Adolescence and sexual development

 Learning outcomes:

By the end of this module you should be able to:


  • explain the neurobiological, biological and cognitive changes of adolescence


  • name the physical changes during puberty


  • state the theories of adolescent development and who described them


  • define psychosexuality


  • define and explain the factors of psychosexual influence


  • state and explain the theories of psychosexual development


  • name the common presentations of abnormal adolescent development.


Module introduction

In this module we will learn about the events that occur during adolescence. By the end of the module you should have a good understanding of the most prominent challenges of adolescence, however you should bear in mind that this period is a relatively modern concept, which may vary across cultures. A large proportion of adolescents may negotiate this phase without significant setbacks; for others, the trials and tribulations are a poignant part of their making.


In short, it would be unwise to believe that this module could explain all that constitutes 'adolescent development'. I would therefore urge you to develop your knowledge on this subject by researching the topic further and reading the book sections suggested in the key reading.


Learning notes

We recommend that you make some notes as you work through this module.


The 'TrOn Notebook' facility can be accessed throughout the module (allowing you to make notes on each page), and these notes will be saved in your personal area 'My TrOn', for future reference. However, you will not be able to print these notes as one single document.


If you would prefer to make your notes in a separate document you may wish to download the 'learning notes' below. This downloadable Word document will allow you to keep a personalised record of your learning, which you can then save and/or print for future reference.


Download the learning notes document for this module


Continue to Section 1


If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Learning theory by Dr Hayley K Andrews


Normal ageing by Dr Stephen De Souza


The development of temperament by Dr Xanthe Barkla



British Journal of Psychiatry




Related BJPsych articles



Download take-home notes to print and annotate


Key reading: selected texts to read with this module


Exam syllabus 

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