Terminology

Puberty

  • The process of physical changes through which the child is transformed into its adult state, capable of sexual reproduction
  • A hormonally driven process resulting in marked changes physique, form, and function; including notable increases in height and weight, sexual dimorphism, and the appearance of secondary sex characteristics.
  • Plays an important role in the activation, reorganization, and rewiring of brain structures; profoundly impacting emotions, motives and drives (Blakemore, Burnett, & Dahl, 2010; Rosenfield, 1991; Tanner, 1962).

 

Adolescence

  • A transitional period of growth and development that occurs between childhood and adulthood.
  • Whereas puberty describes only physical maturation, adolescence encompasses physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional maturity (Blakemore et al., 2010).
  • Not a single event but a series of interrelated changes which occur over a long interval of time and span several domains of growth and development (Dorn, Dahl, Woodward, & Biro, 2006).
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