Many social, psychical, identity and cognitive changes occur during adolescence. The expression of sexual characteristics is one of the most important changes during the transition from childhood to adulthood. The adolescent’s first experience of puberty marks the beginning of sexual characteristics.
Broderick and Blewitt (2010) define puberty to be the time when a person’s sexual maturing occurs in the latter part of childhood. Puberty results when pulsatile secretion of gonnadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) is initiated and the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis is activated. These hormones stimulate other hormone-producing glands to produce more hormones. Both males and women produce these hormones in different amounts. Between the ages 9 and 14, puberty is most common in girls. But, research has shown that puberty is more common in African American girls than in other races. Puberty can begin as early at six for boys and eight for girls. Over the course of approximately four years, various parts of our bodies will expand. The skull will not grow facial features like the nose and ears. The torso will not be affected by the growth of arms, legs, feet, and hands. Sometimes, there can be an asymmetrism in the growth of the breasts or testicles, which could lead to an imbalance between the two parts (Broderick and Blewitt 2010, 2010).
On average, girls gain thirty-eighty lbs during puberty. The average growth spurt will last two years longer than it does for boys. Breast growth will be greater in girls than for boys. Boys will average forty-two lbs. Their heart, lungs and bone mass will increase more in boys than girls. Males and women will both increase their height by approximately ten inches.
The behavioral changes experienced by adolescents (adolescent depression) are a popular topic to talk about when it comes to puberty. G. Stanley Hall referred as the stormy and stressful adolescence to all of the difficult behaviors. Stormy and stressful adolescence can include high levels of conflict, moodiness, depression, anxiety, and risky behaviors. Hormones can cause moodiness and depression. But hormones are only good when they are combined. Depression is more common in girls than it is in boys. This is likely due to differences between stress levels and stress coping strategies. A ruminative coping style is more common in girls than it is for boys when they are dealing with stress (Broderick & Blewitt (2010)).
It is possible to have a negative impact on the psychological well being of your teen. Most of the reasons are not related to hormones. Girls are more mature than boys when they reach puberty. A culture that is proud of the slimminess of females makes girls heavier and more unhappy. Her peers are more likely than her to tease and reject her. Pregnant girls are also more likely to be teased and rejected by their peers, especially if they have been involved with older boys (Palmert & Dunkel 2012.
The opposite is true for boys who are early maturing. They are less depressed and moody. Late maturing boys are more likely to feel the effects of stress and storms. Late maturing males are more likely to experience stress and storm than early-maturing boys. Boys who are younger than the rest of their peers tend to be more confident and more popular. Insecure, socially awkward and moody, late maturing boys tend to be more vulnerable (Palmert & Dunkel (2012)).