Youth Development at a Glance

The table below sets out the development stages for the age groups covered in the Scout program.

Ages Spiritual Physical Intellectual Emotional Social Character
5-7 years Notion of good and evil, right and wrong linked to religion. Precision in movements and balance acquired. Intuitive thought (affirmation without demonstration). “Latency period”: sexual energy oriented towards other goals. Development of speech (2,500 words).
Rules considered intangible and determined by adults.
“Moral realism”: mistakes judged by damage caused; intentions ignored.
Acceptance of moral norms.
7-10 years Acceptance of family's spiritual heritage.
Conformity to conventional morality.
Orientation towards “law” and “order”.
Slower Growth.
At ease with one's body.
Intellectual curiosity.
Development of the capacity for logical reasoning on concrete data.
Notion of conservation, ability to classify, make series and count.
Latency period: emotional balance.
Affective attachment which goes beyond the family circle.
Reciprocal exchanges.
Adoption of different roles; ability to imagine oneself in another person's situation.
The child tries to adapt to a group and be appreciated.
Conformity to the group.
By adapting to a wide variety of situations (school, groups), the child discovers him/herself as a multi-faceted personality.
He/she gains a deeper understanding of him/herself.
10-11 years (girls)
11-12 years (boys)
Development of moral autonomy.
Acceptance of moral principles as a way of sharing rights and responsibilities within a group.
Onset of puberty: acceleration in growth (firstly height, then weight); clumsiness.
Appearance of secondary sexual characteristics. Ill at ease with one's body.
Stage of concrete logical operations.
Development of the capacity for logical reasoning on abstract data.
Awakening of sexual impulses with the onset of biological puberty.
Strong but confusing emotions.
Need for friendship.
Need to assert oneself as an individual.
Identification with heroes.
Childhood rules and regulations called into question.
Ability to create new rules through mutual consent.
Groups established for the purpose of common activities.
Period of opposition and rejection of previous identifications.
13-15 years Childhood religious practices called into question.
Use of symbols to express spiritual meaning.
Interest in ideologies and religions.
Notion of contract and democratic acceptance of the law.
Sexual maturity. Stage of formal logical operations reached (reasoning through hypotheses and deductions). Awakening of the Oedipus complex; development of sexual identity.
Adolescent crisis, idealism and depression.
Age of friendship.
Attraction towards the opposite sex (earlier among girls).
Period of social restructuring.
Rebellion against authority.
Efforts to define personal moral values.
More closely-knit groups formed, based on mutual trust.
Search for a common identity.
Crisis of identity.
Search for new models for developing one's identity.
15-16 years Acceptance of universal values (Human rights).     Solidarity with peers. Worries, intense excitement.
Need for security, success and accomplishment.
Individual awareness of principles (personal code of honour). Structuring of one's self image. Development of personal autonomy.
17-20+ years Orientation towards universal ethics.       Recognition of enrichment due to accepting individual differences.
Problem of social and professional integration.
Confirmation of personal choices.
Search for a social role.