A transition from childhood to adulthood,
from dependence to independence, and an
unique period of brain development.
A period of temporary insanity!
• Experience rapid, irregular physical growth
• Undergo bodily changes that may cause awkward,
uncoordinated movements and become selfconscious
• Have varying maturity rates, with girls tending to
mature one and one-half to two years earlier than
• At a disadvantage because of varied rates of maturity
• Experience restlessness and fatigue due to hormonal
• Need daily physical activity because of increased
energy, but often lack physical fitness
• Develop sexual awareness as secondary sex
characteristics begin to appear
• Concern with bodily changes resulting in increase
in nose size, protruding ears, long arms, and
awkward posture
• Have preference for junk foods but need good
• Are physically vulnerable because they adopt
poor health habits or engage in risky
experimentation with drugs and sex
• Experience mood swings with peaks of intensity
and unpredictability
• Need to release energy, so may have apparently
meaningless outbursts of activity
• Seek independence as they search for adult
identity and acceptance (Erikson), but like
childhood activities
• Increasingly concerned about peer acceptance
• Self-conscious, lack self-esteem, and sensitive to
personal criticism
• Intense concern about physical growth and
• Behave more in ways associated with their
gender as sex role identification strengthens
• Concerned with major societal issues as
personal value systems develop
• Believe personal problems, feelings, and
experiences are unique to themselves
• Are psychologically vulnerable because they
are more likely to encounter so many
differences between themselves and others
• Have strong need to belong to group with peer
approval being more important than adult
• Develop critical attitude about home, parents,
and “in general”
• In search for self, model behavior of older,
esteemed students or non-parent adults.
• Exhibit immature behavior because social skills
lag behind mental and physical maturity
• Experiment with new behaviors to find social
position within their group
• Must adjust to social acceptance of early
maturing girls and athletic success of early
maturing boys
• Are dependent on parental beliefs and values,
but seek to make their own decisions
• May be intimidated and frightened by first
middle school experience
• Display wide range of individual intellectual
• In transition from concrete to abstract
thinking (honesty and justice)
• Intensely curious and have wide range of
intellectual pursuits
• Prefer active over passive learning experiences
• Prefer interaction with peers in activities
• Respond positively to opportunities to
participate in real life situations
• Often are preoccupied with self and may crave
periods of being alone
• Have a strong need for approval and may be
easily discouraged
• Inquisitive about adults, may challenge their
authority, and always observing them
• May show disinterest in conventional subjects
but are intellectually curious about the world
and themselves
• Are developing a capacity to understand
higher levels of humor
• Demand privileges but avoid responsibility
• Are generally idealistic
• In transition from moral reasoning to
considering the feelings and rights of others
• Show compassion for downtrodden or
• Moving from acceptance of adult moral
judgment to development of own personal
• Assess moral matters in shades of grey rather
than black or white
• Quick to see flaws in others but slow to
acknowledge own faults
• Need and are influenced by adult role models
who will affirm their moral consciousness
• Aware of and concerned about inconsistencies
between values exhibited by adults and
• Desire recognition for their efforts and
• Like fads, especially those shunned by adults
• Often overreact to ridicule, embarrassment, and
• Are socially vulnerable because as they develop
their beliefs, attitudes, and values, the influence
of media and negative experiences may
compromise their ideals and values
• 1. Forgetting: pre- and adolescent minds are so
preoccupied with other issues, ones that are
more real and meaningful to them, that they
truly do not remember.
• 2. Irritability: This age group is filled with energy
and are constantly moving. This, along with
changing hormones can bring on moods that are
unpredictable. A mood can disappear as quickly
as it came. And they don’t know why!
• 3. Power Plays: Adolescents seek
independence but aren’t ready for it. They
actually feel powerless and use power plays to
grab some control over their lives. These
include non-verbal tantrums, smarting off,
slamming doors, sulking, refusing to talk, and
using ridicule and sarcasm to bug others.
• 4. Friendships: Friends may drift apart
leaving one feeling confused, hurt, or alone.
Since friendships greatly affect other areas of
their lives, grades and behaviors may suffer.
• 5. Gratification: Our culture condones
immediate gratification, so adolescents do not
know how to delay gratification. They think
only of short-term gains. (EQ example)