Discuss the relationship between physical change and development of identity during adolescence


Physical changes in adolescence


Physical maturation and adult reproductive functioning are controlled by the endocrine system that operates through the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal system. During the prenatal period, hormones called androgens organize the reproductive system but these hormones are suppressed after birth. They are reactivated in early childhood (around the age of eight for girls and six for boys) and this starts the puberty process with gradual maturation of the body and the reproductive system. All individuals experience the same bodily changes during puberty but the sequence of changes may vary.





·         Boys experience the growth spurt as a broadening of the shoulders and an increase in muscle strength. Having a masculine body is welcomed because it brings boys closer to their body ideal. Boys whose bodies do not appear masculine may experience identity problems.

Relationship between physical change and development of identity


Sexual identity





Body image and identity






Study to use:  Ferron (1997)