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Flashcards in Chapter 1 Deck (24):

What is puberty?

Period of lifespan in which an individual becomes capable of sexual reproduction.


What is the HPG axis?

Hypothalamus, Pituitary gland, Gonads.


When gonads are stimulated by HPG axis what happens?

Gonads release sex hormones into the blood stream. Androgens (males) and estrogen (females).


What triggers puberty?

There are no new hormones...genetics and environment


What are three things that cause the HPG axis to kick in?

1. presence of mature sexual partners
2. Nutrition
3. Physically nature enough to begin reproducing


What is leptin?

It is a protein produced by the fat cells. Must accumulate enough body fat. Rising levels of leptin signal hypothalamus to stop inhibiting puberty (in females).


What is adrenarche?

Maturation of the adrenal glands leads to physical (somatic) changes. Pituitary glands release hormones that stimulate adrenal glands. They stimulate gonads and they release hormones that stimulate hair growth, gonad growth, and beginning of menstruation or ejaculation.


What are the two roles that hormones play?

1. Organizational role - prenatal hormones "program" the brain to be masculine or feminine. Patterns of behaviour may not appear until adolescence (ex: sex differences in aggression)
2. Activating role - increase in certain hormones at puberty activates physical changes (ex. Secondary sex characteristics)


Three major physical changes of puberty?

1. Adolescent growth spurt
2. Development of primary sex characteristics (gonads)
3. Development of secondary sex characteristics (breasts, pubic hair)


What is the name for closing of the long bones?



Rapid acceleration in growth (height and weight happens simultaneously with what?

Simultaneous release of growth hormones, thyroid hormones and androgens


What are the sex differences in muscle and fat?

There are changes in body composition. Relative proportions of body fat/muscle change during puberty. End of puberty muscle-to-fat ratio: boys - 3 to 1 and girls - 5 to 4. Rapid increase in body far leads to body dissatisfaction among girls.


What are the Tanner stages?

5 different stages


What is puberty influenced by?

Interaction between genes and environment. Differences in timing/rate among individuals in the same general environment result chiefly from genetic factors. With genetic predispositions there are upper and lower age limits, not fixed and absolute.


What are two key environmental influences?

Nutrition and health


What is early pubertal maturation in girls is related to...

Presence of a stepfather, experiencing childhood abuse, familial conflict and growing up without a father.


What is the secular trend?

Decline in the age of menarche. Due to improved nutrition, sanitation, control of infectious diseases. 1960s to 1990s decline maybe due to obesity, exposure to chemicals, changes in diet. There is a disagreement whether trend continues today.


Biological changes can affect adolescent's behaviour in at least 3 ways:

1. Hormones directly
2. Self-image
3. Reactions of others


What is the difference between self image and self esteem?

Self image is how you SEE yourself. Self esteem is how you FEEL about yourself.


What is the halo effect?

The thought that the attractive are given advantages


What are some impacts of puberty?

1. Affects self image, mood, and relationships
2. Self esteem varies by gender and ethnicity (white girls are particularly likely to develop poor body images
3. Adolescent moodiness - more fluctuations throughout the day than adults, not solely due to hormones (also can be due to shifts in activities)


Early maturing girls:

Early maturing girls have more difficulties than boys.
-heavier and shorter statue later in life
- precocious sexual activity, lower self image, higher rates of depression, eating disorders, anxiety, social anxiety
- victims of rumours and gossip


Health care in adolescence

Filed of adolescent health has shifted away from traditional medical models toward more educational approaches


What two theories explain why early maturation is much harder for girls?

1. Maturational deviance hypothesis - you look different
2. Developmental readiness hypothesis - look physically more mature than they really are