Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Karina Weichold & Rainer K. Silbereisen
This entry focuses on puberty from a developmental and biopsychosocial perspective. As an integral part of this perspective, physical changes and the mechanisms that trigger the onset of puberty are described, along with the accompanying psychosocial processes. Furthermore, because of interindividual variations in the timing of physical changes during puberty, a review is established on the biological, psychological, and social factors that predict variations in pubertal timing. Conclusions are based on summaries of short-and long-term consequences of pubertal timing on the psychosocial adaptations of the adolescent and suggestions for preventive strategies. Finally, the entry addresses crucial suggestive questions for future research in the area of pubertal development. Puberty is characterized by the restructuring of biological and physiological functions associated with physical and sexual maturation. The pubertal period is a major developmental milestone of adolescence and a key developmental challenge for the developing individual. Puberty is the most rapid and extensive ...