Physical maturity is that age at which a girl reaches sexual maturity and has stopped growing. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, this takes place sometime after puberty, typically between 15 and 20 years old. Keep reading for a few quick questions and answers about the transition from girlhood to womanhood.
Q: When do little girls stop growing?
Marla Ahlgrimm: That’s different for every girl, but typically, a female will reach her adult height by the age of 15. Full physical maturity, however, may not take place until several years after menstruation begins. Once a girl reaches her height, her body will still begin to “fill out” with fat pockets around the thighs and breasts.
Q: Do puberty hormones affect growth?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely. In fact, puberty is the time in a girl’s life when they grow the most. Young girls will start puberty sometime between the ages of 10 and 12. They can grow up to 12 inches in height between the onset of puberty and age 15. Further, during this time, girls begin to develop breast buds and notice other changes to their bodies.
Q: Do girls grow at a different rate than boys?
Marla Ahlgrimm: They do. Most girls begin puberty earlier than boys, and they will grow faster than their male friends. Boys often don’t reach puberty until 11 to 13, a full year after their female classmates. However, boys do typically grow larger and taller than girls their age, and muscle development may not be complete until the age of 20 or 21.
Q: Are there any factors that can delay growth?
Marla Ahlgrimm: There are many reasons that a girl – or a boy – may not grow to their full potential. Malnutrition, cancers, issues with growth hormones, and certain syndromes can all stunt a person’s growth. However, there are also other reasons that a person may grow taller than genetics would intend. Marfan’s syndrome is one of these and is typified by being excessively tall and extremely thin.