Puberty

puberty (pyōō´bərtē), period during which the onset of sexual maturity occurs. It usually takes place between the ages of 10 and 15 in both sexes but sometimes occurs as early as 7 or 8 years of age in females. The pituitary gland secretes hormones that stimulate enlargement and development of the sex organs, which thus become capable of reproduction. The appearance of secondary sex characteristics also occurs during puberty. In females the reproductive cycle of ovulation and menstruation begins, pubic hair appears, and development of the breasts and other body contours takes place. Physical changes in males include production and discharge of semen, appearance of facial and body hair, and deepening of the voice. Skin difficulties, such as acne, may affect both sexes. Puberty, a transition period coinciding with adolescence, involves both physiological and psychological adjustments. It is often marked by emotional stress arising as the adolescent relinquishes childhood behavior patterns and adopts those of an adult.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Puberty: Selected full-text books and articles

Gender Differences at Puberty By Chris Hayward Cambridge University Press, 2003
Cumulative Dietary Energy Intake Determines the Onset of Puberty in Female Rats By Odum, Jenny; Tinwell, Helen; Tobin, Graham; Ashby, John Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 112, No. 15, November 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Puberty and Physical Self-Perceptions of Competitive Female Figure Skaters: An Interdisciplinary Approach By Monsma, Eva V.; Malina, Robert M.; Feltz, Deborah L Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Vol. 77, No. 2, June 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Effects of Environmental Agents on the Attainment of Puberty: Considerations When Assessing Exposure to Environmental Chemicals in the National Children's Study By Wang, Richard Y.; Needham, Larry L.; Barr, Dana B Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 113, No. 8, August 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Association of Blood Lead Levels with Onset of Puberty in Russian Boys By Hauser, Russ; Sergeyev, Oleg; Korrick, Susan; Lee, Mary M.; Revich, Boris; Gitin, Elena; Burns, Jane s.; Williams, Paige L Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 116, No. 7, July 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Impact of Puberty on Aggression/delinquency: Adolescence to Young Adulthood By Najman, Jake M.; Hayatbakhsh, Mohammad R.; McGee, Tara R.; Bor, William; O'Callaghan, Michael J.; Williams, Gail M Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol. 42, No. 3, December 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Development during the Transition to Adolescence By Megan R. Gunnar; W. Andrew Collins Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1988
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Hormones and Behavior at Puberty: Activation or Concatenation" and Chap. 3 "Adapting to Menarche: Familiar Control and Conflict"
Biological-Psychosocial Interactions in Early Adolescence By Richard M. Lerner; Terryl T. Foch Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1987
Librarian's tip: Chap. 6 "Pubertal Processes and Girls' Psychological Adaptation" and Chap. 8 "Pubertal Status and Psychosocial Development: Findings from the Early Adolescence Study"
Evolutionary Principles of Human Adolescence By Glenn E. Weisfeld Basic Books, 1999
Librarian's tip: Chap. 7 "Puberty Rites," Chap. 9 "Pubertal Changes in Boys," and Chap. 10 "Pubertal Changes in Girls"
Girls: Feminine Adolescence in Popular Culture and Cultural Theory By Catherine Driscoll Columbia University Press, 2002
Librarian's tip: Chap. Three "Puberty"
Adolescent Sleep Patterns: Biological, Social, and Psychological Influences By Mary A. Carskadon Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Endocrine Changes Associated with Puberty and Adolescence"
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.