Cognitive Development As A Young Person As They Reach Puberty

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Cognitive Development in Adolescents

Adolescence is a time when individuals go through many changes. These changes occur in the bodies and brains of the teen. The order of pubertal maturation is similar among most people. But the timing is different in some, if not all individuals. Studies have been conducted on the stages of maturation in young people. These studies range from one, which showed no signs of development, to 5 which showed full signs of development (Mendle, Harden, Brooks-Gunn, & Graber, 2010). When a child reaches adolescence not only does their body change, but their brain does as well. These new changes mixed with the environment can cause some alterations in emotions and cognition (Steinberg, 2010). The adolescents
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When a child hits puberty their brain starts thinking differently then when they were younger (Elkind, 1967). They are now able to conceive their own thoughts. With these newly developed notions they are able to reason more accurately (Elkind, 1967). Another aspect that comes with the maturation of the brain, is the new awareness for the thoughts of not only themselves but others (Elkind, 1967). Although this is a new found perspective of thinking for teens, they are still not able to discern what others are thinking and their own mental preoccupations. (Elkind, 1967). In other words, he/she thinks that others are just as interested in his or her appearance and behavior as they are. This is the egocentrism that is faced during puberty (Elkind, 1967).
Prefrontal Cortex and Limbic System:

Additionally, during puberty the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system are also developing ( B.J., Getz, & Galvan, 2008). The prefrontal cortex, the more rational side of the brain, is still immature in the adolescent’s brain. Whereas the limbic system, the more pleasure seeking side of the brain, is being used to make decisions by most teens (Steinberg, 2010). It has been suggested that the rate of adolescent risk taking is very high (Steinberg, 2008). The changes that transpire in the prefrontal cortex, put young people at a higher risk of reckless behavior (Steinberg, 2008). During middle adolescence (ages 14-17) risky behavior is
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