The publication of this volume at this time appears particularly auspi- cious. Biological, psychological, and social change is greater during the pubertal years than at any other period since infancy. While the past two decades have witnessed a virtual explosion of productive research on the first years of life, until recently research on adolescence, and particularly on puberty and early adolescence, has lagged substantially behind. This book provides encouraging evidence that things are changing for the better. Considered separately, the individual chapters in this book include important contributions to our growing knowledge of the biological mechanisms involved in pubertal onset and subsequent changes, as well as of the psychological and social aspects of these changes, both as con- sequences and determinants. In this regard, the book clearly benefits from the breadth of disciplines represented by the contributors, includ- ing developmental endocrinology, adolescent medicine, pediatrics, psy- chology, and sociology, among others.
Section 1 * Biological Aspects of Puberty.- 1 * Physical and Biological Aspects of Puberty.- 2 * Fatness, Puberty, and Fertility: The Effects of Nutrition and Physical Training on Menarche and Ovulation.- 3 * Pubertal Changes in Adolescence.- 4 * Menarche and Dysmenorrhea.- 5 * Pituitary Desensitization with a Long-Acting Luteinizing-Hormone-Releasing Hormone Analog: A Potential New Treatment for Idiopathic Precocious Puberty.- Section 2 * Psychological Aspects of Puberty.- 6 * Alternative Constructions of Adolescent Growth.- 7 * The Psychological Significance of Pubertal Change: Sex Differences in Perceptions of Self during Early Adolescence.- 8 * The Experience of Menarche from a Developmental Perspective.- 9 * Pubertal Change and Cognition.- Section 3 * Sociocultural Aspects of Puberty.- 10 * The Intensification of Gender-Related Role Expectations during Early Adolescence.- 11 * The Social and Psychological Effects of Puberty on White Females.- 12 * Sociosexual Development of Preadolescents.- 13 * A Bargaining Theory of Menarcheal Responses in Preindustrial Cultures.- Section 4 * The Study of Puberty: Integrated Biopsychosocial Perspectives.- 14 * Future Directions in Research.