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A thorough understanding of adolescence in society depends on information from various perspectives, including psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology.Within all of these perspectives, adolescence is viewed as a transitional period between childhood and adulthood, whose cultural purpose is the preparation of children for adult roles.
Puberty is a period of several years in which rapid physical growth and psychological changes occur, culminating in sexual maturity.
The average age of onset of puberty is at 11 for girls and 12 for boys.
Physical growth (particularly in males), and cognitive development can extend into the early twenties.
Thus age provides only a rough marker of adolescence, and scholars have found it difficult to agree upon a precise definition of adolescence.
This non-uniform growth is one reason why an adolescent body may seem out of proportion.