Adolescent Physical Development
Puberty: all the hormonal and physical changes that
contribute to sexual maturity.
Takes on an average of five years and today is typically
an early teenage change.
TheSecular ( long-term)Trend
The regular decline in the age of puberty (signaled by
menarche) in developing countries.
In 1830, the average age of menarche in Northern
Europe was over 17.
Today, the age has fallen to under 13.
The Hormonal Programmers
Androgens - produced by adrenal glands
Promote growth of hair; influence skin changes;
program sexual desire.
Androgens begin secretion in middle childhood.
HPGAxis (Hypothalamic, Pituitary,Gonad)
Main system programming the body changes. Hypothalamus triggers the pituitary to secrete its
hormones, which in turn, triggers the gonads to
secrete their hormones, which produce major body
Classifying the PhysicalChanges
Changes directly involved in reproduction
Growth of uterus, maturation of the ovaries,
onset of menarche.
Growth of penis, testes, onset of spermache
Physical changes not related to reproduction
Hair growth, voice changes, acne, breast
Dramatic increase in weight and height
Opposite of the cephalocaudal sequence
PubertyTimetables: Individual Differences
Feelings about Puberty
Basic Principle: changes are exciting and
frightening; reactions depend on social norms and
reactions of family
Maturing Early: Possible Problems forGirls (Statistical
May become involved with older friends
May demonstrate “mature teenage behaviors”
Risk of pregnancy
Popularity among boys
Risk of depression
Body Image Issues
Susan Harter’s research
Feelings of competence in 5 domains relates to overall
Scholastic competence, behavioral conduct, athletic
skills, peer likeability, appearance
For adolescents, contentment with one’s appearance
outweighs any other cat