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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Growth and Development and Everyday Concerns

While every young person will grow and develop differently, there are certain events and changes that happen to everyone. Understanding these changes or stages of development, will help you to promote healthy growth and development in youth and identify any supports that they may need.

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  • Image of a teen brainThe Teen Brain
    Changes occur between puberty and early adulthood in the parts of the brain responsible for self-control, judgement, emotions and organization.

Factors that affect growth and development

There are factors that affect how youth grow and develop. For example, socioeconomic status, culture, and urban or rural residence can affect experiences, challenges and supports1

Teens experience many changes as part of healthy growth and development. Development is divided into physical, emotional, social and cognitive aspects1. Changes in one aspect affect other aspects as well1. For example, a physical change may also produce an emotional reaction. When working with youth, it is important to remember the many changes they are experiencing and the effects on all parts of their lives.

Youth also may undergo several changes at the same time and very quickly. Decisions completing high school or getting their driver’s license can create a lot of stress. Their emotional responses are often stronger and more intense1.


Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns about your teenager’s growth and development, please call the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s School Health Team:

  • 519-663-5317 ext. 3060

Parents, Caregivers and Teachers

As parents/caregivers, teachers and other school staff you can support youth by understanding the changes that are occurring and their connection to all aspects of their development. It is important to regularly ask youth about how best to support them and listen what they have to say. Youth want to be trusted and listened to. This may include providing opportunities to practice a new skill or to discuss challenges they are facing1. It is also important for parents/caregivers and teachers/school staff to work together, so that youth feel supported at home and at school to promote healthy growth and development.

Date of creation: February 27, 2013
Last modified on: March 13, 2018


1Ontario Government. (2012). Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development. Retrieved from