Adolescent Development

Ages 10-15


Size and Body

  • Increase in-
    • Height
    • Weight
    • Internal organ size
  • Changes in the skeletal and muscular systems
  • Time period where the most development occurs
  • Bone growth accelerates, potentially causes coordination problems because muscles can not keep up with the rapid growth rate

Motor Skills/Growth Patterns

  • Growth is accelerated and uneven.
  • Gross and fine motor skills are vastly improved.
  • Start of puberty



  • Idealistic
  • Strong sense of fairness
  • Curious to discover more about how life works
  • Inquisitive
  • Develop understanding of the feeling of others

Disposition/How They Show Feeling

  • Prone to mood swings
  • Get upset or frustrated easily
  • Tend to be restless
  • Extremely self-conscious, lack confidence
  • Many adolescents are prone to believing that their problems are unique


Interactions With Social Groups and People

  • Need acceptance from peers
  • Care deeply about others opinions
  • Care for other peoples over selfishness
  • Show them you accept them no matter what

Trust vs. Mistrust

  • Friends opinions matter most over parents
  • Develop own personal values
  • Family still becomes an important factor in decision making
  • Parents are not perfect


  • Care more for peers than parents
  • Make sure they have good friends!


How They Learn

  • Follow other friends, over parents
  • Middle School

What They Learn

  • Math, English, Science, History
  • Possibly musical instruments
  • Normality is best, different is wrong


  • Understand sophisticated humor
  • Understand metaphors
  • Able to argue a position
  • Slang
  • Give them opportunities to express and argue their opinions with small things, so there is less conflict on others

Sense Organs

Able to hear, see, smell, taste and touch like a normal adult.

Perceptual Concepts

  • Metacognition- thinking about thinking
  • Beginning to realize that the future matters and has an influence on their life
  • Not always right and wrong, but some gray area
  • Abstract thinking
  • Encourage them to talk about what they are thinking about, and praise when critical thinking is shown.