Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Working with Middle and High School Friends: What Are the Developmental Differences?


Middle school and high school Friends represent two entirely different groups in terms of developmental needs. The former (roughly grades 6th through 8th) are young adolescents entering a stage of rapid and volatile growth driven by raging hormones. As they leave the quiet and protected years of childhood, they begin a transition into adulthood. Yet, these years are marked with awkwardness, confusion, and uncertainty. Fortunately, as high school begins, their bodies adjust to the dramatic physical changes and their emotional roller coaster starts to settle. In the later teen years (roughly grades 9th through 12th), the discomforts diminish, and they begin to blossom into an adult identity. Let’s take a closer look at the developmental stages of each group, beginning with the young adolescents we call middle schoolers.