Adolescent Growth Spurt

Adolescent Growth Spurt

Boys ang girls develop male and female sex­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics respec­tively dur­ing ado­les­cent growth spurt. Andro­gens con­trol the devel­op­ment of mas­cu­line char­ac­ter­is­tics in boys, while estro­gens are respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment of fem­i­nine char­ac­ter­is­tics in girls.

Ever since I was a child I have had this instinc­tive urge for expan­sion and growth.” ~ Bruce Lee

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Teenagers expe­ri­ence rapid growth as a part of mat­u­ra­tion dri­ven by hor­mones dur­ing ado­les­cent growth spurt. This period is often expressed as the age of peak height veloc­ity. Susan Moore and Doreen Rosen­thal argue that peak mass veloc­ity, how­ever, takes place some months later. Dur­ing this period, growth takes place in the skele­ton, mus­cles and every sys­tem of the body, except the brain and the head. Girls expe­ri­ence their ado­les­cent growth spurt between the age of eleven and four­teen years, and the growth spurt in girls gen­er­ally starts after expe­ri­enc­ing menar­che. Growth spurt in boys takes place between the age of twelve and six­teen years.

Boys increase in height dur­ing ado­les­cence and also develop dis­tinct mas­cu­line char­ac­ter­is­tics. Kath­leen Hay­wood and Nancy Getchell say that a group of hor­mones called andro­gens con­trols the devel­op­ment of mas­cu­line char­ac­ter­is­tics in boys. The most active andro­gen is testos­terone, which is respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment of male sex­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics, and the deep­en­ing of voice. Girls pro­duce minute quan­ti­ties of andro­gens, which are largely inef­fec­tive. David Shaf­fer and Kather­ine Kipp say that estro­gens are respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment of sex­ual and dis­tinct fem­i­nine char­ac­ter­is­tics in girls. It is of essence to note that even though both girls and boys pro­duce them, the func­tion of estro­gen in boys is not entirely clear.

Getchell, N. & Hay­wood, K. (2009). Life Span Motor Devel­op­ment. Cham­paign, IL: Human Kinet­ics.
Kipp, K. & Shaf­fer, D. R. (2010). Devel­op­men­tal Psy­chol­ogy: Child­hood and Ado­les­cence. Bel­mont, CA: Wadsworth Cen­gage Learn­ing.
Moore, S. & Rosen­thal, D. (1995). Sex­u­al­ity in Ado­les­cence. New York: Routledge.


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