Stages of Human Growth and Development- Postnatal (Part-III)


After childhood stage comes the adolescence age which is a transition phase from childhood to adulthood. Several changes takes place in this stage and is also a very sensitive phase. It starts from 13to14 years till 18-19 years.

Characteristics of Adolescence Stage


  • Growth reaches at its maximum. At this stage maximum physical growth is complete. After this phase only a small proportion of growth takes place which is not much visible.
    • Body structure of male and female become distinct. Several changes internal as well as external takes place in terms of organ development and hormonal changes.
    • Hormonal changes may lead to mood fluctuations which needs to be addressed.


  • Attraction towards the opposite sex develops
    • Individuals become very conscious about their looks: (pimples etc. ) may lead to lack of confidence
    • Develop new values in selecting their friend circle. They become friendly with whom they can trust and confide into.
    • Interest starts to develop in leading an independent life and want to become financially independent.


  • Peer pressure develops: the individual can get into smoking or drinking as a status symbol
    • Role confusion may occur as they are neither treated as children nor grown up by family members
    • Family friction starts as the adolescent tries to be independent or disagree with  elders decisions or opinions.

 Hazards of Adolescence Stage

Physical hazards

  • If obesity is not addressed at the earlier phase of development it may persist in adolescence.
  • Hormonal imbalance may lead to certain physical deformities if not addressed at the right time.

Psychological hazards

  • Immaturity: when childish treatment is prolonged it may lead to immaturity in adolescents.
  • Immaturity in moral behavior: make high standards for themselves and if they fail then feeling of guilt develops.
  • High standards for peer: if they fail then breaking of emotional ties takes place.


After adolescence comes the adulthood phase. After the age of 20 years the individual is an adult. Adulthood is also divided into two phases. Early adulthood and Late Adulthood.

Characteristics of Early Adulthood (20-40yrs)

  • This age is settling down age. Individuals seeks personal and professional settlement.
  • This is also the reproductive age.
  • Adjustment to new lifestyle takes place, marital (in laws), vocational, parental
  • Interest in money and religion develops
  • Recreational interest- when parental responsibility increases entertainment is restricted
  • Changes in social participation takes place. Adults mingle with working group, professional organisations etc.
  • Changes in friendship takes place.

Hazards of Early Adulthood

  • Immaturity: clinging to youthful interests  results in failure to come up to social expectations affecting personal and social adjustments
  • Unrealistic aspirations may result in failure leading to adjustment problem
  • Maladjustment and dissatisfaction with social life. Not able to associate with congenial groups due to responsibilities. Dissatisfaction with the role which they are playing if leadership is given to someone else

Characteristics of Late Adulthood (40-60yrs)

It’s a period of transition and a period of stress.

Adjustment to physical changes needs to be done

Changes in appearance-grey hair, weight gain

Changes in sensory abilities

Changes in physiological functioning

Hazards of Late Adulthood

Difficulty in acceptance of the changes leading to frustration

Maladjustments related to changing roles, changing life patterns

Empty nest: Children grow up and start their independent lives

Characteristics and Hazards of Old age


  • Physical decline – motor, sensory, mental
  • Adjustment to physical decline
  • Adjustment to retirement and reduced income
  • Adjustments to new friends to replace who are dead
  • Decrease in social participation
  • Increased Dependency


  • Empty nest
  • Physical diseases, malnutrition
  • Social disengagement
  • Interest in death, become religious
  • Loneliness


By now you might have got the understanding of hazards of each phase which needs to be addressed at the right time.

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