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Unit6Discussion Response

Response Guidelines

Read as many of your peers’ posts as time allows, and respond to at least two of them. Try to choose posts that have had the fewest responses.

Your responses to other learners are expected to be substantive in nature and to reference the assigned readings, as well as other theoretical, empirical, or professional literature to support your views and writings. Use the following critique guidelines: The clarity and completeness of your peer’s post. The demonstrated ability to apply theory to practice. The credibility of the references. The structure and style of the written post.

C. Rowan (peer 1)

Adolescence is known by the changes in cognitive, physical, and psychological development. These changes occur to adapt to what is happening around them and what is expected of them (Steinunn, 2008.) Therefore, this requires a person to adapt individually to the circumstances and the environment around them. In many cases this is referred to as context acting on the person and the person acting on the context (Steinunn, 2008.)

With this information we can understand that action and understanding will change in relation to the cultural environment that one was brought up in. For example, American and Chinese culture, the vast differences cause the development to differ. Where American culture is relaxed on education and moving at one’s own pace Chinese culture is strict causing study habits and commitment habits to differ (Graaff, 2014.) This information provides a clear understanding of how we must approach adolescence and the information they take in and process from their environment. 

Gender also influences physical and cognitive developments, such as the development of empathy between males and females. For example, development of empathy compared between boys and girls, the information shows that girls score higher in this area. The article also provided information showing that boys that are more physically fit show lower levels of empathetic concern (Graaff, 2014.) Gender causes difference in hormone levels which causes developmental changes to appear at different times throughout adolescence between men and women.

Though, it is difficult to pinpoint the physical change that signals adulthood as it is seen as subjective than an exact science (Broderick, 2014.) 

Broderick, P. C., Blewitt, P. (01/2014). Life Span, The: Human Development for Helping Professionals, 4th Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from

Gestsdottir, S., & Lerner, R. M. (2008). Positive Development in Adolescence: The Development and Role of Intentional Self-Regulation. Human Development, 51(3), 202-224. doi:10.1159/000135757

Graaff, J. V., Branje, S., Wied, M. D., Hawk, S., Lier, P. V., & Meeus, W. (2014). Perspective taking and empathic concern in adolescence: Gender differences in developmental changes. Developmental Psychology, 50(3), 881-888. doi:10.1037/a0034325

L. Rinner (peer 2)

The physical and cognitive changes that a child goes through to become an adolescent are immense. The physical changes are marked by the beginning of puberty; otherwise known as the sexual maturation stage (Broderick & Blewitt, 2014, p.326). For girls, this means that the breasts develop, hips broaden, pubic hair grows, and they will have their first menstruation near the end of this process. Boys also develop pubic hair, testes and scrotum grow, their voices deepen, and near the end of their process they will experience their first ejaculation. According to Broderick and Blewitt (2014), same sex parent age of menarche/spermarche is usually indicative of when an adolescent will have theirs, but not always (p.326). In a study completed by Louis et al (2008), there was a positive correlation between the adolescent’s BMI and precocious puberty; defined as development of secondary sex characteristics at or before the age of eight in both boys and girls (p.198). Another study by Colon et al (2000) claimed a positive correlation between serum pesticide exposure (through food ingestion) and early breast development in girls (p.897). Therefore, environmental factors may be contributing to our children looking sexually developed at a very young age. Broderick and Blewitt (2014) say that these changes also come with a price later in life; children that experience early onset puberty are more likely to experience breast cancer and behavioral and mental health issues (p.327).

On the other side of development, a child must also determine their ideals. This is a major part of cognitive development. Figuring out who you are as a person can lead to changes in personality, moodiness, and anxiety in adolescents (Broderick and Blewitt, 2014, p. 344). This can be particularly difficult for LGBTQ adolescents. It is difficult and awkward enough trying to find yourself and place within society when you are in the majority. LGBTQ adolescents feel even more different and unusual than average, thus leading them to engage in more risky behaviors than their cisgender/heterosexual counterparts (Broderick and Blewitt, 2014, p.414).

In conclusion, we have all gone through puberty and comprehend what adolescents feel when they are going through it. Hopefully, one day sexual, physical, and cognitive development will not be a social taboo and we will be able to make this process as comfortable as possible for our youth.


Broderick, P. C., Blewitt, P. (01/2014). Life Span, The: Human Development for Helping Professionals, 4th Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from

Colón, I., Caro, D., Bourdony, C. J., & Rosario, O. (2000). Identification of phthalate esters in the serum of young puerto rican girls with premature breast development. Environmental Health Perspectives, 108(9), 895-900. 10.1289/ehp.00108895

Louis, G. M., Gray, L. E., Marcus, M., Ojeda, S. R., Pescovitz, O. H., Witchel, S. F., . . . Euling, S. Y. (2008). Environmental Factors and Puberty Timing: Expert Panel Research Needs. Pediatrics, 121(Supplement 3). doi:10.1542/peds.1813e