Stages of Life Development: High School

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Benchmarks The high school years are a unique time in a teenager's life. At this stage, teenagers experience a variety of changes that will help shape them into the adults they will become. Teenagers undergo changes in behavior, physical growth, thinking, and social dynamics. They are beginning to ask tough questions, grasp meanings and connections, and establish personal values, beliefs, and boundaries. Spiritual Teenagers approach their faith and topics connected to faith through a questioning lens. Developmentally, they are asking complex questions and trying to understand the reasons for things as they search for truth and solidify their beliefs. Social Socially, high schoolers are focusing on discovering who they are and how they fit into the world around them. This can lead to teens trying out different groups, clubs, activities, and friend groups. Interest in romantic relationships also increases for teenagers during this time. Emotional Teenagers are becoming more aware of their own feelings as well as the feelings of others. During this stage, teens are confronted by many emotions, and because of hormonal increases, teens tend to be easily swayed by these emotions. They may have difficulty making decisions. They are shifting from insecurity to self- confidence and acceptance of who they are throughout this stage. Intellectual Teenage brain growth is similar to that of early childhood. Teens experience the development of new brain cells, the organization of those brain cells as they are used, and the building of connections between brain cells. This leads to the ability of teenagers to learn in more advanced ways and to gain new skills. The planning, abstract- thinking, and decision-making part of the brain is the last to develop. Physical High schoolers are undergoing a variety of physical changes as they transition to adulthood, and these can come at different ages for each teenager. They experience a surge of hormones, leading to bigger and stronger bones, fertility changes, and the ability to sustain more stress on their bodies. High School • 2 • cph.org • Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House

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