For example, researchers in neuroscience or bio-behavioral health might focus on pubertal changes in brain structure and its effects on cognition or social relations.Sociologists interested in adolescence might focus on the acquisition of social roles (e.g., worker or romantic partner) and how this varies across cultures or social conditions.A thorough understanding of adolescence in society depends on information from various perspectives, including psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology.Within all of these perspectives, adolescence is viewed as a transitional period between childhood and adulthood, whose cultural purpose is the preparation of children for adult roles.In addition to changes in height, adolescents also experience a significant increase in weight (Marshall, 1978).The weight gained during adolescence constitutes nearly half of one's adult body weight.Consequently, girls that reach sexual maturation early are more likely than their peers to develop eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa).
During their peak height velocity (the time of most rapid growth), adolescents grow at a growth rate nearly identical to that of a toddler—about 4 inches (10.3 cm) a year for males and 3.5 inches (9 cm) for females.
Puberty occurs through a long process and begins with a surge in hormone production, which in turn causes a number of 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.
Some boys may develop gynecomastia due to an imbalance of sex hormones, tissue responsiveness or obesity.
As with most human biological processes, this specific order may vary among some individuals.