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  • Adolescence – is the period of time from childhood to adulthood where the young person develops through puberty.  This is typically described as within the teenage years.
  • Adrenal androgen – is a steroid hormone produced in the outer layer (cortex) of the adrenal gland.  It is the first hormone to be produced as puberty begins.  
  • Brain stem – is the region of the brain at the back of the brain directly connected to the spinal cord which contains a number of structures – medulla oblongata, pons and midbrain. Together, these control the ability of vital organs to work, eg controlling breathing and heart rate.


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The British National Formulary The official website of the British National Formulary, providing UK healthcare professionals with authoritative and practical information on the selection and clinical use of medicines.

This resource was developed by:

Universities' Collaboration in eLearning (UCEL)

Universities' Collaboration in eLearning (UCEL)

This RLO was originally developed as part of the Universities' Collaboration in eLearning (UCEL) project and released on 1st of January 2004.

In November 2016 this resource was converted in to a HTML5 version as some of the technologies used are no longer supported in browsers.

Physical development from five years to adult - Print summary

Between the ages of 5-8 physical growth continues at a steady rate as the body is maturing. On average a child in this age group grows around 5-7cm a year in height and puts on weight at around 2-3½ kg a year. The internal organs are also increasing in size and muscle mass develops allowing the child to ‘tone’ the muscles and develop their strength and dexterity. Body proportions and composition continue to take on a more adult pattern too.

However, from the age of 8 years old the hormonal changes associated with puberty begin and the changing levels of sex steroids drive the body towards sexual maturity, together with the growth of secondary sexual characteristics during the teenage years. These changes also fuel growth spurts in boys and girls at differing times and eventually also lead to the cessation of growth in the late teens or early twenties.

Learning outcomes

By completing this resource you will be able to:

  • Outline the growth and physical development of children and young people aged between 5 to 18 years of age.
  • Discuss the major events of puberty and the effects that this process has on growth and body function.

Learning outcomes

By completing this resource you will be able to:

  • Outline the growth and physical development of children and young people aged between 5 to 18 years of age.
  • Discuss the major events of puberty and the effects that this process has on growth and body function.

This resource was developed by:

With thanks to the following who reviewed the content of the resources:

University of Nottingham Nursing students (Child field):

Ryan Clarke, Clare Cribdon, Aoife Fehilly, Rosanna Jones, Ruth Jones, Kelly Parker, Simone Portman and Molly Wright

University of Nottingham Lecturers in Health Sciences:

Paula Dawson, Damion McCormick, Alexandra Lewandowska-Smith and Heather Wharrad

Nottingham County Council Family Workers:

Helen Bingley, Susan Bird, Debbie Jesson, Meena Sharma, Dina Vitelli and Sharon Warman

With Thanks to:

The young people their families and colleagues who have provided audio and visual resources.

James Henderson, Thomas Stackpoole and Stathis Konstantinidis who provided additional audio narration for these resources.

Kirstie Coolin, Simon Riley and Nicholas Whiting for additional technical support.

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