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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1010

Chapter 8 AdolescencePuberty changes in physiological anatomy and physical functioning that develop a person into a mature adult biologically and prepare the body for sexual reproductionAdolescence period of the life span between the time puberty begins and the time adult status is approached when young people are preparing to take on the roles and responsibilities of adulthood in their culture Adolescence begins with notable changes of puberty through which the body is transformed to reach the capacity for sexual reproductionRemarkable metamorphosis includingGrowth spurtsPubic hairUnderarm hairChanges in body shapeBreast development and menstruation in girlsFacial hair in boysThe Physical Changes of Puberty Puberty is derived from the Latin word pubescere which means to grow hairy Hormonal ChangesPubertal changes begin once a threshold level of body fat is reachedOnce the threshold is reached a series of chemical events is triggered beginning in the hypothalamus These events lead to the increase of sex hormones from the ovaries and testesEstrogen sex hormones that have especially high levels in females from puberty onward and are mostly responsible for female primary and secondary sex characteristicsAndrogens sex hormones that have especially high levels in males from puberty onward and are mostly responsible for male primary and secondary sex characteristicsThe most important estrogen is estradiol and the most important androgen is testosteroneEstradiol the most important estrogen in pubertal development among girlsTestosterone the androgen most important in pubertal development among boys Estradiol and testosterone are produced in both males and females however once puberty starts the balance changes dramaticallyPrimary and Secondary Sex CharacteristicsPrimary Sex Changes production of eggs ova and sperm and the development of the sex organsSecondary Sex Changes bodily changes of puberty not directly related to reproductionFemales are born with all the eggs they will ever have 40000 eggs in their ovaries at the time they reach pubertyOnce a girl reaches menarche and begins menstrual cycles one egg develops into an ovum every 28 days approxMenarche first menstrual periodFemales release about 400 ovum in their reproductive livesMales are born with no sperm in their testes and do not produce any until pubertyThere are about 100300 million sperm in the typical ejaculation Spermarche beginning of development of perm in boys testicles at puberty Brain DevelopmentBy the age of 6 the brain is already 96 of its adult sizeA sharp increase in synaptic connections occurs around the time puberty begins 1012 years of agethis process is called overproduction or exuberanceOverproduction is concentrated in the frontal lobe of the brain as well as many other partsAfter the overproduction a massive amount of synaptic pruning takes place in which the overproduction of synapses is whittled down considerably Synaptic pruning allows the brain to work more efficiently as brain pathways become more specializedHowever the brain will also become less amenable to changeMyelination is another process of neurological growth in adolescence keeps the brains electrical signals on one path and increases their speedThis also makes brain functioning less amenable to changeBiggest surprise of all is the growth of the cerebellum involved in basic functions such as movementNow research shows that the cerebellum is important for higher functioning such as math music decision making etcIt is the last structure of the brain to stop growing growing until the mid 20sThe Timing of Puberty Overall girls begin puberty 2 years earlier than boysThe more similar two people are genetically the more similar they tend to be in the timing of the onset of puberty ex Identical twins Culture and the Timing of PubertyThe age at which puberty begins is strongly influenced by the extent to which food production provides for adequate nutrition and medical care provides for good health
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