, but it may well not be just laziness.


• As well as growing taller, starting to shave or having periods, people of this age start to think and feel differently. They make close relationships outside the family, with friends of their own age. Relationships within the family also change. Parents become less important in their children's eyes as their life outside the family develops.
• Real...


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