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Effects On Adolescences In Early And Late Stage Maturation

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Puberty is a important time in every Adolescences life that is the transitional stage between child and adulthood. The forces of puberty are unleashed by a cascade of hormones that produce external growth and internal changes, including heightened emotions and sexual desires (Stassen, 2016). The onset of of puberty usually comes in the six year range of age 8 to 14 (Stassen, 2016). Young adolescents experience puberty at different times. About two-thirds of the variation in age of puberty is genetic, evident not only in families but also ethnic groups. African Americans reach puberty, on average, about seven months earlier then European or Hispanic Americans; Chinese Americans average several months later (Stassen, 2016). Body fat plays a factor in the age of puberty (Stassen, 2016). Heavy girls will experience menarche years earlier then malnourished ones do (Stassen 2016). In contrast obese boys are often delayed in puberty compared to boys who are neither slim or overweight (Stassen, 2016). Malnutrition has been a major factor in the age puberty begins. In certain parts of Africa youths reach puberty around age 15. Similarly, malnutrition is the main reason puberty began at about age 17 in sixteenth-century Europe (Stassen, 2016). Height has also shown to be influenced by nutrition. The developed nations have access to adequate nutrition, which allows everyone to reach their genetic potential (Stassen, 2016). While genetics plays a role in when someone will mature through puberty, some research shows being exposed to certain chemicals like phthalates and bisphenol or who experience heavy doses of pesticides in boyhood can delay puberty (Stassen, 2016). Stress can play a role in hastening the onset of puberty (Stassen, 2016). The more stressful a child’s life is, leads to an increase in coristol. Family interactions that cause increases in cortisol shows early onset of puberty while families that are supportive show the child going through puberty later (Stassen, 2016). An important factor of maturation is with timing of friends schedules, no one wants to be too early or late (Stassen, 2016). This is evident in girls who mature early. If she has visible breasts at age 10, the boys may tease her, she may also try.

Effects on Adolescences in Early and Late Stage Maturation 3

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To hide her breasts in large t-shirts or sweaters (Stassen, 2016). Early- maturing girls tend to have low self esteem, more depression, and poorer body image then other girls (Stassen, 2016).

Early maturation for boys also shows effects to they way they behave. Early-maturing boys born in the 1930’s often became leaders in high school and high wage earner’s as adults (Stassen, 2016). In the twenty-first century though, we see early-maturing boys be more aggressive, law-breaking, and drug abusing then the average boy (Stassen, 2016). The opposite is true for slow maturing boys as they tend to be more anxious, depressed, and afraid of sex. Late developing girls can be the target of cyber bullying as well. Victims of cyber bullying are likely to suffer from depression and even suicide (Stassen, 2016). This is most evident in the tragic case of Audrie Pott who drank alcohol at a sleepover, passed out and found out the next day that some boys had sex with her and taped it on their cellphones. The next weekend she hung herself (Stassen, 2016). As true of many aspects of adolescence, context, adults, peers and the adolescents own personality and temperament “shape, mediate, and/or modify effects of technology (Stassen, 2016). We see throughout history many factors that play a role in maturation. In earlier times malnutrition would make puberty come later in life, while in the present day technology plays a role in the developing adolescent.


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