Psychological Foundation of Education: Growth and Development

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Growth and Development

Adolescence: Different Developmental Trends

  • Adolescence is the most impressionable period of one՚s life.
  • It has been called a period of storm and stress as it is the period when every adolescent is undergoing a mysterious, highly unpleasant transformation which make them sullen, moody, slovenly, and rebellious.
  • The term “adolescence” is derived from the Latin verb, which means “to grow to maturity.”
  • It is that span of life during which boys and girls move from childhood to adulthood mentally, emotionally, socially, and physically.
  • Some of the adjectives attached with adolescence are ″ spring of life, ″ teen age, ″ ″ hero worship, ″ ″ normative crisis ″ etc.

Hurlock has classified entire range of adolescence period as follows:


  • 11 to 13 years of age (girls)
  • 13 to 15 years of age (boys)


  • 13 to 15 years (girls)
  • 15 to 17 years (boys)


  • 15 to 19 years (girls)
  • 17 to 19 years (boys)


  • 18 to 21 years (girls)
  • 19 to 21 years (boys)

Physical Development in Adolescence

  • Adolescence is the period of rapid physical growth and drastic bodily changes.
  • Due to hyperactivity of endocrine glands there is sudden change in height and weight.
  • This period initiates the transition to adulthood in child.
  • There are pubertal changes in both boys and girls which brings changes not only in physical appearance, but adolescence acquires great energy.

Psychosexual Development in Adolescence

  • The psychosexual development during adolescence passes through three stages viz. narcissistic or self-love, homosexual (loving the person of the same sex) , and finally the heterosexual (loving the person of opposite sex) stage.
  • As a normal feature heterosexuality begins at puberty and continue throughout the life.

Emotional Development in Adolescence

  • The adolescent is prepared for any sacrifice demanded of him for the sake of his friend.
  • Adolescent love is of the most selfless kind.
  • The love impulse of the adolescent can easily be directed towards great men which leads to the phenomenon of “hero-worship.”
  • The adolescent is most open to religious influences.
  • Freud has long portrayed adolescence as a period of emotional tumult.

Cognitive Development in Adolescence

  • Formal Operational stage is identified with adolescence.
  • At this stage, the adolescence become involved in abstract thought about things and are not bound by their immediate environment.
  • The development of formal operation provides the ability to reason and construct logic useful for all classes of problems.
  • Adolescent are now able to conjecture, to hypothesize, and deal in the ‘what if.’
  • At formal operational stage adolescents develop the abilities of hypothetical, analogical, deductive thinking, and reasoning.
  • Another characteristic of this stage ‘adolescent egocentrism.’
  • Intelligence is at its best at adolescence.

Social Development in Adolescence

  • The conflict defining this stage is ‘identity versus role confusion.’
  • Gregarious instinct plays an important role in this period.
  • Development of conscience and “peer culture,” the total of spontaneous social manifestations among age-mates, is most influential during the adolescence.
  • Young people begin to establish autonomy from the family and define personal values and goals.
  • Self – consciousness also increases during this stage.
  • This age of individual needs guidance and direction.

Moral Development in Adolescence

  • During adolescence morality passes through conventional obedience to authority, mutual interpersonal expectation, and conformity.
  • This is the stage of social contract or utility which leads to universal ethical principles, the stage of conscience where the individual follows self-chosen ethical principles in a situation of mutual respect and trust.
  • Any advancement in morality requires advanced intellectual functioning.
  • Bull (1969) has pointed out moral development during adolescence as socionomy.
  • All the theories of moral development draw our attention to the fact that there is an important emotional dimension to moral development. Morality and emotion go hand in hand.


1) Which period of man՚s life is known as the period of ‘storm and stress’ ?

(a) Childhood

(b) Adolescence

(c) Infancy

(d) Old age

Ans: (b)

Developed by: