Psychosocial and Physiological Effects of the Early Puberty in Girls

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 Puberty in girls normally starts between the ages of eight and thirteen. For girls one of the first signs of puberty is their breasts starting to develop. Puberty is when kids develop physically and emotionally into young men and women. Puberty includes the rapid growth of bones and muscles, changes in the bodies shape and size. Usually, this starts to happen in adolescences. Early matures are most likely to get involved with older boys and to have problems with smoking, drinking, drug use, and early sexual activity.

One reason for these problems is that the early-maturing girls may enter puberty before they where prepared for it. Girls who mature earlier than the rest of their classmates appear to be more deviant with count on their physical appearance. Early maturing is typically viewed as negative, such as delinquency within the friendship group, association with older peers, and early sexual behaviour.

Early puberty has been known to put girls at risk for emotional and behavioral maladjustment. Some evidence suggests that among early adolescents looking more grown up is positively associated with popularity. While having a reputation as being popular can provide early maturing girls with some social benefits, however this can also have negative peer experiences such as standing out in comparison to peers, or deviating from the norm, often exposes adolescents to risk of sexual harassment. In the case study it talks about early maturing in a girl a girl named Krista. The case talks about Krista who matured very early for her age starting back in fourth grade where Krista had to buy her first training bra. By age ten Krista got her first period. In the sixth grade Krista had matured into a young lady. This case talks about the real-life problems every early girl bloomer goes through such as teasing and rumors from other girls due to jealously, also receiving unwanted attention from older boys since the early matured girls are more developed.

Girls who enter puberty early have a negative impact on their psychological well-being and social relationships because of lower self-esteem, feeling self conscious, unwanted attention from boys, jealousy from girls, and rumors.

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Developmental analysis talks about “the normative patterns of development for an individual in a specific life stage”, and this leading up to signs of normative development in Krista such as in grade five Krista got her first period at age ten, by grade six she fully developed breasts. When Krista started high school, she started receiving attention from older boys. According to research “puberty is considered late if there are no signs of puberty by the age of thirteen years in girls. Teenagers might feel self-conscious or embarrassed about not being developed like their peers”. If Krista developed on time chances are that she would have more friends, she would not have a bad reputation, and get less attention from older boys.

Studies have shown that boys who mature later than others have lower self-esteem levels than their peers. The signs of precocious puberty before the age of nine years old include the enlargement of the testicles, pubic hair, under arm hair or facial hair. For boys, the effects of reaching puberty early or late are quite different than for girls. It has been reported that boys who enter puberty earlier have more positive self-images, are more popular with their peers, show more leadership and maturity and have fewer problems with their parents. However, boys who mature early do have problems such as experiencing more hostile feelings and more symptoms of distress. They are more likely to develop depressive symptoms, difficulties at school, delinquency, and earlier involvement in sex, drugs, and alcohol. Boys who are late maturers show more signs of depression and take on symptoms such as anxiety, worrying and sleep problems, their body image also suffers. Late maturing boys show more social initiative and curiosity, they are also more creative and insightful.

Contextual analysis talks about how “circumstances such as family, community, school, neighborhood or culture might influence people’s interpretation”. Krista’s dating during middle school was more typical exploration than promiscuous. “Youth at this age lack the cognitive and emotional maturity that is necessary to make wise and healthy decisions regarding their sexuality”. Krista’s mother is very supportive and is open to talk about Krista’s problems and what is going on in her life. Krista and her mother have a very open relationship. This leads to Krista’s mother pushing Krista to make better life decisions in a positive way. Parents may prepare teenagers for positive and safe sex by promoting skills such as using condoms and going on birth control and the values that encourage safe sex only within a relationship.

Psychosocial analysis talks about relating to the combination of psychological and social behavior. Early maturing girls lack support from parents and teachers, they are not likely to find it among their girl-friends, either. The fact that they are early means that other girls their age have not yet had to deal with the questions they face and may be insensitive and hostile. Due to being labeled promiscuous this leads to no social contact leaving Krista for possible maladaptive behaviours because of Krista having no friends due to jealousy and attention from older boys leading Krista down a path towards unsuitable circumstances. Krista’s mother could be bringing Krista on the path to positive consequences of effective coping due to Krista’s mother giving Krista a positive consequence such as going to a creative art camp that she is interested in if she starts focusing on her studies.

Further research - Young people who begin puberty earlier than their peers, appear to be more anxious — specifically in girls. Early-maturing girls are at increased risk of psychosocial problems such as depression, substance use and early sexual behavior. Puberty typically begins with breast development between ages eight and thirteen and ends with menarche. In boys, puberty begins between ages nine and fourteen, starting with growth of the sexual organs and wrapping up with facial hair and a deepened voice. Numerous studies have shown most pre-adolescents want nothing more than to fit in. 'It's a time when you don't want to be shunned from your peers in any way, shape or form.' When a child develops earlier than his or her peers, there can be continous effects on mental health.

When kids develop early, the way they act, and think doesn't always match the way they look. Other kids and adults might make inaccurate assumptions about what they are capable of. They're more anxious and less confident in their relationships with family and friends. Also, they are more likely to go out with friends — often, older pals — who participate in risky behaviors such as early sexual behavior and substance use. Such peer influence seems to be a major risk factor for mental health problems among early-maturing kids.

In conclusion the effects of early pubertal timing in adolescents’ psychosocial problems were wide-ranging. It should be clear by now that entering puberty has a negative impact on adolescents. The fact that adolescents are noticeably different from the others in their peer group is automatically stressful. In general, it is better and more comfortable to be on time than to be off time. Those who enter puberty early or late will be affected negatively. Girls generally reach puberty well before boys, early-maturing girls are out of step with the other girls and with most of the boys. In the same way, late maturing-boys are out of step with boys and most of the girls.

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Psychosocial and Physiological Effects of the Early Puberty in Girls [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Jan 12 [cited 2024 Jun 16]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/psychosocial-and-physiological-effects-of-the-early-puberty-in-girls/
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