Transition to Adolescence

What is Adolescence?

Puberty is the process of hormonal and bodily changes in children. In addition to biological development, adolescent period includes psychological development and psychosocial maturation.

What is the height growth in puberty?

When puberty begins, children have reached 80-85% of their adult height. When girls became menarche, they have already gained about 97% of their adult height. In adolescence, the total length of the girls is 16-25cm and the length of the boys is 20-28cm. The closing rate of the pineal plaque is not the same in all adolescents, so the length and duration of elongation varies.

Growth begins in the hand-feet, then the long bones then grow in the trunk and face bones. Adolescents may have growing pains during the growth of long bones and may be clumsy until eye-hand coordination is established.

What is the age of normal puberty onset? What are the factors affecting the age of onset of puberty?

The normal age at onset of puberty is 9-11 (8-13) years in girls and 10-12 (9-14) years in boys. Factors affecting the age of onset are mainly genetic (50-75%), nutrition, living climate and physical activity. With the effect of these factors, if the bone age reaches 10 years in girls and 11 years in boys and the child has enough weight, signals go to the puberty initiating region in the hypothalamus region of the brain. From there to the pituitary, pituitary to the gonads (ovaries and testes) stimulation gradually begins to puberty.

Adolescence that starts before the age of 8 in girls and 9 in boys is early and needs to be examined.

What are the most common problems in puberty?

  • Early or late onset of puberty can cause growth, body image and psychosocial problems
  • Eating disorders; In adolescence, obesity or anorexia is common and may cause permanent problems.
  • Psychosocial problems; it can develop for many reasons, and when it is noticed it requires an expert approach.
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