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11- and 12-Year-Old Normal Development


May experience pubescent growth spurt if female (usually a year or two later for males)
  • May tire easily and appear lazy (growth spurt drains energy)
  • May look out of proportion
  • Is preoccupied with and self-conscious about appearance
  • May have an appetite that fluctuates sharply
  • Enjoys observing or participating in competitive sports
  • Is keenly interested in learning about body changes
  • May continue to be curious about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco


  • May be experiencing sudden drastic emotional changes associated with puberty
  • Vacillates between maturity one moment, immaturity the next *Tends to conceal emotional feelings
  • Is hard on self and ultra sensitive to criticism Social:
  • Wants parental assistance, but may resist when offered
  • Is critical of parents
  • Is concerned with prestige and popularity
  • Like to belong to a group and be like others
  • Becomes quite faddish
  • Spends twice as much time with friends as with parents
  • May drift from previous best friend (due to different levels of maturity)
  • Is acutely aware of the opposite sex


  • Has an increasing attention and concentration span
  • Strives to succeed
  • Has strong opinions
  • Begins to understand the motives behind the behavior of another