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Physical Development in High School Students. Physical Development – In girls: begins 10-12 years old ends 17-19 years old – In boys: begins 12-14 years.

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Presentation on theme: "Physical Development in High School Students. Physical Development – In girls: begins 10-12 years old ends 17-19 years old – In boys: begins 12-14 years."— Presentation transcript:

1 Physical Development in High School Students

2 Physical Development – In girls: begins years old ends years old – In boys: begins years old ends 20 years old Rapid growth spurt

3 Puberty & Sexual Development Sequence of physical changes largely predictable, but with great variability in beginning age and pace

4 Signs of Puberty Girls: – Breasts fully develop between 12 and 18 years of age – Pubic, armpit, and leg hair grow and reach adult patterns at about 13 to 14 years old – Menstruation begins from 10 to 15 years old (ave yrs.) – Develops curvier hips – Rapid and frequent mood swings Boys: – Genitals at adult size and shape by age 16 or 17 – Pubic, armpit, leg, chest, and facial hair grow and reach adult patterns at about 15 to 16 years old – Voice changes occur – Nocturnal emissions typically begin between ages 13 and 17 (ave yrs) Sexual maturation – Achieving fertility and changes that support fertility – Development of secondary sex characteristics Mannheim (2011)

5 Implications for Counselors Be alert to signs of early and late physically maturing students – Early maturing girls Higher risk for depression, substance abuse, disruptive behaviors, and eating disorders Greater social/emotional demands-risk for unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases – Early maturing boys Higher risk of sexual activity, smoking, and delinquency – Late maturing boys Depression, conflict with parents, targets of bullying, and school problems Graber, Lewinsohn, Seeley, Brooks-Gunn (1997)

6 Implications for Counselors Early maturing youth – May experience peer pressure they are not emotionally ready to handle – Dating and sexual activity Telling teens to “just say no” does not help them to deal with sexually stressful interpersonal situations Counselors can help identify and practice strategies for dealing with or avoiding these situations – May need sex and health information earlier than given in school/home Reaching physical sexual maturity – Sex and relationship education – Need to be the safe place they can come when they have issues Graber, Lewinsohn, Seeley, Brooks-Gunn (1997)

7 Physical Appearance & Body Image Regardless of timing of changes, physical appearance commonly highly important Both boys and girls want to “fit in” with the norms of the group they identify Teens often grow from extremities inward making them feel awkward Often dedicate LOTS of time to appearance Ge, X., Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H. (2001)

8 Implications for Counselors Take concerns seriously without dismissing – Concerns range from acne, needing glasses, height, weight, facial features, awkwardness, muscle tone Understand the meaning and context of concern Keep lines of communication open Ge, X., Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H. (2001)

9 Body Appearance Puberty, by nature, is associated with weight gain (Adolescent obesity has tripled in the past 30 years) Adolescents experience dissatisfaction with their changing bodies Constantly getting social messages about being thin Can lead to eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression, and other self-harming behaviors Flannery, Rowe, & Gulley(1993) Striegel-Moore& Cachelin(1999)

10 Counselor Implications Promote acceptance of broad range of appearances Promote positive self-image and body image Educate on detrimental consequences of negative focus on weight Promote positive focus on sources of self-esteem other than physical – Academic, artistic, athletic, social Encourage exercise! Carrol (2011)

11 Adolescent Brains are Works in Process Changes in the prefrontal cortex (the CEO of the brain) are happening USE IT OR LOSE IT! This is an important stage of brain development in which what teens do or do not do can affect them for the rest of their lives. "If a teen is doing music or sports or academics, those are the cells and connections that will be hardwired. If they're lying on the couch or playing video games or MTV, those are the cells and connections that are going to survive.“ (Giedd 2000)

12 References Poulson, B., (2012, October 29) – Adolescence – Physical Development. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV7e4dDjBeQ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV7e4dDjBeQ Coleman, J. C., & Hendry, L. B. (1999). The nature of adolescence (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge. Striegel-Moore, R. H., & Cachelin, F. M. (1999). Body image concerns and disordered eating in adolescent girls: Risk and protective factors. In N. G. Johnson, M. C. Roberts, & J. Worell (Eds.), Beyond appearance: A new look at adolescent girls. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Flannery, D. J., Rowe, D. C., & Gulley, B. L. (1993). Impact of pubertal status, timing, and age on adolescent sexual experience and delinquency. Journal of Adolescent Research, 8, Graber, J. A., Lewinsohn, P. M., Seeley, John R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1997). Is psychopathology associated with the timing of pubertal development? Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, Ge, X., Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H. (2001). Pubertal transition, stressful life events, and the emergence of gender differences in adolescent depressive symptoms. Developmental Psychology, 37, Mannheim, J.K., (2011, January 17). Adolescent development. Retrieved from Carroll, H., (2011, December 9). We’re all 11 stone: That’s the average weight of a British woman, but as these five show it comes in many shapes. Retrieved from /The-average-weight-British-woman-comes-shapes.html.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/f /article /The-average-weight-British-woman-comes-shapes.html Spinks, S., Geidd, J. (2000, March 9). Adolescent brains are works in progress here’s why. Retrieved from


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