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Flashcards in Ch. 8 Deck (45)
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involves hormonal and physical changes that contribute to sexual maturity and adult height
- takes an avg of 5 years
- today is typically an early teenage change


puberty rite

a "coming of age" ritual, usually beginning at some event such as first menstruation, held in traditional cultures to celebrate children's transition to adulthood


secular trend in puberty

a century long decline in the avg age at which children reach puberty in the developed world
- an index of nation's economic development



a girl's first menstruation



a boy's first ejaculation of live sperm


secular trend in puberty:
a) 1860s in europe
b) 1960s
c) today

a) avg age menarche over 17
b) avg age dropped to under 13
c) menarche before 13 for many


hormonal programmers: adrenal androgens

- produced by adrenal glands
- program aspects of puberty
> promote growth of hair, influence skin changes, program sexual desires
- androgens begin secretion in middle childhood


hormonal programmers: HPG axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, gonad)

- main hormonal system programming puberty
- hypothalamus triggers the pituitary to secrete its hormones, which in turn, trigger the gonads to secrete their hormones, which produce major body changes



- sex organs
- testes
- ovaries


andrenal androgens:

- testes and estrogen
- found in both sexes
- program sexual desire and skin and bodily hair growth


primary sexual characteristics:

- changes that directly involve the organs of reproduction; rate variations
- growth of uterus, maturation of the ovaries, onset of menarche
- growth of penis, testes, onset of spermarche


secondary sexual characteristics

- physical changes not directly involved in reproduction
- hair growth, voice changes, acne, breast development


growth spurt:

- dramatic increase in weight and height


puberty timetables: girls

- 6 months after growth spurt begins development of breasts and pubic hair occurs
- menarche begins in middle to final stage
- rate of change is variable; affected by when process starts
- dramatic internal changes


puberty timetables: boys

- after growth of testes and penis begins, growth of body hair, height, and muscle mass
- change in cardiovascular system, frame, larynx
- hands, legs, and feet grow first


what are the changes in blood hemoglobin during puberty in males and females?

- blood hemoglobin (cm/100ml) in boys and girls remains around the same until age 16 when the blood hemoglobin level spikes in boys and reaches around 17 (cm/ 100ml) at age 18, while the girls blood hemoglobin stays at 14 (cm/ 100ml)


what are the changes in rbcs during puberty in males and females?

- the rbc count (millions/ levels for boys and girls remain the same, slowly increasing, until age 12 when the Boyds rbc count greatly increases until age 18. at age 18 the boys blood cell count reaches 54 (millions/ while the girls reach their peak at 46 (millions/ at 18


overweight and early puberty:

- childhood weight predicts when a girl physically matures
> linked to rapid weight gain during first months o life and high BMI in elementary school
- data is inconsistent


questions that predict a female child's chance of reaching puberty at a younger than avg age?

- did this girls parents reach puberty early?
- is this girl African American?
- is this girl overweight? did she gain weight rapidly during her first year of life?
- has this girls family life been stressful and unhappy? did she have an insecure attachment?


an insider's view of puberty: basic principle

- changes are exciting and frightening
- reactions depend on social norms and reactions of individual family members


an insider's view of puberty: breast development

- western cultures = pride


an insider's view of puberty: menstruation

- varying responses; 1 in 3 disgusted or ambivalent


an insider's view of puberty: spermarche/ first ejaculation

- tendency to be secretive


evolutionary psychology perspective:

- some developmentalists argue that when family stress is intense, nature might build in a mechanism to accelerate sexual maturity and free a child from. an inhospitable nest


what does an unhappy childhood signal according to researchers?

- signals the body to expect a short life and pushes adult fertility at a younger age


what is the most important force predicting your puberty timetable?

- genetics


why is being early a problem for girls?

- special risk of developing acting out behaviors
> gravitate to older friends
> unprotected sex
> possible bullying victims
> possible disconnect from school (poor grades)
- risk of becoming anxious/depressed
> body dissatisfaction
> self consciousness
- wrapping up puberty
> environmental contact will affect child's reaction to puberty
> with early maturing girls, arranging the best body environment fit is important
> especially for boys, communication about puberty can be improved


interventions: minimizing puberty distress: for parents

- make an effort to communicate about pubertal changes with same sex child
- help children get involved in positive activities


interventions: minimizing puberty distress: for society

- recognize importance of school environment
- provide earlier introduction to sex education (UNESCO global guidelines)
- provide nurturing environment to set adolescents on right path


body image and dietary issues: Susan carter's research

- feelings of competence in 5 domains related to overall self esteem
> scholastic competence, behavioral conduct, athletic skills, peer likability, appearance
- for adolescents, contentment with one's appearance outweighs any other category, more for girls
- if we are happy with how we look, we are likely to be happy with who we are as human beings
- not just true of teenagers in the US, but true of other western countries among people of various stages of life
- boys need to feel content with their appearance just as much, if not more than girls (Mellor et al. 2010) they want to build muscles while girls want to lose weight