Development is not the same as ageing: the relevance of puberty to health of adolescents

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6 Citations (Scopus)


In much academic writing on matters of adolescent public health, age is treated as a proxy for developmental stage, and yet the two are very different concepts and this lack of distinction neglects important biological processes that impact the well-being of young people. Large-scale surveys of adolescents frequently describe differences in the health and risk behaviour, as well as a wide range of health measures, as related to age (Currie et al. 2008, 2012a). Between the ages of 11 and 15 years, adolescents are immersed in a complexity of changes to their physical selves, cognitive function, emotional range, impulsivity, desire for risk taking and hormonal function (Patton and Viner 2007). These changes affect their health-related behaviour, well-being, social and gender identity, social relations and ability to concentrate and learn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-150
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2019


  • puberty
  • public health
  • health and risk behaviour
  • identity
  • gender differences


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