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Human Development- the pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues through the life
It includes growth and decline.
It can be positive and negative.

Principles of Human Development

1. Development is relatively orderly
A. Proximodistal pattern
- The muscular growth of the trunk and the arms comes earlier as compared to the hands and fingers.
B. Cephalocaudal Pattern
- During infancy the greatest growth always occurs at the top of the head- with physical growth in
size, weight and future differentiation gradually working its way down from top to bottom.
2. While the pattern of development is likely to be similar, the outcome of developmental process and the
rate of development are likely to vary among individuals.
3. Development takes place gradually.
4. Development as a process is complex because it is the product of biological cognitive and socio-emotional


Developmental Tasks of Normal Adolescence

Some years ago, Professor Robert Havighurst of the University of Chicago proposed that stages in human development
can best be thought of in terms of the developmental tasks that are part of the normal transition. He identified eleven
developmental tasks associated with the adolescent transition. Each of the Havighurst tasks can also be seen as elements
of the overall sense of self that adolescents carry with them as they move toward and into young adulthood.

1. The adolescent must adjust to a new physical sense of self. At no other time since birth does an individual
undergo such rapid and profound physical changes as during early adolescence. Puberty is marked by sudden
rapid growth in height and weight. Also, the young person experiences the emergence and accentuation of those
physical traits that make him or her a boy or girl. The young person looks less like a child and more like a
physically and sexually mature adult. The effect of this rapid change is that the young adolescent often becomes
focused on his or her body.
2. The adolescent must adjust to new intellectual abilities. In addition to a sudden spurt in physical growth,
adolescents experience a sudden increase in their ability to think about their world. As a normal part of maturity,
they are able to think about more things. However, they are also able to conceive of their world with a new level
of awareness. Before adolescence, children's thinking is dominated by a need to have a concrete example for any
problem that they solve. Their thinking is constrained to what is real and physical. During adolescence, young
people begin to recognize and understand abstractions. The growth in ability to deal with abstractions accelerates
during the middle stages of adolescence.
3. The adolescent must adjust to increased cognitive demands at school. Adults see high school in part as a place
where adolescents prepare for adult roles and responsibilities and in part as preparatory for further education.
School curricula are frequently dominated by inclusion of more abstract, demanding material, regardless of
whether the adolescents have achieved formal thought. Since not all adolescents make the intellectual transition at
the same rate, demands for abstract thinking prior to achievement of that ability may be frustrating.
4. The adolescent must develop expanded verbal skills. As adolescents mature intellectually, as they face increased
school demands, and as they prepare for adult roles, they must develop new verbal skills to accommodate more
complex concepts and tasks. Their limited language of childhood is no longer adequate. Adolescents may appear
less competent because of their inability to express themselves meaningfully.
5. The adolescent must develop a personal sense of identity. Prior to adolescence, one's identity is an extension of
one's parents. During adolescence, a young person begins to recognize her or his uniqueness and separation from
parents. As such, one must restructure the answer to the question "What does it mean to be me?" or "Who am I?"
6. The adolescent must establish adult vocational goals. As part of the process of establishing a personal identity,
the adolescent must also begin the process of focusing on the question "What do you plan to be when you grow
up?" Adolescents must identify, at least at a preliminary level what are their adult vocational goals and how they
intend to achieve those goals.
7. The adolescent must establish emotional and psychological independence from his or her parents. Childhood is
marked by strong dependence on one's parents. Adolescents may yearn to keep that safe, secure, supportive,
dependent relationship. Yet, to be an adult implies a sense of independence, of autonomy, of being one's own
person. Adolescents may vacillate between their desire for dependence and their need to be independent. In an
attempt to assert their need for independence and individuality, adolescents may respond with what appears to be
hostility and lack of cooperation.
8. The adolescent must develop stable and productive peer relationships. Although peer interaction is not unique to
adolescence, peer interaction seems to hit a peak of importance during early and middle adolescence. The degree
to which an adolescent is able to make friends and have an accepting peer group is a major indicator of how well
the adolescent will successfully adjust in other areas of social and psychological development.
9. The adolescent must learn to manage her or his sexuality. With their increased physical and sexual maturity,
adolescents need to incorporate into their personal identity, a set of attitudes about what it means to be male or
female. Their self-image must accommodate their personal sense of masculinity and femininity. Additionally,
they must incorporate values about their sexual behavior.
10. The adolescent must adopt a personal value system. During adolescence, as teens develop increasingly complex
knowledge systems, they also adopt an integrated set of values and morals. During the early stages of moral
development, parents provide their child with a structured set of rules of what is right and wrong, what is
acceptable and unacceptable. Eventually the adolescent must assess the parents' values as they come into conflict
with values expressed by peers and other segments of society. To reconcile differences, the adolescent
restructures those beliefs into a personal ideology.
11. The adolescent must develop increased impulse control and behavioral maturity. In their shift to adulthood,
most young people engage in one or more behaviors that place them at physical, social, or educational risk. Risky
behaviors are sufficiently pervasive among adolescents that risk taking may be a normal developmental process of
adolescence. Risk taking is particularly evident during early and middle adolescence. Gradually adolescents
develop a set of behavioral self-controls through which they assess which behaviors are acceptable and adult-like.

Adolescents do not progress through these multiple developmental tasks separately. At any given time, adolescents may
be dealing with several. Further, the centrality of specific developmental tasks varies with early, middle, and late periods
of the transition. During the early adolescent years young people make their first attempts to leave the dependent, secure
role of a child and to establish themselves as unique individuals, independent of their parents. Early adolescence is
marked by rapid physical growth and maturation. The focus of adolescents' self-concepts are thus often on their physical
self and their evaluation of their physical acceptability. Early adolescence is also a period of intense conformity to peers.
"Getting along," not being different, and being accepted seem somehow pressing to the early adolescent. The worst
possibility, from the view of the early adolescent, is to be seen by peers as "different."

Middle adolescence is marked by the emergence of new thinking skills. The intellectual world of the young person is
suddenly greatly expanded. Although peers still play an important role in the life of middle adolescents, they are
increasingly self-directed. Their concerns about peers are more directed toward their opposite sexed peers. It is also during
this period that the move to establish psychological independence from one's parents accelerates. Much of their
psychological energies are directed toward preparing for adult roles and making preliminary decisions about vocational
goals. Despite some delinquent behavior, middle adolescence is a period during which young people are oriented toward
what is right and proper. They are developing a sense of behavioral maturity and learning to control their impulsiveness.

Late adolescence is marked be the final preparations for adult roles. The developmental demands of late adolescence often
extend into the period that we think of as young adulthood. Late adolescents attempt to crystallize their vocational goals
and to establish sense of personal identity. Their needs for peer approval are diminished and they are largely
psychologically independent from their parents. The shift to adulthood is nearly complete.

Adapted from: Ingersoll, Gary M. (to be published). Normal adolescence. Bloomington, IN: Center for Adolescent
Stages of Adolescent Development
Adolescence is a time of great change for young people when physical changes are happening at an
accelerated rate. But adolescence is not just marked by physical changes -- young people are also
experiencing cognitive, social/emotional and interpersonal changes as well. As they grow and
develop, young people are influenced by outside factors, such as their environment, culture,
religion, school, and the media. A number of different theories or ways of looking at adolescent
development have been proposed (see below). There are biological views (G. Stanley Hall),
psychological views (Freud), psychosocial views (Erikson), cognitive views (Piaget), ecological
views (Bronfenbrenner), social cognitive learning views (Bandura), and cultural views (Mead).
Each theory has a unique focus, but there are many similar elements. While it is true that each
teenager is an individual with a unique personality, special interests, and likes and dislikes, there
are also numerous developmental issues that everyone faces during the early, middle and late
adolescent years (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry).

The normal feelings and behaviors of the middle school and high school adolescent can be
categorized into four broad areas: moving toward independence; future interests and cognitive
development; sexuality; and ethics and self-direction. Specific characteristics of normal adolescent
behavior within each area are described below.

Early Adolescence (Approximately 12-14 years of age)

Movement Toward Independence

Struggle with sense of identity;

Improved abilities to use speech to express oneself;
More likely to express feelings by action than by words;
Close friendships gain importance;
Less attention shown to parents, with occasional rudeness;
Realization that parents are not perfect; identification of their faults;
Search for new people to love in addition to parents;
Tendency to return to childish behavior;
Peer group influences interests and clothing styles.

Future interests and Cognitive Development

Increasing career interests;

Mostly interested in present and near future;
Greater ability to work


Girls ahead of boys;

Shyness, blushing, and modesty;
More showing off; Greater interest in privacy;
Experimentation with body (masturbation);
Worries about being normal

Ethics and Self-Direction

Rule and limit testing;

Occasional experimentation with cigarettes, marijuana, and alcohol;
Capacity for abstract thought
Physical Changes

Gains in height and weight;

Growth of pubic and underarm hair;
Body sweats more;
Hair and skin become more oily;
Breast development and menstruation in girls;
Growth of testicles and penis,
Nocturnal emissions (wet dreams),
Deepening of voice,
Growth of hair on face in boys

Middle Adolescence (approximately 15-16 years)

Movement Toward Independence

Self-involvement, alternating between unrealistically high expectations and poor self-concept;

Complaints that parents interfere with independence;
Extremely concerned with appearance and with one's own body;
Feelings of strangeness about one's self and body;
Lowered opinion of parents, withdrawal from them;
Effort to make new friends;
Strong emphasis on the new peer group;
Periods of sadness as the psychological loss of the parents takes place;
Examination of inner experiences, which may include writing a diary

Future Interests and Cognitive Development

Intellectual interests gain importance;

Some sexual and aggressive energies directed into creative and career interests


Concerns about sexual attractiveness;

Frequently changing relationships;
Movement towards heterosexuality with fears of homosexuality;
Tenderness and fears shown toward opposite sex;
Feelings of love and passion

Ethics and Self-Direction

Development of ideals and selection of role models;

More consistent evidence of conscience;
Greater capacity for setting goals;
Interest in moral reasoning

Physical Changes

Continued height and weight gains;

Growth of pubic and underarm hair;
Body sweats more;
Hair and skin become more oily;
Breast development and menstruation in girls;
Growth of testicles and penis,
Nocturnal emissions (wet dreams),
Deepening of voice,
Growth of hair on face in boys

Late Adolescence (approximately 17-19 years)

Movement Toward Independence

Firmer identity;
Ability to delay gratification;
Ability to think ideas through; Ability to express ideas in words;
More developed sense of humor;
Stable interests;
Greater emotional stability;
Ability to make independent decisions;
Ability to compromise;
Pride in one's work;
Greater concern for others

Future Interests and Cognitive Development

More defined work habits;

Higher level of concern for the future;
Thoughts about one's role in life


Concerned with serious relationships;

Clear sexual identity;
Capacities for tender and sensual love

Ethics and Self-Direction

Capable of useful insight;

Stress on personal dignity and self-esteem;
Ability to set goals and follow through;
Acceptance of social institutions and cultural traditions;
Self-regulation of self esteem

Physical Changes

Most girls fully developed;

Boys continue to gain height, weight, muscle mass, body hair

Teenagers do vary slightly from the above descriptions, but the feelings and behaviors are, in general,
considered normal for each stage of adolescence.


1. PRE- NATAL Age when hereditary endowments and sex are fixed
(CONCEPTION TO BIRTH) and all body features, both external and internal are
2. INFANCY Foundation age when basic behavior are organized and
(BIRTH TO 2 YEARS) many ontogenic maturation skills are developed.
3. EARLY CHILDHOOD Pre-gang age, exploratory, and questioning. Language
(2 TO 6 YEARS) and elementary reasoning are acquired and initial
socialization is experienced.
4. LATE CHILDHOOD Gang and creativity age when self- help skills, social
(6 TO 12 YEARS) skills, school skills, and play are developed.
5. ADOLESCENCE Transition age from childhood to adulthood when sex
(PUBERTY TO 18 YEARS) maturation and rapid physical development occur
resulting to changes in ways of feeling, thinking and
6. EARLY ADULTHOOD Age of adjustment to new patterns of life and roles
(18 to 40 YEARS) such as spouse, parent and bread winner
7. MIDDLE AGE Transition age when adjustments to initial physical and
(40 YEARS TO RETIRMENT) mental decline are experienced.
8. OLD AGE Retirement age when increasingly rapid physical and
(RETIREMENT TO DEATH) mental decline are experienced.


1. Diffusion The adolescent is Gilbert hates the idea of X X

overwhelmed by the deciding to do with his
task of achieving future so he spends most
of his free time playing
video games
2. Foreclosure The adolescent has a For as long as she can X /
status determined by remember Alona,s
adults rather than by parents have told her that
personal exploration. she should be an attorney
and join the family law
firm. She plans to study
pre- law in college, though
shes never given the
matter much thought.
3. Moratorium The adolescent is Yuri enjoys almost all of / X
examining different his high- school classes.
alternatives but has yet Some days he thinks it
to find one thats would be fun to be a
satisfactory. chemist, some days he
wants to be a novelist, and
some days hed like to be
basketball player. He
thinks its a little weird to
change his mind so often,
but he also enjoys
thinking about different
4. Achievement The adolescent has Throughout high school, / /
explored alternatives Yasher wanted to play in
and has deliberately the PBA. During his
chosen a specific senior high, he thought it
identity. would be cool to be a
physician. Now hes
taking an accountancy
course and everything
finally clicked- he
found his calling. He
knew he wanted to
become an accountant.