Early adolescence

Although the moment at which the first signs of adolescence present themselves may vary considerably, when that moment occurs outside the normal range, at the age of six years, for instance, it is known as early adolescence.

The cause may be located in the pituitary gland when gonadotropin is produced prematurely, stimulating the sexual organs to produce sex hormones. In this context a distinction should be made between a perhaps too early, but, in general, normally developing maturity (often running in families), and an early development of the secondary sexual characteristics without sex cells (ova, sperm) being produced. In some cases of premature adolescence the body may be at first too long for the age, but because the growing ends of the long bones will ossify early under the influence of the sex hormones, the adult body will probably be too short.