PERCEIVED PUBERTY RELATED DISTRESS AND IT ASSOCIATED FACTOR AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

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CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

Everyone agrees that puberty is a difficult developmental stage since it marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. During this stage, young people are expected to be able to deal with the various changes that take place in their bodies. Puberty is a stage in human development that is believed to be very important since it is defined by significant physical changes that occur in young people’s bodies at this time (Mruk, 2013;; Zeigler-Hill, 2013). According to Al- Bahrani, Aldhafri, Alkharusi, Kazem, and Alzubiadi (2013), young people going through puberty experience a number of difficulties, some of which include conflict with their parents and classmates, mood disturbance, uneven academic performance, and an unstable sense of self-image. In addition, research shows that boys are more likely to have difficulties of an outward nature (such as antisocial behaviour), whereas girls are more likely to experience problems of an internal nature (low self-esteem and depression). Also, according to Charbonneau, Mezulis, and Hyde (2009), girls are regarded to be more vulnerable than boys, despite the fact that girls have higher levels of adaption than boys (Nurmi,2018). It cannot be denied that biological distinctions in the body have a role in differences between the sexes.

Girls face a greater number of obstacles than do boys because of the gender-based differences in the issues that they face (UNICEF, 2017). The effects of puberty on the conduct of learners often lead to confusion on the part of parents and teachers in relation to adolescents who are still in the teen years. These children go through a stage that produces a lot of changes in their social lives, emotional lives, physical lives, and cognitive lives. These changes could make it difficult for them to learn new things. According to Fraser-Thill (2013), for instance, factors such as greater rates of sadness and anxiety, a great risk of substance abuse, earlier sexual engagement, and lower self-esteem and body image are what affect the academic performance of students in the pubertal development stage. In addition, pubertal changes appear to have an effect on the behaviour of people who are going through puberty; however, the effects that are caused by the changes in the physical body are not well established.

 

Young teenagers in affluent countries demonstrated a drop in academic achievement, with the perceived influence of physical changes in their bodies being the primary contributing factor. According to observations made by Connolly, Hatchette, and Mc Master (2008) in Canada, puberty has an effect on children’s social adaptations, which in turn limits their relationships at school and at home. However, kids who disclosed the pubertal development of beginning indicators recorded higher on the mathematics exam. As a result of this, the researchers came to the conclusion that adolescence may not be a cause of danger for the academic performance of the school. This provides an additional explanation for why fluctuations in academic achievement during puberty among boys and girls could be linked to a wide variety of causes, including changes in the physical body.

 

Changes in body size and shape, fluctuations of hormones, voice vacillation, and skin changes can all rouse attitude swings and powerful moods among children who are in the puberty stage in the United States of America. Adolescence is a time when physical developments abound, and these changes can be a source of strong emotions. The brain goes through changes during puberty, and these changes are responsible for the increase in memory and problem-solving abilities that are typical of adolescents during this time. Puberty (Blakemore, 2010). The majority of the time, adolescents start to feel sleepy between the hours of 8 and 9 in the morning, and they are at their most alert after 3 in the afternoon. This can lead to difficulties with concentration and focus during school hours, which can have a negative impact on academic achievement. (Zirpoli, 2008; Blakemore, 2010).

 

According to Hayatbakhsh, Najman, McGee, Bor, and O’Callaghan (2012), puberty stage in Australia is associated to the use of drugs among Australian children who are in the puberty period. However, it is not clearly proven how this affects performance. Again, in Australia, there is a school of thought that contends that even though children’s entire bodies, including the brains, go through these significant changes during adolescence, the manner in which a child perceives and interprets the change from childhood to adolescence ultimately determines how they deal with the experience. This view is supported by the observation that children’s bodies and brains go through these changes at the same time. This is an expression of self-esteem that results from comparing the individual’s current status to future objectives in various settings such as school, family, or among peers. This can have a positive or negative impact on the individual (Mruk, 2013).

 

In Germany, developmental changes that occur throughout puberty have been linked to feelings of contentment with one’s physique from the standpoint of gender differences. According to Meike (2008), during puberty, girls are more likely to experience significant levels of dissatisfaction with their bodies than boys are. This phenomenon is noticed more frequently in girls than in boys. This suggests that during puberty, both young women and young men have preconceived notions about the physical characteristics of their ideal bodies. On the other hand, Agam, Tamir, and Golan (2015) in Israel suggest that gender disparities in regards to self-esteem and body image are mostly impacted by stereotypes. [Citation needed] [Citation needed] Self-confidence is a characteristic that is typically associated with men, and its presence in females is seen as a violation of the conventional expectations on gender roles. Therefore, it is yet unknown if the physical changes that occur during pubertal development contribute to the gender disparities.

 

In Africa, most studies on puberty have been conducted on girls rather than boys, despite the fact that puberty causes similar changes in both sexes’ bodies physically. For example, a decrease in intellectual achievement among girls has been linked, in part, to the physiological and hormonal changes that occur during pubescence (Chinyoka, 2014). The advent of puberty among girls in Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Malawi led to a decrease in their self-esteem, which contributed to poor academic performance, as a result of a lack of sanitary towels and a lack of understanding on how to use sanitary towels. This was also a contributing factor.