We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Stages of Adolescence Physical Development?

By L.L. Probst
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The stages of adolescence physical development can be broken down into three distinct phases. The early developmental phase usually encompasses preteens ages 12 to 14 and marks the majority of puberty-related changes. Ages 15 to 17 often mark the middle developmental phase in which many of the physical changes have already taken place. Finally, the late stage of adolescence physical development occurs between the ages of 18 to 21.

In the early stage of adolescence physical development, many and the most drastic physical changes occur as the child begins to mature into adulthood. This stage is often referred to as the onset of puberty. Typical signs that puberty has begun is the growth of pubic hair. The emergence of acne on the face and body of both sexes might also be an outward sign that puberty has begun.

Girls will often start noticing a change in the tissues that make up the breasts during adolescence physical development. Breast development and subtle changes in the vaginal area occur as early as 8 years old to a later onset of 16 years old. Many girls might begin menstruating during this same time period. Additional body hair could begin growing at this time leading to an onset of shaving the legs and arm pit areas of the body. These changes happen due to an increase in hormones produced in the female body called estrogen and progesterone.

Boys can often begin puberty later than girls at approximately 11 years old to a later onset of 17 years old. The male voice can begin to deepen during this time and might even make an uncontrollable high-pitched sound while transitioning into the adult tone. Increased muscle tone in the arms and legs begins to replace fat stores from childhood. Many boys begin to notice growth to the male genitals and increased facial and body hair growth. An increase of the testosterone hormone is produced in the male body during this time accounting for the onset of these changes.

The middle and late stages of adolescence physical development are noted by a refinement of the physical changes that occurred in the early stage of development. Fat continues to be deposited in the breast and hip regions of girls. Boys can continue to grow taller and voices begin to stabilize. Overall, hormones reach more even levels with less fluctuations and emotional tolerance of the physical changes can lead to a more self-confident individual.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.