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the transition between childhood and adulthood that begins with puberty. Longest childhood stage. Ending is hard to define. 3 phases: early (11-12 years), middle (14-16 years), and late (16-18 years)

anorexia nervosa

an eating disorder in which young people, mainly females, starve themselves because of a compulsive fear of getting fat and an extremely distorted body image (on bulletin board)

body image

conception of an attitude toward one's physical appearance

bulimia nervosa

an eating disorder in which individuals, mainly females, engage in strict dieting and excessive exercise accompanied by binge eating, often followed by deliberate vomiting and purging with laxatives. (on bulletin board)

formal operational stage

Piaget's highest stage, beginning around 11 years of age, in which adolescents develop the capacity for abstract, systematic, scientific thinking

growth spurt

rapid gain in height and weight that is the first outward sign of puberty

hypothetico-deductive reasoning

a formal operational problem-solving strategy in which adolescents begin with a hypothesis, or prediction, about variables that might affect an outcome. From the hypothesis, they deduce logical, testable inferences. Then they systematically isolate an combine variables to see which of those inferences are confirmed in the real world

imaginary audience

adolescents' belief that they are the focus of everyone else's attention and concern


first menstruation

personal fable

adolescent's belief that they are special and unique. Leads them to conclude that others cannot possibly understand their thoughts and feelings and may promote a sense of invulnerability to danger

primary sexual characteristics

physical features that involve the reproductive organs (ovaries, uterus, and vagina in females; penis, scrotum, and testes in males)

propositional thought

a type of formal operational reasoning involving the ability to evaluate the logic of propositions (verbal statements) without referring to real-world circumstances


biological changes at adolescence that lead to an adult-sized body and sexual maturity

secondary sexual characteristics

physical features visible on the outside of the body that serve as signs of sexual maturity but do not involve the reproductive organs (for example, breast development in females, voice change and facial hair in boy, appearance of underarm hair and pubic hair in both sexes)

secular trend

a change from one generation to the next in an aspect of development, such as body size or pubertal timing

sex hormones

estrogens and androgens (MORE estrogens in girls, MORE androgens in boys - both sexes have each)


more in girls - adrenal estrogens


more in boys - testoterone

sexual maturation

maturation of the reproductive organs (just because a girl is menstruating does not mean she is sexually mature - egg may not be released) & the secondary sex characteristics

sexual orientation

an enduring sexual attraction toward members of either one's own sex or the other sex


context is defined by people's feelings concerning their masculine or feminine natures, their abilities to give and receive love and affection, and finally their roles in reproduction of the species

sexually transmitted diseases

diseases that are spread from one person to another during sexual contact


a syndrome caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that renders immune cells ineffective, permitting opportunistic infections, malignancies, and neurologic diseases to develop; transmitted sexually or through contaminated blood


A sexually transmitted disease, the most common in developed countries, caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Often producing no symptoms, it can cause infertility, chronic pain, or a tubal pregnancy if left untreated.


any of a group of herpes viruses that enlarge epitheltial cells and can cause birth defects; can affect humans with impaired immunological systems

human papilloma virus (genital warts)

This viral STD is one of the most common in the world; causes genital warts and some types of cervical cancer. Controversial Vaccine called Gardisil is recommended for all girls between ages of 9 and 26


contagious, inflammatory sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterial organism that affects the mucous membranes of the genitourinary system

herpes simplex I/II

either of two herpes diseases caused by a herpesvirus that infects humans and some other animals and produces small, transient blisters on the skin or mucous membranes, one type of virus (herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1) usually associated with oral herpes but also causing genital herpes and the other (herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2) usually causing genital herpes.


an STD caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum that affects many body organs and parts, including the genitals, brain, skin, and nervous tissue (manifests as painless red papules on skin)


first ejaculation of seminal fluid (usually during nighttime emission)

substance use/abuse

alcohol is the most common early drug;
abusers - more antisocial, more likely to be affected by genetic and environmental influences;
use leads to abuse

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