Late Childhood Period

Late Childhood Period

Fatma Elif Kilinç (Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Turkey) and Burçin Aysu (Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2952-2.ch012


Development expresses the process that starts from impregnation and continues till the end of life. Man is a living creature that is born with a number of hereditary features and can improve them. The features of development areas should be known in order to recognize man as a whole. In the classification regarding the development periods of people, the late childhood period is between the ages of eleven to eighteen and it is also expressed as puberty. In this period the process of transition to adulthood is observed. Further, the teenager starts to become independent from his/her family and acquires personal values and purposes in this period. In this study, the late childhood period is explained in detail.
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One of the important periods in personality development is the puberty years which are also the late childhood period. The puberty can also be expressed as the life cycle in which the autonomy development is the most important (Özdemir and Çok, 2011). The teenager, who is in his late childhood period, requires help about gaining the values which guide to his behaviors and learning his social responsibilities. Family is the social institution that meets such necessity and affects the teenager’s life.

During the late childhood period, which is also known as puberty years, an individual reaches the reproduction capacity and the physical development is also at the forefront. For Atabek (2002) the late childhood period is a transition period from being a child to having a child, and the most distinct feature of the period is the physical and sexual development. In this section, the late childhood period (puberty) is to be examined.

Physical Changes in the Late Childhood Period

Physical and hormonal changes occur in the late childhood period (puberty); further, rapid increases in height and weight are seen (Erden and Akman, 1997). During this period, the child organism, which does not have reproduction capacity, transforms into a productive individual. The age and duration of puberty vary form one child to another. Together with the effects of gonad hormone, the tall stature, which is 80% of the mature height at the onset of puberty, reaches to 99% of the mature height in two-four years period. As the puberty starts for the girls earlier than the boys, the rate of growth also appears earlier in the girls. The peak in the rate of growth is the period when the growth is at its fastest rate and for girls it is 9cm/year and for boys it is 10,5 cm/year on average. In the majority of the girls and boys the increases in weight are seen in preadolescence period when they are eight-ten years old due to fat storage in their bodies. The reasons for the increase in weight in the puberty are; for boys the muscle growth and the increase in skeleton mass and for girls the fat storage. The thickness of the subcutaneous layer of fat diminishes in boys, but it keeps increasing in girls (Özer and Özer, 2000). Accordingly, the increase in weight in girls starts when they are 11 and reaches to high level when they are 12-13 years old. Although the increase in the weight is limited in boys when they are 11-13 years old, there is a rapid increase when they are 13-14 years old. In those ages, the growth in breast tissue, menarche (menstruating for the first time), ovulation and hair growth are seen in girls and the growth in testis and penis, hair growth and gynecomastia are seen in boys. The menarche age is between 10-16 ages, on average 12,5 and the growth of the penis is between 10-16 ages and the growth of the testis is between 9-17 ages. Ovulation is seen after the menarche. The size of breast and pubic hair increase and the sexual maturation is seen is girls. In boys, the growth in the genital organs occurs. There is the production of mature sperm. The hair on the face and body increases. The gynecomastia diminishes. There is a change in their voice. Girls and boys can want to establish relations with the opposite sexes. Inappropriate body changes can ruin the teenager’s psychological balance. Personal friendships come to the forefront for teenagers, romantic relations start (Santrock, 2014).

Girls need 2200 kcal when they are between 11-14 years, and 2400 kcal when they are between 15-18 years; boys need 2500 kcal when they are between 11-14 years and 3000 kcal when they are 15-18 years. 15% of the total caloric intake should be met from sufficiently consumes protein. Girls can be sensitive in terms of iron deficiency with the start of the menarche. Fibrous foods are needed (Törüner and Büyükgönenç, 2011).

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