Adolescent Girls’ Sexual Development

  • Julia A. Graber
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
Part of the Issues in Women’s Health book series (WOHI)


Adolescence is a period of development when the body has the most rapid change in physical growth second only to infancy. Along with dramatic physical changes at the entry into adolescence, the adolescent decade is defined by the restructuring of social roles, expectations, and relationships within the family, peer group, and school environment (e.g., Adams, Montemayor, & Gullotta, 1989–2000; Feldman & Elliott, 1990; Graber, Brooks-Gunn, & Petersen, 1996). Notably, the pubertal transition, which has often been used to define the beginning of adolescence, has also been viewed as the impetus for other behavioral and social changes with which puberty co-occurs and precedes (Brooks-Gunn & Petersen, 1983; Petersen & Taylor, 1980). Changes within an individual’s social environment are in some part attributable to the response of family, friends, and teachers to a more adultlike appearance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia A. Graber
    • 1
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Child Psychology, Child Development, and Education, Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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