Pubertal Timing and Developmental Pathways of Adolescents: A new Generation of Studies
Puberty is a major milestone in human’s life that signals biological development with the aim of reaching sexual maturity. It is associated with profound biological and bodily changes, interacting with transformations on psychological and social level. In addition, in particular if physical changes occur earlier or later in contrast to the majority of age mates, problematic developmental trajectories of psychosocial adjustment can result
Since some decades, scientists were interested in the timing of pubertal changes and its consequences, however, there are still open questions: (1) Is the secular trend towards earlier timing of pubertystill ongoing? (2) What are the antecedents of timing of puberty? (3) Are biopsychosocial models valid to explain developmental processes how pubertal timing relates to problem behavior in both males and females? Do they need refinement or extension? (4) Are they applicable between different developmental and cultural contexts? and, (5) Are deviations from normative timing of puberty always a burden, or may they also relate to positive outcomes
These issues are not only relevant for a deeper understanding of the developmental pathways associated with early or late timing of puberty but also inform the development of effective prevention attempts for young people at the beginning of adolescence.
The symposium brings together scientists in the field of puberty research with the aim to discuss these current issues. Thereby, contributors will build their argumentation on empirical data (including behavioral and biological measures gathered in interdisciplinary teams) from various cultural contexts which have been analyzed using modern data analytic strategies.