Puberty is a transition stage from childhood to adulthood. Puberty is triggered when the
pituitary gland produces progesterone and testosterone hormones in girls and boys, respectively.
Arrival of puberty in boys and girls to influence growth changes may appear earlier or later than
anticipated. Early and late puberty makes individuals fit in less, potentially causing stress. Fight
and flight are the response mechanisms of dealing with difficult and stressful situations. Early
and delayed puberty are negative stressors in adolescent boys and girls.
Ella experienced puberty earlier than their peers compared to Thomas, who is challenged
by his small body size. Signs of puberty in girls are breast growth, menstruation, growth of hair
in the pubic and under armpit areas, expansion of hips, and growth in the general body. Ella is
experiencing social and emotional problems since she is self-conscious about the changes in her
body. Early puberty in girls is subjective to a high risk of depression, early sex, and substance
abuse (Kelly et al., 2017). The early stages of puberty affect girls' social interaction and
The changes in Ellas' body are causing her self-neglect since she feels odd out. Ella fit in
less since she is the tallest girl in her class, implicating her to stress. According to Khan (2019),
early maturing adolescents are at a very high risk of anxiety, negative self-esteem, and
depression. Ella is stressed as she negatively compares herself with other girls in her school.
Teachers ought to monitor students at puberty age to recognize and combat stress.
Adolescents may experience embarrassment and stress as a result of delayed puberty.
Thomas may be experiencing late puberty.Girls are at a higher risk of early puberty stress than
boys (Kelly et al., 2017). Thomas has adopted a chatty character to fit in with his peers despite
his short height. Engaging in activities facilitate teenagers to cope with delayed puberty (Kelly et
al., 2017). According to Jones et al. (2018), boys are more likely to experience late puberty than
girls. Boys have more coping skills for delayed growth changes.
Teachers can help students like Ella and Thomas by teaching and starting the
conversation on puberty at a young age. Acknowledging students at a young age about puberty
helps them cope with the transition more smoothly. When children understand puberty is a
mandatory stage of growth, they are less likely to face pre-pubertal stress (Jones et al., 2018). It
is also important that teachers make students understand that puberty starts at different ages in
different people. Teachers should also advocate for students' best coping mechanisms to deal
with stress and negative self-perception, such as engaging in activities and relaxation. Informing
students about puberty ahead of time is important to cope with early or late puberty stress.
Puberty may begin early or late in different individuals. Ella is experiencing early puberty
that is dragging her to depression. Thomas is uncomfortable with his short height but has
resolved to compensate for that with garrulity and karate. Early or late puberty imposes stress on
adolescents. Ella and Thomas should be educated about the adolescence stage to help them cope
with stress and maintain high self-esteem. Teachers can avoid puberty distress by addressing
puberty in children at a young age.
Kelly, Y., Zilanawala, A., Sacker, A., Hiatt, R., & Viner, R. (2017). Early puberty in 11-year-old girls:
Millennium Cohort Study findings. Archives of disease in childhood, 102(3), 232-237.
Khan, L. (2019). Puberty: Onset and progression. Pediatric Annals, 48(4), e141-e145.
Jones, R. B., Thapar, A., Stone, Z., Thapar, A., Jones, I., Smith, D., & Simpson, S. (2018).
Psychoeducational interventions in adolescent depression: a systematic review. Patient education
and counseling, 101(5), 804-816.