Puberty is a process of growth that every individual has to go through. It is defined as the transition from childhood to adulthood (Weiner, 2003). During this period, girls and boys begin growing and developing sexual organs. Besides, their bodies get the abilities to reproduce. Our bodies tend to grow faster during this transition compared to any other time in or lives, apart from when were babies. The puberty stage comprises of a sequence of physical stages, which impact in the achievement of fertility. The steps also result into the development of secondary sexual features. These refer to the physical characteristics that are linked to mature adults (Arnett, 2004). Apart from puberty encompassing a series of physical and biological changes, the process may also affect the psychological as well as emotional development of young people going through puberty. In certain occasions, the above transformations may take people to feel happy and proud. However, there are some times when the changes may give them the feeling of embarrassment and confusion. All these will be based on the timing of the onset of this stage.
Usually, the puberty stage will begin between the stages of eight and thirteen years for girls. In the same way, it starts between the ages of nine and fifteen years in boys (Gluckman & Hanson, 2006). We notice that there is quite a wide gap in ages prior to the onset of the puberty stage. The variation in the time of onset of puberty mainly depends on the nutritional and environmental impacts. Thus, it is possible to meet two people of the same age with one looking more mature than the other.
Girls and boys usually experience adverse effects of the early and late onset of the process of puberty. The experiences of the young boys and girls in the video, ‘’Teens and Puberty’’ (Parents Magazine, 2009) is quite the same as what other girls and boys go through during puberty. Parents should therefore, be more careful when handling their children at this stage. Although much attention is focused on the impacts of puberty on girls, boys are also affected by early and late onset of this process. I had a bad experience during my time. However, after reading these relevant books about the topic, I now feel that whatever I was going through was very normal.
Although some people feel happy and consider puberty as a great stage because of growing up, I had a different. I really experienced some problems with my delayed puberty and when I finally experienced it, I felt no difference because of the stress I went through while waiting. In my own opinion, puberty matters a lot when it comes at the right moment. I used to love football and would play it at school with my friends as we grew up. However, I began avoiding my friends and later on went ahead to stop playing football. This is as a result of the frustrations that I was experiencing while sharing my time with these friends. My puberty occurred at a later stage that expected. My friends would always call me a baby when in the changing room before and after games, something that made me feel so embarrassed. It was true since I was the smallest in my year, although I was older that some of my classmates. I was twelve years but one could easily confuse me for a 9 or 8 years old boy. The other boys had developed muscles and chests, which made them, look older than me. Besides, they were proud of their deep voices as well as the other developments that had gone through.
I always felt shy and believed that I was abnormal. This even made it challenging for me to share with anyone since we had learned about it in class, yet I had not undergone these stages despite experiencing the onset stage. One day, I gained the courage to talk about it with my father. Luckily, he shared with me what he underwent during his time and assured me that whatever I was experiencing was normal and I was not different from others. He told me that he also went through a similar problem. He gave me the assurance that once I began the process, I would grow as big as my friends or even more than some of them. This relieved me from the worries.
Based on my experience, I feel that it is true that young undergo different impacts associated with their growth and development because of puberty. Some of these impacts are consequential while others are beneficial. The most affected development domain is the psychological development, although the cognitive and physical developments are affected based on how the boys and girls will react to the processes related to puberty. Foremost, puberty is first evident in physical growth. The biological developments take place differently in boys and girls. This implies that boys and girls will experience physical growth in different ways. However, brain development spurts are the same in both boys and girls. In fact, peak periods of quick brain growth occur during the adolescence stage (Dahl, 2004). This consequently affects the psychological structures of adolescents. If these people are able to interact with the environment in such a complex way, they will be able to think abstractly and make meaningful decisions in their lives. They will have the ability of analyzing situations beyond the given information so as to make conclusions on the issues. They no longer hold information at face value.
However, most adolescents have problems with their physical developments. They always tend to use their developed brains to think about themselves and their physical developments. They take a lot of time worrying about what other people could be thinking about them. Besides, they also think that people re attentive to their actions, what they eat, wear or even speak. This makes them to become self conscious. They always strive to do things that would not embarrass them. This is because these teenagers become very sensitive to any form of criticism. They are just not aware of what they want in life, as they are much concerned with their identity (Kroger, 2007). Many would avoid pursuing their desires just in case they realize that it attracts the attention of others, or may embarrass them. This leads to lots of confusion among adolescents between their identity and role. This issue also affects the social development of teenagers (Moshman, D (2011).
In conclusion, the environment has a greater influence on the process of puberty and three main domains of development. The environment here is used to refer to family, friends and the relatives of the adolescents. It is our responsibility to assists these teenagers during this important stage of growth.
Arnett, J. J. (2004). Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood. (2nd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Dahl, R. E. (2004). Adolescent brain development: a period of vulnerabilities and opportunities. Keynote address. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1021(1), 1-22.
Gluckman, P. D., & Hanson, M. A. (2006). Evolution, development and timing of puberty. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 17(1), 7-12.
Kroger, J. (2007). Identity development: adolescence through adulthood (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Moshman, D. (2011). Adolescent rationality and development cognition, morality, and identity (3rd Ed.). New York: Psychology Press.
“Teens and Puberty”. (23 Mar 2009). Parents Magazine. Web. 5 Mar 2014. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nabx01II8Zg&noredirect=1
Weiner, I. B. (2003). Handbook of psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.