Understanding Your Developing Body and Mind

Understanding teen development
As young people in middle and high school, you will experience countless transformations in your development, including:

Physical

  • Hormone changes
  • Increased height and weight
  • Body hair
  • Acne

Mental

  • Developing more abstract thinking skills
  • Starting to use more logic and reason in decision-making
  • Questioning authority

Emotional

  • Quickly shifting moods
  • Intense feelings
  • Increased risk-taking/impulsive behavior

Social

  • Experimentation with different social and cultural identities
  • Actions, thoughts, and values of friends become more important than family’s influence
  • Increase in peer pressure
  • Awareness of sexual identity
  • Learning to manage both platonic and romantic relationships
  • Managing social media

These major changes may lead you to experience things like self-doubt, confusion, isolation, low self-esteem, or feelings of embarrassment. On top of these negative feelings may come stress from being overextended with school and extracurricular activities; negative peer interaction such as bullying; family dysfunction including fighting, separation, or divorce; trauma; or mental health challenges like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, anxiety, or depression.