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Growth Stages During Puberty

Growth Stages During Puberty Photo Credit: Science NetLinks

Introduction

This sheet has information on key growth areas that boys and girls experience, including emotional changes that you usually experience during this time.


Boys

Most boys first experience puberty between the ages of 10 and 16.

Body Size:
• Arms, legs, hands, and feet may grow faster than rest of body.
• May feel clumsier from these changes.

Body Shape:
• Grow taller and shoulders grow broader.
• Muscles get bigger.
• Gain more weight.

Voice:
• Voice gets deeper.
• Voice may start cracking for a period of time.

Hair:
• Hair grows under the arms, legs, and in the
pubic area (between legs).
• Chest hair may appear in some during puberty (or years later).
• Some may need to begin shaving.

Skin:
• Skin becomes more oily.
• Body will sweat more.
• Acne or pimples may develop.

Penis:
• Penis and testicles get larger.
• May experience more erections (hardening of the penis).
• Body will begin to produce sperm during puberty.                                                                   

Girls

Most girls first experience puberty between the ages of 9 and 13. Girls usually begin puberty before boys.

Breasts:
• Breasts grow in size and shape.
• May be necessary to begin wearing a bra.
• Breast growth is often the first area of growth
during puberty.

Hair:
• Hair grows under the arms, legs, and in the
pubic area (between legs).
• Hair growth begins shortly after breast
development.

Body Shape:
• Hips get wider.
• Waist gets smaller.
• Body will build up fat in the stomach, buttocks, and legs.
• Body develops a more curved shape.

Body Size:
• Arms, legs, hands, and feet may grow faster than rest of body.
• May feel clumsier from these changes.

Skin:
• Skin becomes more oily.
• Body will sweat more.
• Acne or pimples may develop.

Menstruation or period:
• Begins for most girls between the ages of 9 and 16.
• A period is a discharge of fluid from the body.
• Occurs monthly.
• Most periods last from 3 to 7 days.
• May feel discomfort before, during, or after a period.

 

Both Boys and Girls

Emotional Changes:
• Start to care more about what others think.
• Want to be accepted and liked.
• Often begin to separate from parents and identify more with friends.
• May become self conscious or anxious about these growth changes (too tall, too short,
too fat, too thin).


Source: American Academy of Pediatrics: Puberty Information for Boys and Girls.
http://www.aap.org/family/puberty.htm

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