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Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

ADLER, ALFRED

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In stressing that psychological processes are affected more by the person’s construction of current and past realities rather than by the actual events themselves, Adler’s theory was somewhat ahead of its time.

ADOLESCENCE: Puberty and Biological Maturation

Key environmental influences are nutrition, exercise, and health. Restriction of nutritional intake (but not to the point of starvation) in combination with high physical demands on the body via exercise results in delayed pubertal onset. Gymnasts, figure skaters, dancers, and runners may report delays of one to two years in the onset of menarche.

For example, hypothyroidism, blindness, and retardation have been linked to advanced menarche.

Support for the evolutionary hypothesis has been found in research linking early maturation to less positive family relations, suggesting that family stress accelerates pubertal development. Although the mechanisms linking family relationships to pubertal development have not yet been identified, the presumption is that the hormonal pathways controlling puberty are responsible. Stressful family circumstances may produce physiological stress responses leading to hormonal activity that accelerates development.

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Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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