Puberty and its measurement: A decade in review

Lorah D. Dorn, Frank M. Biro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


Since the early 1980s, the focus on the importance of puberty to adolescent development has continued with variability in the methodology selected to measure puberty. To capture the relevant and important issues regarding the measurement of puberty in the last decade, this paper will address (1) the neuroendocrine aspects of puberty and its components, as well as the timing of puberty and its tempo; (2) why puberty is measured, including the relevance of puberty and its timing to health and development as well as the relevance of being off-time, that is, early or late with respect to a reference group; (3) the measurement of puberty and its methodology with respect to pubertal staging by physical examination, self-report measures, and their agreement with other methods and measures, hormones and their methods of measurement, and comparison of hormone concentrations to pubertal stage; and (4) recommendations for what is needed in the next decade regarding the measurement of puberty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-195
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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