Introduction to Development in Adolescence and Adulthood

What you’ll learn to do: describe physical, cognitive, and emotional development in adolescence and adulthood

Changes in development during childhood are rapid and more obvious than the changes that come later on in life, but before you reach adulthood, there is one more large transition: adolescence. Adolescence brings the physical development of puberty, as well as cognitive, social, and emotional changes. Following adolescence, transitions are less obvious, but still significant throughout emerging adulthood. Finally, growing older means confronting many psychological, emotional, and social issues that come with entering the last phase of life.

Watch It

Watch this video from a few of the world’s oldest people for some advice on how you can also live a fulfilling life until the very end.

You can view the transcript for “How to Be the Oldest Person Alive” here (opens in new window).

Learning Objectives

  • Describe physical, cognitive, and emotional development that occurs during adolescence
  • Describe physical, cognitive, and emotional development that occurs in adulthood
  • Differentiate between fluid and crystallized intelligence
  • Explain attitudes toward death and Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance)


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