Puberty represents the process of moving from reproductive immaturity to maturity (Alsaker, 1996). Changes occur with respect to overall body stature and composition, hormone levels, and the development of primary and secondary sex characteristics. This process can take two to six years to complete; four years is considered average. Whereas puberty is considered one of the true universals of human development, one of its hallmarks is the tremendous variability that exists between and within individual adolescents. Furthermore, although puberty is seen as a predominantly biological event, the changes it brings interact in a variety of ways with aspects of the adolescent's environment, and can significantly impact other aspects of development and functioning (Alsaker, 1996; Dubas & colleagues, 1991).

Slap (1986) provides a comprehensive accounting of ...

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