Changes that Occur during Adolescence and Middle Childhood The adolescence and middle childhood stages of development present complex processes involving sexual maturation. Physically, females would have their breasts begin to grow, hips expand and pubic hair begins to grow. They would begin menstruation which according to Kail and Cavanaugh (2013) marks physical ability of such persons to procreate. Just like the males, they would grow taller. The males would develop not just pubic but also facial hair as their voices deepen and begin to experience sperm-producing ejaculations, which similarly indicate their procreation abilities. Another domain of development experienced at this stage would be cognitive, which describes human perception of the world and their dealing with issues such as thinking, memory and decision making (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2013). During middle childhood, thoughts about the world transform from being simplistic to concrete with subjects involved in logical thinking. Adolescents would have their cognitive judgments mostly overridden by impulses and feelings due to the rapid biological and physical changes experienced. Finally, looking at how humans at this stage would handle relationships, social situations, emotions and societal roles, it would be important to analyze socioemotional changes. According to Kail and Cavanaugh (2013), middle childhood would mostly encompass transition from being oriented to the family to peer orientation which would continue into adulthood.
Adolescents would be keen on sexuality, conflict and resolution, identity and internal stability. While the cognitive and physical development domains would be universal across the globe, socioemotional domain would be pegged on cultural practices. Effect of Family Dynamics on Development during Adolescence and Middle Childhood The family creates the foundational reality for adolescents as they conform to family culture (Bell, L. & Bell, D., 2005). The meanings, expectations and thought patterns pervade through the entire life of such persons. Open care giving from parents results in internal working models which make them open and secure in their later lives. Security and support causes optimism. In fact, Rathus (2010) notes that higher parental support level would cause higher social competence, self esteem, better academic achievement and better psychological adjustment. While most parents would be more focused on meeting the attachment needs of their children, adolescents would be more focused on autonomy, a situation giving rise to individuation. Autonomy, such as that provided by a dysfunctional family, offers a non-shared environment that causes the children to develop raw and disrespectful behavior. But Veronneau and Dishion (2010) argue that individuation would increase the assertion of ideas, with parents ensuring acknowledgement of individuality and comfort with each others’ differences. Additional Pressures during Adolescence compared to Middle Childhood With growth and development towards middle childhood, there would be experiences of interaction and acceptance among peers. Friendship being an important development at this stage would fulfill the need for intimacy, companionship, communal and acceptance. Come adolescence, the child would be more focused on oneself and other people’