How Female Puberty Works

Psychological Changes in Pubescent Girls

If you had as much going on as she does, you might be a little out of sorts, too.

Puberty develops the mind as much as it develops the body. Whereas children (under the best of circumstances) live relatively carefree lives, girls who have gone through puberty may suddenly feel they have the burden of the world on their backs. On the other hand, the loss of childhood "innocence" also goes hand-in-hand with the development of a mind capable of processing higher thoughts and abstract concepts. As their entire world has changed from within them, girls must find and establish a new identity. This search begins long before their bodies stop evolving into their final adult forms.

Self-awareness increases and may be mistaken by others as self-obsession, but this is completely normal. An adolescent girl must closely examine her own beliefs and feelings in order to find her place and roles within the world. Girls will likely also feel self-conscious, especially in light of crude remarks or teasing by boys who are shorter and less developed and, in many cases, frankly terrified of the towering women now walking among them.


Existing sleep patterns will probably get turned on end during puberty, as girls may suddenly get enough rest to make old housecats look spry and lively by comparison. Moods may become erratic, due to hormonal fluctuations and the stresses of transitioning into adulthood in a world that isn't sure when to stop treating adolescent girls like children. Mood changes may also be caused by the presence of parents, who have by now fully developed into embarrassing life forms. Puberty offers a perfect window of opportunity to rummage through parents' belief systems and rearrange things to their liking. Many of the lessons and beliefs handed down to girls by parents as inalienable truths throughout childhood may now seem unjust, hypocritical and logically unsound. This new questioning mindset should be fed with all the information it craves. It also presents a good opportunity to broaden educational horizons and explore new subjects, philosophies and the lives of heroic women throughout history.

Clothing and appearance will become more individualized, as girls experiment with their physical image and how it can affect how a girl either blends in with her peer group or stands out from the crowd.