Physical Development of Adolescents

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by jwilliams857
Last updated 6 years ago

Health & Fitness

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Physical Development of Adolescents

Physical Development of Adolescents


Growth spurt begins around 11 years old and is usually complete around 15 years old. (Snowman & McCown, 2015)

Growth spurt begins around 13 years old and is usually complete around 18 years old. (Snowman & McCown, 2015)

Maturing Early

Maturing Late


More popular with peersMore positive self-conceptsHigher risk of delinquency(Snowman & McCown 2015)

Lower self-esteemHigher risk of depression and anxietyMore likelyto encounter sexual pressure(Snowman & McCown 2015)

More popular with peersMore positive self-concepts(Snowman & McCown 2015)

Lower self-esteemHigher risk of depressionStronger feelings of inadequacy(Snowman & McCown 2015)

The Brain

Maturing Physically

Prefrontal Cortex

Limbic System




Social interaction

The prefrontal cortex is still developing extensively in adolescents. Gray matter drastically increases through chlidhood, forming new connections, then decreases after puberty, pruning out synapses that are unneeded. (Blakemore, 2012)

Because these changes are happening so rapidly, it is important to use practice and repitition to strengthen important connections in the brain.

Emotion processing

Reward processing

Because the limbic system is involved in processing rewarding feelings, it is related to risk-taking behavior. In adolescents, the limbic system is especially sensative to the rewarding feeling of taking risks; consequently, adolescents take more risks than children or adults (Blakemore, 2012)


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