puberty

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puberty

(pyo͞o`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 glandpituitary gland,
small oval endocrine gland that lies at the base of the brain. It is sometimes called the master gland of the body because all the other endocrine glands depend on its secretions for stimulation (see endocrine system).
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 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 menstruationmenstruation,
periodic flow of blood and cells from the lining of the uterus in humans and most other primates, occurring about every 28 days in women. Menstruation commences at puberty (usually between age 10 and 17).
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 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 acneacne,
common inflammatory disease of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, nodules and, in the more severe forms, by cysts and scarring. The lesions appear on the face, neck, back, chest, and arms.
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, may affect both sexes. Puberty, a transition period coinciding with adolescenceadolescence,
time of life from onset of puberty to full adulthood. The exact period of adolescence, which varies from person to person, falls approximately between the ages 12 and 20 and encompasses both physiological and psychological changes.
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, 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.

Puberty

 

the period in an animal’s development during which, as a result of profound internal changes, it attains sexual maturity, or the ability to reproduce.

In man, puberty is marked by accelerated growth of some parts of the skeleton followed by establishment of the body’s definitive proportions, the formation of secondary sex characteristics and final development of the sexual organs. An important feature of puberty is the release from the body of products of the external and internal secretions of the sexual glands. In girls this leads to the onset of the menstrual cycle, and in boys to the ability to ejaculate, usually at first in the form of noctural emissions.

During puberty there is a restructuring of hormonal regulation and of physical and mental development. The latter includes sexual awareness, that is, the awareness that the individual belongs to a specific sex and the ability to regulate sexual behavior in accordance with society’s moral and ethical standards. Several stages may be distinguished in the growth of sexual awareness: elementary and nonsensual notions of sexual differences, platonic love, the awakening of specifically sexual feelings associated with the genital area, and mature sexual awareness, which is the harmonious correlation of all its components.

The onset and tempo of puberty are determined by the interaction of inherent physical factors and environmental influences. The age of the onset of puberty varies widely within the following limits, with allowance made for the processes of acceleration. In girls puberty occurs between eight and 17 years of age, and in boys between ten and 20. Unfavorable living conditions and such factors as poor diet or disease are reflected in disharmonic, retarded, and occasionally accelerated physical, mental, and sexual development.

REFERENCES

Shtefko, V. G. “Vvedenie v izuchenie anatomo-biologicheskikh osobennostei pubertatnogo vozrasta.” In Osnovy vozrastnoi morfologii. Moscow, 1933.
Lebedinskaia, K. S. Psikhicheskie narusheniia u detei s patologiei tempa polovogo sozrevaniia. Moscow, 1969.
Sal’nikova, G. P. Fizicheskoe razvitie shkol’nikov. Moscow, 1968.
Solov’eva, V. S. “Uroven’ polovogo sozrevaniia kak odin iz pokazatelei biologicheskogo vozrasta organizma podrostka i aspekty ego primeneniia.” In Host i razvitie rebenka. Moscow, 1973. Pages 152–88.
Donovan, B. T., and J. J. van der Werff ten Bosch. Fiziologiia polovogo razvitiia. Moscow, 1974. (Translated from English.)
Tanner, J. M. Growth at Adolescence, 2nd ed. Oxford, 1962.

G. S. VASIL’CHENKO

puberty

[′pyü·bərd·ē]
(physiology)
The period at which the generative organs become capable of exercising the function of reproduction; signalized in the boy by a change of voice and discharge of semen, in the girl by the appearance of the menses.

puberty

the period at the beginning of adolescence when the sex glands become functional and the secondary sexual characteristics emerge
References in periodicals archive ?
However, initiation, duration and amount of growth vary considerably during the growth spurt.1
In other words, not only does sleep predict a growth spurt in length, but it also predicts an increase in weight and abdominal fat, implying an anabolic process -- growth.
One thing is certain: Muresan had a giant growth spurt. By the time he was 14, he stood over 2 meters (6ft, 9in.) tall.
Even more telling, however, is the fact that your injuries started to crop up when most girls go through a growth spurt. Research shows that even slow growth spurts at your age can last a year or more, increasing the risk of injuries in areas such as the knee where strong tendons attach.
Up until these growth spurts, stone tools and other articles found at sites throughout Eurasia displayed many similarities; soon thereafter, sophisticated regional cultures appeared, Harpending and his co-workers note.
All of us have heard about the challenges of growth spurts. Yet few people focus on this possibility when a young dancer stops progressing, gets injured, gains weight or becomes depressed.
However, she notes, "there was a distinct correlation between fussiness and [increased] hunger at the time of the growth episodes." Parents also reported signs of increased sleepiness right before growth spurts, she adds.
This is especially true during growth spurts. I know one 16-year-old boy who added five dance classes a day to his summer schedule after shooting up three inches in height.
Tests show their brains cannot keep up with growth spurts during the "awkward age".
In the July 1988 CLINICS IN SPORTS MEDICINE, Micheli writes that, whatever the sport, most injuries to young athletes in training occur during growth spurts, which stretch the muscles and tendons anchored at the elbow, knee and ankle, reducing their normal flexibility.
But first, it might help you to know that many young dancers go through a difficult period because of growth spurts. During this time, it's normal to lose your balance, flexibility, and strength.
"During growth spurts." says Galli, "when weight distribution, the center of gravity, and the proportions of the body change, muscle development may not necessarily be keeping up with the bone growth.