Developmental Overview Essay
One of the most obvious markers of a middle school student is their change in physical development. Physical development, as defined by Anita Woolfolk, is “changes in body structure and function over time” (2010, p. 26). Middle school students possess great diversity in their bodies, both in outward physical size and shape, and in inner body functions. A major part of middle schooler’s physical development is puberty, “the physiological changes during adolescence that lead to the ability to reproduce” (Woolfolk, 2010, p. 78). For girls, puberty begins around age 10 to 11 and ends around age 15 to 16, while boys start puberty about two years after girls (Woolfolk, 2010, p. 79). On average, Currently, though, the transition into puberty is occurring early than it has in previous generations because nutrition and health care has improved (Hunt, Wiseman, & Bowden, 1998, p. 61). This early maturation often means good things for middle school boys, because they are considered to be more “manly,” based on height and body type (Hunt, Wiseman, & Bowden, 1998, p. 62). On the other hand, girls who mature early often put on weight sooner, are dissatisfied with appearance, and are often less accepted by peers (Hunt, Wiseman, & Bowden, 1998, p.