What is the “normal” growth pattern in the teenager?
Puberty has been the most unpredictable process in a normal physiology. Right from the onset of the puberty, the physiological changes involved and how it impacts the normal teenager, in terms of academics performance and social relationships cannot be generalized to a great extent. It varies greatly from one person to another. Especially, the differences in the gender can play a vital role in determining the growth pattern of the teenager. Apart from this, the general growth of a person is also affected based on the genetic factors inherited from their parents and their family.
Irrespective of the gender and the genetic factors, there is one other important determinants of the growth pattern in a particular person, lifestyle. There has been an observed alteration in the timing of puberty due to the lifestyle factors such as nutrition and sleep. The increasing use of high fat foods and reduced sleep causes early onset of puberty in girls, while in boys the onset is delayed.
On an average, a continuous pattern of growth can be observed for girls around 11 years and for boys around 13 years. In some teenagers, the growth pattern might either be early or delayed by 3 years. The girls usually lead the growth pattern; hence the height of the girl at a specific age is more than the height of the boy of the same age. But at the end of their teens, the boys gain more height than the girls, according to their genetic factors.