Growth and Development of the Adolescent 

Growth and Development of the Adolescent 

Growth and Development of the Adolescent 

1. Jeff, a 14-year-old boy, is being seen at the local health department for a required physical examination in order to play organized sports with his high school. He is accompanied by his mother, Betty. Before the test, Betty tells the nurse that Jeff is her only son and only teenager. She is unsure what is happening with his body but is aware of the recent dramatic changes Jeff has experienced. (Learning Objectives 1 and 2)

a. What can the nurse teach Betty and Jeff about puberty and the changes it is responsible for in adolescents?

b. What are some of the integumentary changes that occur in adolescence and that Jeff may be experiencing?

c. What can the nurse teach Betty about adolescence’s psychosocial and cognitive stages?




Growth and Development of the Adolescent




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Growth and Development of the Adolescent

Adolescence, a life-changing voyage from childhood innocence to adult complexity, is a period of spectacular growth and development, shaping one’s entire life trajectory. Adolescence is a crucial period of growth and development that marks the conversion from childhood to adulthood. This life-changing stage entails physical, cognitive, and socioeconomic changes, modifying individuals into the adults they will become. During adolescence, growth and development are metamorphosing and have profound outcomes on an individual’s health in later life, as well as the health of any potential children (Norris et al., 2022). One of the most visible aspects of adolescent growth is rapid physical development, featured by crucial changes in height, weight, and sexual maturation. This period is frequently accompanied by the onset of puberty, triggering hormonal changes and the development of secondary sexual features. Besides these physical changes, adolescents encounter a surge in cognitive abilities, highlighted by heightened reasoning, adolescent thinking, and identity formation. The adolescent brain undergoes extensive rewiring, improving executive functions and permitting more complex decision-making procedures. However, socioeconomic development takes center during this time, as adolescents navigate new relationships, develop a sense of autonomy, and grapple with their own emotions and identity. The growth and development of adolescents are intricate and multifaceted as they strive to find their place in the globe and lay the foundation for their future adult lives. This paper will explore a case study on the growth and development of the adolescent of Jeff, a 14-year-old boy seen at the local health department for a required physical assessment in order to play organized sports with his high school. Eventually, this essay will look at the teaching that the nurse can teach Betty and Jeff about Puberty and the changes it is responsible for in adolescents, some of the integumentary changes that occur in adolescence and that Jeff may be encountering, and finally, the teaching that the nurse can offer Betty about the psychosocial and cognitive stages of adolescence.

Puberty Education for Adolescents

Puberty is a logical and standard procedure occurring in adolescents, particularly between the age of 8 and 14 for boys. It is a rapid growth and development period marked by crucial physical, emotional, and hormonal changes. The nurse can equip Betty and Jeff with an inclusive comprehension of puberty and its effects. At first, the nurse can explicate that hormonal changes in the body stimulate puberty (Coupal et al., 2019). The brain releases hormones that signal the onset of puberty, in turn stimulating the reproductive organs to start their development. These hormonal changes are accountable for the physical changes Jeff has been encountering. Spurt development is one of the most perceptible changes during puberty (Holmgren et al., 2021). The nurse can inform Betty and Jeff that Jeff’s body is developing rapidly, and he may encounter a sudden elevation in height. Other physical changes include the development of facial and body hair, voice deepening, and the enlargement of the testicles and the penis. The nurse may also address the development of secondary sexual features. Betty may notice that Jeff’s body is becoming more muscular as his shoulders broaden and his body shape changes. The nurse can elucidate that the changes result from elevated testosterone levels, a hormone responsible for masculine development.

Moreover, the nurse should address sexual maturation and the development of reproductive organs. Betty can be informed that Jeff’s testicles will progress to grow, and he will begin producing sperm. They can also address the changes in the reproductive system of girls, although it may not directly apply to Jeff. Emotionally, the nurse can elucidate that puberty frequently brings about mood swings and changes in behavior, as it is normal for teenagers to encounter a range of emotions as they navigate these new physical changes and hormonal fluctuations (Australia, 2023). The nurse can encourage Betty and Jeff that emotional changes are expected in adolescence. Finally, the nurse can emphasize the significance of good hygiene and self-care during puberty. As Jeff’s body changes, it is essential for him to maintain proper hygiene and regular bathing and deodorant use. The nurse can equip guidance on skincare and the significance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep. Comprehensively, the nurse can equip Betty and Jeff with a thorough comprehension of puberty, elucidating the physical, emotional, and hormonal changes accompanying this phase of life. By addressing their concerns and equipping accurate information, the nurse can assist them in navigating this period with confidence and reassurance.

Integumentary Changes in Adolescence

During adolescence, the integumentary system, including the skin, hair, and nails, undergoes several changes as a part of average growth. Jeff, being a 14-year-old boy, maybe encounter various integumentary changes. One crucial change is puberty’s onset, distinguished by the development of secondary sexual features (Wierenga et al., 2018). In boys, this involves the growth of facial and body hair. Jeff may notice new hair on his face, underarms, and in the pubic region. These changes happen because of the elevated production of androgens like testosterone. Another change that Jeff may be encountering is the development of acne. During adolescence, hormonal fluctuations can also result in an elevation in sebum production, clogging the hair follicles and forming pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Acne commonly impacts the face, chest, and back and can range in severity (Skroza et al., 2018). In addition, Jeff’s skin may be changing texture and oiliness. The sebaceous glands become more agile during puberty, resulting in oilier skin. This can contribute to the growth of acne but can also make the skin appear shiner and potentially lead to an elevated incidence of oily scalp and dandruff. However, Jeff may notice an elevation in sweat production. The sweat glands become more agile during adolescence, increasing sweating, specifically in the underarms and groin area (Yong, 2022). This can lead to body odor, and proper hygiene practices are essential. Finally, Jeff may encounter growth spurts, causing stretch marks. Rapid growth can result in the stretching of the skin, particularly around areas like the thighs, buttocks, and breasts in girls. These stretch marks, also known as striae, frequently appear as pink or purplish lines, gradually fading to white over time. Betty and Jeff must comprehend that these integumentary changes are standard parts of adolescent development. Moreover, if Jeff has concerns or encounters any severe discomfort or skin problems, it would be recommendable for him to consult with a healthcare professional for further assessment and guidance.

The Nurse Teachings to Betty about the Psychosocial and Cognitive Stages of Adolescence

Adolescence is a crucial period of development distinguished by significant psychosocial and cognitive changes. Psychosocially, it is a time when adolescents strive for independence and autonomy, pursuing to develop their own identity separate from their parents (McCurdy et al., 2020). They may reveal mood swings, emotional sensitivity, and a desire for elevated privacy. Betty needs to comprehend that these changes are a normal part of Jeff’s development and that he may go through periods of self-doubt and confusion as he traverses distinct aspects of his identity. Cognitively, adolescence is marked by rapid brain growth, including improved thinking abilities and a high capacity for abstract reasoning (Larsen & Luna, 2018). Betty can expect Jeff to become more capable of considering multiple approaches and solving multiple issues. Moreover, his decision-making skills may still develop, and he may require guidance and support to make accountable choices. It is essential for Betty to promote open communication with Jeff, equipping him with opportunities to express his thoughts and concerns while also providing guidance and setting suitable boundaries. Comprehensively, Betty should comprehend that adolescence is a life-changing phase where Jeff is sailing through both external and internal changes. By being informed about such psychosocial and cognitive aspects of adolescence, Betty can support Jeff during this development period, fostering his well-being and assisting him in growing into a confident and independent young adult.


The growth and development of adolescents like Jeff is a complex and life-changing procedure that entails several physical, emotional, and cognitive changes. Puberty, a crucial component of this phase, brings about significant alterations in the body, including the individual’s self-perception and social interactions. The integumentary changes, which Jeff may be encountering, further contribute to his overall transformation. In addition, comprehending the psychosocial and cognitive phases of adolescence is vital for Betty, as it assists her in supporting Jeff’s developing identity and cognitive abilities. By equipping inclusive education and guidance, the nurse can effectively empower Betty and Jeff to sail this significant period of growth and development.







Australia, H. (2023). Emotional changes in puberty.

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Holmgren, A., Martos-Moreno, G. Á., Niklasson, A., Martínez-Villanueva, J., Argente, J., & Albertsson-Wikland, K. (2021). The pubertal growth spurt is diminished in children with severe obesity. Pediatric Research90(1), 184-190.

Larsen, B., & Luna, B. (2018). Adolescence as a neurobiological critical period for the development of higher-order cognition. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews94, 179-195.

McCurdy, A. L., Williams, K. N., Lee, G. Y., Benito‐Gomez, M., & Fletcher, A. C. (2020). Measurement of parental autonomy support: A review of theoretical concerns and developmental considerations. Journal of Family Theory & Review12(3), 382-397.

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Skroza, N., Tolino, E., Mambrin, A., Zuber, S., Balduzzi, V., Marchesiello, A., … & Potenza, C. (2018). Adult acne versus adolescent acne: a retrospective study of 1,167 patients. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology11(1), 21.

Wierenga, L. M., Bos, M. G., Schreuders, E., vd Kamp, F., Peper, J. S., Tamnes, C. K., & Crone, E. A. (2018). Unraveling age, puberty and testosterone effects on subcortical brain development across adolescence. Psychoneuroendocrinology91, 105-114.

Yong, A. (2022). SKIN DURING PUBERTY. In ALL ABOUT EVE: Your Women’s Health Questions Answered (pp. 47-54).

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