San Diego State University Children Development & Early Puberty Discussion

Question Description

During puberty massive amounts of hormones drive the physical changes to the body that we observe. But as discussed in the readings those hormones also cause extensive changes in the organization of the brain. Certain connections are strengthened, others are lessened and still others are newly created. This affects intellectual abilities such as the capacity for abstract thought, social cognition and the ability to grasp advanced moral principles. I often refer to this as the brain going from ‘information acquisition mode’ to ‘information application mode.’ Young adults become more adept at using what they know and applying their knowledge and skills to solving problems. It is also during this delicate transition period that a number of mental illnesses emerge such as mood and anxiety disorders as well as schizophrenia.

I’ve provided links to a number of short articles that summarize recent research investigating different aspects of puberty.

So for this assignment I’d like you to read the articles and then answer the numbered questions. The easiest way for you to do that is probably to have one window open to this assignment and one to your word processor. Then upload your answers when you’re done.

These first three articles concern the early onset of puberty in modern western societies. Children are entering puberty two to three years earlier than in times past. And this is particularly true of females, with average onset at 12.5 years old in the United States and Europe. Some show signs of changes beginning as young as eight.

Question 1. What factors are believed to be involved that have contributed to this change?

Question 2. What are some of the potential problems that coincide with the early onset of puberty?

These two articles discuss different aspects of what’s actually happening inside the brain and nervous system during the course of puberty.

Question 3. What happens to sensory pathways in the brain, such as those responsible for visual processing?

Question 4. What happens to pathways in the brain having to do with advanced social skills (understanding the perspective of another), self-control and decision making?

These final two articles discuss gender differences in brain development over the course of puberty and beyond.

Question 5. Discuss the gender differences in brain development over the course of puberty and beyond.

Question 6. Taken together, what do these findings tell about us about the role of these changes taking place during puberty in the development of certain mental illnesses?

typing:Times new roman 12

Im looking for 500 words

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