Environmental Influences on Adolescent Development

Topics: Puberty, Developmental psychology, Child development Pages: 5 (1684 words) Published: August 11, 2013
Adolescents is a period of life that is thought to be a crucial stage of development due to changes in an adolescent’s physical appearance, cognitive ability and social behavior. This paper will be discussing the environmental influences that promote the three domains of development with the assistance of two theorists, Piaget and Erikson. Discussed further is the participation of a team sport focusing on the positive developmental aspects it has on an individual. The involvement of significant peers and family members enhances development in all three domains. In most cases the period of adolescents begins from the ages of 12 till 18.

During this period of development each individual will undergo a roller-coaster of changes in their physical, cognitive and psychosocial development. The Individual’s physical changes, as they go through puberty are the most obvious to the naked eye, resulting in sexual maturity. Every adolescent will experience physical changes with their primary and secondary sex characteristics although not all adolescents will experience it at the same time. There is no set age for this to occur but there is a guide to follow between genders (Hoffnung, M., Hoffnung, R., Seifert, K., Burton Smith, R., Hine, A., Ward, L., Pause, C., 2010). The adolescent will also become more abstract in their thinking ability and begin formulate a set of ethical principles as their brain develops. Most individuals will develop more positive and equal relationships with their parents and respecting elders whilst adventuring away from the family nest to become more independent on their own or with a new relationship they built with the opposite sex. Adolescents is “second only to infancy in the rate of developmental changes that take place” (Office of population Affairs., 2010) There are three main types of development that will work together to aid the growth of adolescents, which all will be affected by the environment, in either a positive or negative way the first to be discussed is physical development. Followed by cognitive then psychosocial development. Physical development is primarily concerned with the physical changes such as growth and the development of motor skills both fine and gross. The most obvious sign of physical growth is when the child goes through puberty in early adolescents which is characterized by the individual reaching full physical and sexual maturity. During puberty the individual will experience a rapid growth spurt which will account for 17% of their overall height and 50% of their body’s weight (Hoffnung et al., 2010). The environment surrounding the adolescent can have a major effect on the individuals health, “the lower a person’s socioeconomic position, the worse the health” so by contrast the higher their socioeconomic position the better the health (Talbot & Verrinder, pg13., 2010). This is a result of a better health care system, which includes a up to date and better resourced medical scheme, with a high rate of immunizations and medicines to fight disease, illness and infection, decreasing the morbidity rate in their community. Meanwhile The quality and quantity of food the individual is supplied with, is of higher standards which will provide the right nutrients to aid in the growth in the adolescents, especially at this stage of development when its most needed during the growth spurt. Another benefit of a high socioeconomic position is having safe community to allow for an increase in the“Time spent outdoor which positively enhances the Physical activity” decreasing chances of obesity and its relating conditions such as diabetes (Colins. P., 2012). Cognitive development refers to the development of cognition which involves the psychological process of how individuals learn and process information whilst thinking about their surrounding environment. Throughout this developmental stage individuals will begin to understand and complete hypothetical situations unlike in...
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