Define adolescence.

Adolescence is that time of life when a child reaches reproductive maturity. This is indicated by a number of changes occurring in the body. The process of these changes is known as puberty. 

  • Adolescence begins around the age of 11 and goes on until 18 or 19 years of age.
  • Adolescents are also called ‘teenagers’.
  • The body at this stage undergoes important changes and these mark the period of puberty.

Changes at puberty

  • Increase in height
  • Change in body shape
  • Change in voice
  • Increased activity of sweat and sebaceous gland
  • Development of sex organ
  • Hormonal changes

Boys:

  1. The growth of facial hair.
  2. The growth of body hair including underarm, abdomen, chest hair and pubic hair.
  3. Chest and shoulders widen and body becomes muscular
  4. Skin becomes more rough and porous, secretion of sweat glands and sebaceous glands increase
  5. Larynx (Adam’s apple)/voice box protrudes out and voice becomes deep and husk.

Girls:

  1. Enlargement of breasts
  2. The growth of body hair, prominently in the underarm and pubic areas.
  3. Widening of hips
  4. Changed fat distribution. More fat below the skin, at hips, buttocks and thighs.
  5. Development of secondary reproductive organs.

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