Rites Of Passage Essay

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Rites of Passage Lorie Janovsky BSHS/342 June 25, 2011 Dr. Marcy Stern, EdD., LMSW Rites of Passage Adolescence is the time of one’s life when they are going through changes both mentally and physically. “Psychologists working on adolescence tend to define the period broadly, as a time of transition betweem childhood and adulthood, acknowledging that the timing and pace of development is subject to considerable variation”(Durkin, 2001). Biological changes are taking place during adolescence that can affect a child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. These changes also affect the adolescent’s relationships with peers and family. Physical Development In this stage of life, physical changes are happening. This physical transition to adulthood is known as puberty. The changes that an adolescent goes through during puberty can be dramatic. “Girls who have been advanced in physical maturity since the prenatal period, reach puberty, on average, two years earlier than boys” (Berk, 2010). Growth spurts are the first outward sign of puberty. Changes in height and weight can be seen during these spurts. “Growth in body size is complete for most girls by age 16 and for boys by age 17 ½” (Berk,2010). In girls, breasts will begin to “bud”, pubic hair appears, and they will experience their first menstruation cycle. In boys, testes and penis will begin to enlarge, pubic and facial hair appears, and they will experience deepening of their voice. Heredity, physical health, and family experiences can affect pubertal timing. Cognitive Development Another growth spurt that the adolescent is experiencing is one not so visible. They are now “becoming capable of thinking about the world, and dealing with the challenges it presents in new and more powerful ways” (Durkin, 2001). According to Piaget, adolescents will become

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