Learning Objectives This is an intermediate to advanced level course. It is highly recommended that those wishing to take this course first take the course ADHD:
Puberty Upper body of a teenage boy. The structure has changed to resemble an adult form. Puberty is a period of several years in which rapid physical growth and psychological changes occur, culminating in sexual maturity.
The average age of onset of puberty is at 11 for girls and 12 for boys. Hormones play an organizational role, priming the body to behave in a certain way once puberty begins,  and an active role, referring to changes in hormones during adolescence that trigger behavioral and physical changes.
It is the stage of life characterized by the appearance and development of secondary sex characteristics for example, a deeper voice and larger adam's apple in boys, and development of breasts and more curved and prominent hips in girls and a strong shift in hormonal balance towards an adult state.
This is triggered by the pituitary glandwhich secretes a surge of hormonal agents into the blood stream, initiating a chain reaction to occur.
The male and female gonads are subsequently activated, which puts them into a state of rapid growth and development; the triggered gonads now commence the mass production of the necessary chemicals.
The testes primarily release testosteroneand the ovaries predominantly dispense estrogen. The production of these hormones increases gradually until sexual maturation is met.
Some boys may develop gynecomastia due to an imbalance of sex hormonestissue responsiveness or obesity.
The first facial hair to appear tends to grow at the corners of the upper lip, typically between 14 and 17 years of age. This is followed by the appearance of hair on the upper part of the cheeks, and the area under the lower lip. Facial hair is often present in late adolescence, around ages 17 and 18, but may not appear until significantly later.
Early maturing boys are usually taller and stronger than their friends. Pubescent boys often tend to have a good body image, are more confident, secure, and more independent.
However, early puberty is not always positive for boys; early sexual maturation in boys can be accompanied by increased aggressiveness due to the surge of hormones that affect them. Nearly half of all American high school girls' diets are to lose weight.
Girls attain reproductive maturity about four years after the first physical changes of puberty appear. Adolescence is marked in red at top right. Growth spurt The adolescent growth spurt is a rapid increase in the individual's height and weight during puberty resulting from the simultaneous release of growth hormones, thyroid hormonesand androgens.
The weight gained during adolescence constitutes nearly half of one's adult body weight. The first places to grow are the extremities—the head, hands and feet—followed by the arms and legs, then the torso and shoulders.
During puberty, bones become harder and more brittle. At the conclusion of puberty, the ends of the long bones close during the process called epiphysis. There can be ethnic differences in these skeletal changes. For example, in the United States of America, bone density increases significantly more among black than white adolescents, which might account for decreased likelihood of black women developing osteoporosis and having fewer bone fractures there.
This process is different for females and males. Before puberty, there are nearly no sex differences in fat and muscle distribution; during puberty, boys grow muscle much faster than girls, although both sexes experience rapid muscle development.
In contrast, though both sexes experience an increase in body fat, the increase is much more significant for girls. Frequently, the increase in fat for girls happens in their years just before puberty. The ratio between muscle and fat among post-pubertal boys is around three to one, while for girls it is about five to four.
This may help explain sex differences in athletic performance.
These changes lead to increased strength and tolerance for exercise. Sex differences are apparent as males tend to develop "larger hearts and lungs, higher systolic blood pressure, a lower resting heart rate, a greater capacity for carrying oxygen to the blood, a greater power for neutralizing the chemical products of muscular exercise, higher blood hemoglobin and more red blood cells".
For example, girls tend to reduce their physical activity in preadolescence   and may receive inadequate nutrition from diets that often lack important nutrients, such as iron.
Reproduction-related changes Primary sex characteristics are those directly related to the sex organs. In males, the first stages of puberty involve growth of the testes and scrotum, followed by growth of the penis. The first ejaculation of seminal fluid generally occurs about one year after the beginning of accelerated penis growth, although this is often determined culturally rather than biologically, since for many boys first ejaculation occurs as a result of masturbation.
Menarchethe beginning of menstruation, is a relatively late development which follows a long series of hormonal changes.
Changes in secondary sex characteristics include every change that is not directly related to sexual reproduction. In males, these changes involve appearance of pubic, facial, and body hair, deepening of the voice, roughening of the skin around the upper arms and thighs, and increased development of the sweat glands.
Indeed, they found virtually no association between social class of parents (measured by the Hollingshead Index of Social Position) and self-esteem among younger children, a modest association among adolescents, and a moderate association among adults based on their own social class. Adolescence (from Latin adolescere, meaning 'to grow up') is a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood (age of majority). Adolescence is usually associated with the teenage years, but its physical, psychological or cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later. Children and adolescents define their self- esteem in the terms such as social, academic, physical, and more factors. In social self-esteem they look to their friends and family to feel accepted and feel confidence in themselves.
In females, secondary sex changes involve elevation of the breasts, widening of the hips, development of pubic and underarm hair, widening of the areolae, and elevation of the nipples.
Changes in the brain The human brain is not fully developed by the time a person reaches puberty. Between the ages of 10 and 25, the brain undergoes changes that have important implications for behavior see Cognitive development below.Nontraditional class measures are expected to show stronger effects on adolescents' global self-esteem than do traditional class measures because a greater social stigma is attached to them.
Social Psychology Quarterly, 53, It explains with a theory of psychological centrality why social class has a stronger effect among late adolescents’ self-esteem.
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Rosenberg Self-Esteem Test. The Rosenberg self-esteem test is probably the most commonly used and best known measuring tool for self-esteem. It was designed in by Morris Rosenberg and is still being used today. Oct 10, · Between and , the number of adolescents who experienced at least one major depressive episode leapt by 60%, according to a nationwide survey conducted by .
Indeed, they found virtually no association between social class of parents (measured by the Hollingshead Index of Social Position) and self-esteem among younger children, a modest association among adolescents, and a moderate association among adults based on their own social class.