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Puberty – Emotional and Social Changes

As well as physical changes all young people will experience social and emotional changes during puberty. These may start before any physical signs are visible. This is also a huge time of change for the brain which can impact on decision making and impulsivity

Changes may include:

  • Mood swings including irritability, tearfulness, anger, overwhelming happiness or confusion
  • Intense emotions of love, low self-esteem, frustration and apathy
  • They may become argumentative and challenge authority or rules
  • May be physically attracted to others
  • Begin to want more independence and freedom
  • Possibly moving to Secondary school and changing peers
  • Being expected to pick subjects and plan for the future
  • May want to spend more time alone and crave privacy
  • Peers become more important
  • Increased experimentation and risk-taking behaviour
  • Different expectations from family/school/peers
  • Experimentation with different identities
  • Expressing individuality