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For example, researchers in neuroscience or bio-behavioral health might focus on pubertal changes in brain structure and its effects on cognition or social relations.Sociologists interested in adolescence might focus on the acquisition of social roles (e.g., worker or romantic partner) and how this varies across cultures or social conditions.Consequently, girls that reach sexual maturation early are more likely than their peers to develop eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa).Nearly half of all American high school girls' diets are to lose weight.A thorough understanding of adolescence in society depends on information from various perspectives, including psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology.Within all of these perspectives, adolescence is viewed as a transitional period between childhood and adulthood, whose cultural purpose is the preparation of children for adult roles.In addition to changes in height, adolescents also experience a significant increase in weight (Marshall, 1978).The weight gained during adolescence constitutes nearly half of one's adult body weight.
Thus age provides only a rough marker of adolescence, and scholars have found it difficult to agree upon a precise definition of adolescence.
The end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood varies by country and by function.
Furthermore, even within a single nation state or culture there can be different ages at which an individual is considered (chronologically and legally) mature enough for society to entrust them with certain privileges and responsibilities.
Puberty is a period of several years in which rapid physical growth and psychological changes occur, culminating in sexual maturity.
The average age of onset of puberty is at 11 for girls and 12 for boys.