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decorative star graphic  Adolescence:
Biosocial Development
- Transformations -

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Ψ  Wider, Taller, Then Stronger

Ψ  "Spurt" is the word used to describe a short burst of activity, something that happens in a hurry. And a growth spurt is just that: The body is growing, & it's happening really fast!

Ψ   In adolescence growth proceeds from the extremities to the core (outside in). Just the opposite of the proximal-distal growth of the prenatal & infant periods.

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

Ψ  Adolescence growth during puberty is the last time the body will grow taller. After this growth spurt, adult height is reached.

Ψ  Guys' shoulders will grow wider, and their bodies will become more muscular. Their breasts may grow a bit, but this goes away for most guys by the end of puberty. Their voices will become deeper. They will notice other changes, too, like the lengthening and widening of the penis and the enlargement of the testes. All of these changes mean that their bodies are developing as expected during puberty.

Ψ  Girls' bodies usually become curvier. They gain weight on their hips, and their breasts develop, starting with just a little swelling under the nipple. Sometimes one breast might develop more quickly than the other, but most of the time they soon even out. With all this growing and developing going on, girls will notice an increase in body fat and occasional soreness under the nipples as the breasts start to enlarge - and that's normal. Gaining some weight is part of developing into a woman, and it's unhealthy for girls to go on a diet to try to stop this normal weight gain.

Ψ  Proper Proportions - concerns:

       •  Torso takes final form last.
               •  Body halves do not mature at the same rate.
                       •  Re: "on time" development, note: everyone catches up.

Ψ  Organ Growth

Ψ  Lungs 3x weight - Heart 2x size ( a + for physical endurance )

Ψ  Lymphoid system (tonsils & adenoids) decrease in size ( a + ).

Ψ  Puberty hormones affect glands in the skin, and the glands make chemicals that smell bad. These chemicals put the scent  in adolescent!

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

Ψ  Another thing that comes with puberty is acne, or pimples. It's triggered by hormones that are present during puberty. Pimples usually start around the beginning of puberty and can stick around during the teen years.

Ψ  Nutrition

Ψ  Adolescents need extra nutrients to support the adolescent growth spurt.

Ψ  In addition to other nutrients, adequate amounts of iron and calcium are particularly important as the adolescent body undergoes this intensive growth period.

Ψ  Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies - adolescents are at special risk, since up to 13% of teenage boys and girls were found to have low iron stores. Rapid growth, coupled with a fast lifestyle and poor dietary choices, can all result in iron-deficiency or anemia.

Ψ  Teenage girls need to pay special attention to iron as their iron stores are depleted each month following menstruation. Test for low blood hemoglobin if a teenage girl seems apathetic and lazy.

Ψ  Fast-growing, active teens may have tremendous energy needs. Even though their regular meals can be substantial, they still may need snacks to supply energy between meals and to meet their daily nutrient needs. Five a Day!

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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