Physical, Cognitive, Social, and Personality Individuals experience many changes to the physical body, cognitive abilities, social development, and personality development throughout the various stages of life. This article looks at a few of the changes experienced during stages of development of the adolescent, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.
Adolescent Stages of Development
The physical changes during adolescence include growth spurts of eight to twelve inches in a period of two or three years, and puberty which heralds acne, voice changes, body hair growth, growth of internal and external reproductive organs (ovaries, breasts, penis, and testes), production of estrogen and progesterone increase, erection and ejaculation for males, and menarche and mature egg release for females. (Nevid & Rathus, 2005) Cognitively, the adolescent is able to participate in abstract thinking, also referred to as the formal operational stage, enabling them to process and group ideas; adolescence also brings egocentrism in the form of imaginary audience (believing everything centers around one’s appearance, thoughts, and behaviors) and personal fable (the belief that one is invincible and incapable of experiencing anything harmful). (Nevid & Rathus, 2005)
Social and personality development in adolescence is exemplified in the adolescent’s search for independence which frequently results in conflict with anyone in authoritative positions and the engagement in risk-taking or reckless behaviors in part due to one’s belief of invulnerability. (Nevid & Rathus, 2005)
Young Adulthood Stages of Development
Physical development for the young adult typically sees one in the best physical condition: strong, sharp senses, and stamina. Memory and thinking (cognitive) abilities are at their highest. The social development and personality development for the young adult can be identified with a desire to be socially independent and with a high ambition to succeed and can include occupation selection, selecting a life-partner, starting a family, accepting responsibilities, and social networking. (Nevid & Rathus, 2005)
Middle Adulthood Stages of Development
The physical development in middle adulthood can be accompanied a loss of strength, vision sharpness, strength, and coordination. Cognitive development during middle adulthood generally shows an average memory loss and a reduced ability to perform tasks requiring speed. The social and personality development during middle adulthood is considered by some to be synonymous with “mid-life crisis” which heralds the reevaluation of one’s life goals and accomplishments and can spur positive changes, not just the negative changes generally associated with mid-life crisis and greater psychological health. (Nevid & Rathus, 2005)
Late Adulthood Stages of Development
Late adulthood can be marked by menopause and osteoporosis, a reduction in bone density, grey hair, less skin elasticity, and a loss of muscle mass resulting in an increase of body fat. Cognitively, during late adulthood verbal skills such as vocabulary and broad-spectrum knowledge are retained, but memory and mobility tends to decrease. Social and personality development can be affected by many variables during late adulthood: individuals in late adulthood may experience depression that may go untreated, and an individual in late adulthood may experience a period of readjustment to changes in their body, retirement, financial status change, and loss of a spouse. (Nevid & Rathus, 2005)
(Nevid, J. S. & Rathus, S. A. 2005). Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment in the new millennium (9th ed.).
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley
& Sons. Adolescence
Growth spurts, for two to three years they will grow 8 to 12 inches.-Secondary sex characteristics develops. The imaginary audience and personal fable begin a need for more privacy. Dualistic thinking is used everything is viewed as good/bad, right/wrong Independence is sought after during this stage. Learning how to express the changes or changing of their sexualities.
Physical development at its peak-
Body loses its flexibility-Physically matured by young adulthood. At the peak of our cognitive abilities-Starts to use more strategic thinking methods-thinking more about long term goals and responsibilities-Dualistic thinking is replaced by multiple thinking, the realization that ever one has their own opinion, and that every authority figure may not have all the right answers. More aware of our limitations. Independent Adult: financially, responsibility, and decision making-Decisions such as marriage, careers and kids are made during this time.
Women go through menopause, Men go through and reparse, and testosterone production begins to decline. women who have not reached menopause, and starts losing precious time to have children-signs of aging occurs, wrinkles or gray hair.-hearing and sensory starts to decline. Memory begins to decline. The information our brain processes slows down Better ability to use logic. Age 30 transitions, finding your way in life, like a new perspective. More concentration on the future. A need to be more productive in life occurs.-mid-life crisis, where you realize your life is half-way…
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