Putting pubertal timing in developmental context: implications for prevention

Dev Psychobiol. 2010 Apr;52(3):254-62. doi: 10.1002/dev.20438.


This article examines selected findings regarding the consequences of difference in timing of pubertal onset in order to build an explanatory model of puberty in context. We also seek to shed light on possible prevention efforts targeting adolescent risk. To date, there is substantial evidence supporting early onset effects on both internalizing and externalizing problems during the adolescent decade and possibly beyond. However, such effects do not directly speak to preventive intervention. The biological, familial, and broader relationship contexts of puberty are considered along with unique contexts for early maturing girls versus boys. Finally, we identify potential strategies for intervention based on these explanatory models.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adolescent Development / physiology*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Puberty / physiology
  • Puberty / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*