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Middle School and Junior High (Ages 11-13)

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Understanding Young Teens Developmental Chart

Phase

Task

Typical

Behavior

Preadolescence
(9-11)
Begin to form ties outside family. Physical restlessness: fidgeting.Arguments with parents over rules, neatness, time management. "Bathroom" humor.Boys part of "gang," companions in adventures.
Girls choose "best" friend to share secrets.
Early Adolescence
(12-13)
Gain some independence from parent rules and values.Adjust to new body image. Self-absorption, touchiness.Impulsive, inconsistent mood swings.Constantly hungry, but can be finicky eater. "Bedroom" humor.Develops close friend like self, often someone with qualities wished for in self.May develop "crush" on older man or woman.
Adolescence
(14-15)
Discover personal strengths and capabilities.Develop ability for abstract thought.Turn toward relationships with opposite sex.Form sexual identity. Intense emotional life-heightened senses (especially eye and ear)Analyze ideas and consider own values.First "tender love." Test own limits--excessive physical exertion or risk-taking.
Late Adolescence
(16-18)
Consolidate personality.Self-regulate behavior.Gain physical independence from parents. Predictable.Take responsibility for self and actions.Choose vocational goals. Prepare for marriage and parenthood.


Original Publication Date:

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

Disclaimer: Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension or bias against those not mentioned.

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