Pubertal Development and Menarche

Physiological and developmental aspects

Authored by: Margaret L. Stubbs

Routledge International Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138490260
eBook ISBN: 9781351035620
Adobe ISBN:


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The onset of menstruation, an important pubertal event for girls, is only one of many complex biological changes within pubertal development. In this chapter, the physiological aspects of menarche are detailed, including a discussion of factors that have been explored as impacting how and when that process proceeds. In addition, because menstruation is a biopsychosocial event, how girls experience it in the context of psychosocial developmental changes that occur in childhood and adolescence is also discussed. Finally, what girls learn about menstruation and pubertal changes from formal educational opportunities and vastly different cultural representations of the cycle are presented as important factors that contribute to how girls interpret and respond to their own menarcheal, and pubertal, experience.

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