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Progress in Pediatrics
July 1939


Am J Dis Child. 1939;58(1):162-167. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1939.01990070174017

"Webster's New International Dictionary" defines adolescence as the period of life between puberty and maturity, designating the legal age of puberty for girls as 12 years. Obviously this can be taken only as an average, and wide individual variations must occur. If the term "puberty" signifies the ability to reproduce, many medical records demonstrate that puberty may begin as early as the age of 8 years. By the same token, maturity is reached at very different ages and is an even more indefinite state than puberty. A considerable number of girls never reach the full state of maturity, and some of the disturbances of the pelvis, anatomic and physiologic, are based on this lack of development. Many of these difficulties, I am sure, date back to the preadolescent period, and much could be done to improve if not prevent them if they were recognized and treated even by the imperfect

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