The term is manipulated from a Latin word ‘Adolescence’ meaning to grow into maturity.

Whenever a kid starts crossing the age of 10 or 11, there is a sudden spurt in growth. This shows that they (boys and girls) are no longer a child but are on the way to becoming an adult.

Humans become capable of reproduction after puberty sets in. Between the ages of 11 years and 19 years, children are called adolescents.


It is the time when sex organs begin to work. It brings about growth in reproductive organs and changes in the body.

Changes during Puberty:

(i)  Increase in Height: The bones of the legs and arms elongate and the individual becomes tall and lanky.

(ii)  Changes in Body Shape: In boys, the body becomes more muscular, the shoulder becomes wider. In girls, the body shows curves in certain parts and the region below the waist become wider and broader.

(iii)  Change in Voice: In boys, the voice becomes hoarse and heavy due to the extra growth of larynx (voice box). In girls, the voice becomes high pitched and shriller.

(iv)  Sweat and sebaceous glands: It become more active and secrete more sweat and oil.

(v)  Emotional aspects develop.

(vi)  Mental and intellectual development is at its peak.

Secondary Sexual Characters:

Developed breasts in girls and facial hair in boys etc. are called the Secondary Sexual Characters


The onset of puberty and maturity from reproductive parts are controlled by hormones.

Hormones are the secretions from endocrine glands, which pour them directly into the bloodstream.

Hormones of Pituitary Gland

The pituitary gland also called master gland, secretes hormones like growth hormone and the hormones that stimulate other glands such as the testes, ovaries, thyroids  and adrenals to secrete harmonies.

Ex: the thyroid secretes thyroxine and adrenals secrete adrenalin.


Insulin is a hormone secreted from the pancreas to hydrolyse the sugar content in the body.

Male and Female Hormones

Testosterone is the male hormone and estrogen the female hormone.

The uterine wall in females, i.e., the endometrium prepares itself to receive the developing fertilised egg.

In case there is no fertilisation, the thickened lining of the uterine wall breaks down along with degenerated corpus luteum and egg and goes out of the body along with blood. This is called menstruation.

Sex of the unborn child depends on whether the zygote has XX or XY chromosomes.

It is important to eat balanced food and maintain personal hygiene during adolescence.

Balanced Diet:

A diet which contains all the necessary nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins in proper proportions is called a balanced diet.