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Physical Growth of Adolescent Girls: Patterns and Sequence

  • Margaret S. Faust
Part of the Women in Context: Development and Stresses book series (WICO, volume 2)

Abstract

Growth is a universal characteristic of living things; human beings, unlike other living things, have the capacity to reflect on what it means to “grow up.” The increase in bodily size of growing children is so inescapable and obvious that by the time youngsters reach adolescence, they have become inured to the common greeting, “My, how you have grown!” To both the observer and the observed, growth in physical size has a tangibility and an apparent realism that other kinds of growth lack. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage for researchers in the area of physical growth. It is an advantage because the referent of a physical growth measure (e.g., standing height) is clearer and more specific than that in other domains (e.g., self-concept); not only does this enable us to communicate more precisely about dimensions of physical development than about other kinds of development, but we usually are able to assess somatic development more reliably. The relative concreteness, on the other hand, is a disadvantage because sometimes we forget that physical growth, like other developmental processes, is an abstract concept, inferred from differences between measurements taken at two or more different points in time.

Keywords

Adolescent Girl Height Growth Stem Length Pubic Hair Physical Growth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret S. Faust
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyScripps CollegeClaremontUSA

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