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PSYC 3480 (233)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Adolescence.docx

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Chapter 4 Adolescence  During puberty, a young girl experiences the PHYSICAL changes that lead to sexual maturity  Adolescence refers to the PSYCHOLOGICAL changes that occur during puberty  For females, the major biological milestone of puberty is MERNARCHE, or the beginning of menstruation Puberty and Menstruation  During puberty, young women experience the most dramatic physical changes they have undergone since infancy  At around 10 or 11, they experience a transformation in their SECONDARY SEX CHARACTERISTICS, which are features of the body related to reproduction but not directly involved in it  These characteristics include breasts and pubic hair  Biological Aspects of Menstruation o The hypothalamus is crucial in menstruation because it monitors the body’s level of estrogen during the monthly cycle o When estrogen levels are low, the hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland, another brain structure. o The pituary gland produces two important hormones: follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone o Four hormones contribute to the menstrual cycle 1. Follicle stimulating hormone= acts on the follicles making them produce estrogen and progesterone 2. Luteinizing hormone = development of ovum 3. Estrogen= stimulates the development of endometrium (lining of uterus) 4. Progesterone= regulates the system. o On the 14 day of menstruation, one of the eggs breaks out of its follicle, this is called ovulation  Menstrual Pain o Menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea refers to painful cramps o Prostaglandins are substances that the body produces in high concentrations just before menstruation and they can cause severe cramps  The controversial premenstrual syndrome o PMS is the name given for symptoms that occur before the period  Cultural Attitudes Toward Menstruation o Some cultures have a taboo against contact with menstruating women o The Creek Indians do not allow menstruating women to use the same plates or utensils as other tribe members o European Americans judge menstruating women to be less competent and less likable Self Concept and Identity during Adolescence  A person’s identity is t
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