The Physical, Cognitive, And Social/Emotional Effects Of Precocious Puberty

1225 words - 5 pages

First, puberty is the complicated process of boys and girls sexually maturing to be able and ready to reproduce physically, cognitively, and socially/emotionally. During this time, girls between the ages of eight and fourteen, boys between the ages of nine and fifteen, their bodies release hormones causing a multitude of changes. Precocious puberty is the abnormally early onset of puberty, before age eight in girls and nine in boys. This early start of puberty for girls and boys has many effects, including physical, cognitive, and social/emotional that may cause some problems. In addition there are two different types of PP, which include central precocious puberty (Gonadotropin dependent) ...view middle of the document...

Symptoms are part of the physical effects which vary slightly depending on the gender, although some are the same. They also help with the diagnosis, since they usually prompt a doctor’s visit. The growth of hair under the arms and in the genital region, body odor, acne, behavior changes, and a substantial growth spurt are all symptoms of both sexes. For girls, other indications are the growth of breasts and menstrual bleeding. Boys’ characteristics include growth of the penis, testicles, muscles, facial hair (mustache and/ or beard), as well as voice changes.
To fully know what type of early puberty a child has, a doctor must have tests performed. Usually, the pediatrician will refer the child to an endocrinologist for further investigation of the assessed symptoms after a complete family history and medical exam. One of the first tests done is an x-ray of the child’s non-dominant hand and wrist to be able to see if the bone age is the same as the child’s chronological age. If it is not the same and is advanced more than two years of the child’s chronological age, then more tests will be performed to rule out or detect underlying causes. These tests can include but are not limited to blood tests, Ultrasound of ovaries/testicles, and an MRI.
Physical Effects
There are a few different physical effects that vary depending on whether it is a girl or boy. For girls, early puberty can be a little more obvious with breast growth. Boys growing penis and testicles are less noticeable, since they tend not to bulge out of a shirt or pants. Be that as it may, boys too, can have more obvious changes such as muscle growth, facial hair, and voice changes. All these changes can set them apart from their peers, especially when other kids start noticing the changes and pointing them out.
Cognitive Effects
Cognitively, the changes may not be so noticeable, due to the fact that the child may conceal some thoughts. For instance, sexual thoughts may be advanced and less understood by the child. Otherwise, there is no proof that children with precocious puberty have any effects with intelligence.
Social/Emotional Effects
Socially/ emotionally changes will occur drastically, causing some disturbances in normal daily routines. The hormones racing through their bodies will cause fluctuating mood swings. In boys, more aggression will be observable and girls will be irritated and upset more easily or for no apparent reason. Also, the changes to their body and emotions may make them feel less like their peers. Although being different might seem like a good thing to parents or at least not a concern, kids only want to be like their peers and fit in. Therefore, looking and feeling different can be a lot to deal with for a child and parents must treat them as their age and not older while building their confidence.

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