Middle Childhood and Adolescents

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Middle Childhood and Adolescence Development Middle Childhood and Adolescence Development Middle childhood and adolescence is an important stage of development in the many stages of a life span. These stages of development include significant changes physically, mentally, and emotionally. The choices made by individuals during these stages have both positive and negative consequences for the individual, his or her peers, and his or her families. Peer relationships become stronger as children of middle childhood and adolescence seek acceptance and a sense of autonomy. Adolescence is a time of egocentrism as the individual moves from depending on family to attempting to develop an independent self. The adolescent moves through this stage facing many pressures including peer pressure, substance use and abuse, dating, sexuality, and change in family relationships. Even though the needs are met during middle childhood and adolescence, these stages of development are crucial because middle childhood development brings many changes and adolescence development includes much personal turmoil. Adolescence begins when a flood of hormones triggers puberty, usually between the age of 10 and 14. The release of sex-specific hormones of androgens and estrogens by the gonads produce physical and psychological changes. Maturation and increased efficiency of organs and muscles follow a major growth spurt (Berger, 2008). Primary sex characteristics’ develop, causing the body to have the potential for reproduction; in females, this includes the ovaries and uterus, whereas males experience maturation of the penis and testes. Menarche and spermarche are indications that the body is releasing eggs and sperm respectively. Secondary sex characteristics also mature. For females, the body accumulates fat in the hips thighs, and breasts, whereas males grow taller and shoulders

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