Body processes

Juvenile Phase – Function, Task and Diseases

Juvenile phase

The juvenile phase describes the phase of an organism after birth and before sexual maturity. After that they are considered adult ( adolescence ), before that they are in the embryonic stage . In humans, the juvenile phase runs from infancy to early adolescence ( pubescence ).

What is the juvenile phase?

The term juvenile phase can apply to any living being and roughly outlines the period from birth to sexual maturity . In humans, the juvenile phase can be divided even more finely, as in many mammals. The latter often end the juvenile phase with sexual maturity, but are then far from adult and are referred to as immature.

In humans, the juvenile phase begins, strictly speaking, immediately after birth and ends with sexual maturity and the onset of puberty . However, the juvenile phase in this classification includes further sub-phases, in humans these are in particular the baby and toddler phase as well as childhood up to the onset of puberty. In most cases, puberty itself has already begun in the ending juvenile phase. Accordingly, in the juvenile phase, people go through a series of formative physical and mental developments. In addition, he is still a long way from being an adult after graduating. Only in the course of puberty does he develop physically and mentally into an adult.

Function & task

Developments occur in the juvenile phase that will shape the human being throughout adulthood. During the infant phase, he learns his basic bonding behavior (see, for example , bonding ), disturbances can have a lifelong negative effect on his ability to bond or on his relationship with his own children. He learns to move his body purposefully and voluntarily, gross and fine motor skills develop over the next few years. Early childhood reflexes signal the rapid development of the central nervous system .

Since humans are born extremely prematurely into the juvenile phase compared to other mammals, many developments happen very quickly and erratically. In the toddler phase, the bonding behavior learned deepens, and the child also walks and speaks more confidently. Cognitive abilities develop. Mentally, too, people develop in a formative way during the juvenile phase.

For example, while babies still assume that their needs are the same as those of everyone else around them, toddlers learn that other people don’t always want the same things they do.

The juvenile phase shapes the social behavior of the child through the parents and contact with friends. At the end of the juvenile phase, many children already have a very clear, in parts very adult image of the world, can articulate themselves selectively and have been moving completely independently for years. When the juvenile phase transitions into puberty, they are so physically and psychologically developed that they basically only grow to their final height , go through some final physical and psychological developments and are then considered adults. The juvenile phase is therefore the time in which the human being develops physically and mentally to such an extent that only sexual maturity is missing as an essential factor.

Diseases & Ailments

Since the juvenile phase is so formative in physical and psychological terms, serious physical and mental undesirable developments and illnesses can occur during this time. In many cases, an event occurs during the juvenile phase that can only trigger a disease years or decades later.

Some hereditary diseases only become noticeable in the infancy and toddler phase, and they may not even have been noticed during pregnancy . These include, for example, Pompe’s disease , phenylketonuria or hemophilia . A number of food intolerances , allergies and intolerances also often develop during the juvenile phase and are usually not life-threatening, but require treatment.

Diseases occurring during the juvenile phase include childhood cancer , which fortunately is rare. Malformations, which can have congenital, acquired or external causes and triggers, are less rare. Disorders of organ function often remain undetected until the organ is responsible for a development and this is disrupted.

Towards the end of the juvenile phase, when puberty occurs too early, too late or not at all, problems with the thyroid or pituitary gland become noticeable, since they are responsible for producing the hormones that trigger puberty .

Physical disorders and abnormalities in the juvenile phase are so risky because they can influence physical maturation processes in such a way that permanent damage occurs. If puberty has not occurred, it would no longer be possible to make up for it in adulthood, not even through subsequent administration of hormones. Permanent damage can be underdevelopment of the sexual organs up to infertility .

In addition to the spectrum of physical illnesses, mental damage can also occur during the juvenile phase. Attachment disorders, traumata or similar formative experiences often do not have a serious effect on an adult, but they become firmly established in a person ‘s subconscious . They don’t have to affect him right away, but they show up later in life through recurring problems or disruptive behavior patterns. Since they burrow into the subconscious in the juvenile phase, depth psychological treatment is required to make such damage recognizable at all. The infancy and toddler phase in particular is problematic in this context, since the patient later remembers this time of his juvenile phase least consciously.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.