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Puberty - A Beginner's Guide

Usually between the ages of 8 and 18 years old, your body starts growing and changing. These changes occur from head to toe, and are completely natural as your body responds to increased hormones. In girls, the main hormone guiding the body's new instructions is called estrogen. In guys, it's testosterone. All of these changes together are called "puberty."

Puberty is the bridge between being a kid and becoming an adult. As you cross this bridge, your body and your feelings change a lot. You also may feel differently about your family, friends and classmates-and view the things that they do in whole new ways. You may feel like changing what you do with them, the way you dress and the things you talk about. These differences are called "social" and "behavioral" changes.

Puberty means major changes, but is simply your body's transition from childhood to adulthood. You may even begin to wonder where you fit in the world. But these many physical and emotional changes are NORMAL!

There is no exact age when everyone experiences puberty. This differs from person to person. Girls can expect puberty to hit between the ages of 8 and 17. Boys can expect puberty between the ages of 10 and 18.

Physical Changes
Emotional Changes
Puberty for Boys
Puberty for Girls

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Contents provided by American Social Health Association