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Chapter 2: Puberty and Physical Development
Multiple Choice Questions
1) _____is a universal feature of adolescent development.
A) "Storm and stress"
B) Puberty
C) Separation from parents
D) Sexual initiation
Answer: B
Rationale:
Puberty is a universal feature of adolescent development because it is a period characterized
by physical changes leading to sexual maturity, which occurs in all individuals, regardless of
cultural or environmental factors.
2) The process that propels children in the direction of physical and sexual maturity is called
A) puberty.
B) recapitulation.
C) nurture.
D) socialization.
Answer: A
Rationale:
Puberty is the process that propels children toward physical and sexual maturity by initiating
the development of secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive capabilities.
3) The endocrine system influences bodily processes by producing and releasing
A) neural fibers.
B) chemical energy.
C) hormones.

D) electrical impulses.
Answer: C
Rationale:
The endocrine system influences bodily processes by producing and releasing hormones,
which are chemical messengers that regulate various physiological functions.
4) The _____ functions as the control center for the endocrine system.
A) hypothalamus
B) pituitary
C) adrenal gland
D) medulla
Answer: A
Rationale:
The hypothalamus functions as the control center for the endocrine system by releasing
hormones that regulate the secretion of hormones from the pituitary gland.
5) A key event in setting off puberty occurs when
A) there is a surge in levels of human growth hormone.
B) the adrenal gland produces higher levels of stress hormone.
C) the hypothalamus becomes less sensitive to sex hormones and signals the gonads to
produce higher levels of them.
D) the growth curve becomes steepest.
Answer: C
Rationale:
A key event in setting off puberty is when the hypothalamus becomes less sensitive to sex
hormones and signals the gonads (testes in males, ovaries in females) to produce higher
levels of sex hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen.
6) The letter "G" in HPG axis stands for

A) growth.
B) GnRH.
C) giveback.
D) gonads.
Answer: D
Rationale:
The letter "G" in HPG axis stands for gonads, which are the primary reproductive organs
responsible for producing sex hormones.
7) The earliest phase of puberty, which begins before any outward physical changes, is
known as
A) adrenarche.
B) spermarche.
C) menarche.
D) asynchronicity.
Answer: A
Rationale:
Adrenarche is the earliest phase of puberty, which begins before any outward physical
changes occur, and is characterized by the maturation of the adrenal glands and the
production of adrenal androgens.
8) During puberty, levels of _____ increase much more in boys than in girls.
A) DHEA
B) estrogen
C) androgens
D) leptin
Answer: C

Rationale:
During puberty, levels of androgens (such as testosterone) increase much more in boys than
in girls, leading to the development of male secondary sexual characteristics.
9) During puberty, levels of _____ increase much more in girls than in boys.
A) androgens
B) estrogen
C) DHEA
D) leptin
Answer: B
Rationale:
During puberty, levels of estrogen increase much more in girls than in boys, leading to the
development of female secondary sexual characteristics.
10) During puberty, the HPG axis sets in motion the rapid increase in height and weight
known as
A) the secular trend.
B) homeostasis.
C) the adolescent growth spurt.
D) the metabolic transition.
Answer: C
Rationale:
During puberty, the HPG axis sets in motion the rapid increase in height and weight known as
the adolescent growth spurt, which is a period of accelerated growth in adolescence.
11) On average, girls enter the adolescent growth spurt _____ boys.
A) at the same time as
B) six months later than

C) about two years earlier than
D) six months earlier than
Answer: C
Rationale:
Girls enter the adolescent growth spurt about two years earlier than boys, which contributes
to the typical pattern of girls being taller than boys during early adolescence.
12) During the adolescent growth spurt, different parts of the body change at different times
and different rates; a phenomenon called
A) homeostasis.
B) the critical period.
C) ossification.
D) asynchronicity.
Answer: D
Rationale:
During the adolescent growth spurt, different parts of the body change at different times and
rates, which is known as asynchronicity. This phenomenon results in uneven growth and can
contribute to the awkwardness often experienced during puberty.
13) One reason for the average difference in height between adult men and women is that
A) boys are older and hence taller when they enter the growth spurt.
B) androgens promote greater height than estrogen.
C) girls are shorter than same-age boys during childhood.
D) the Y chromosome in males programs greater height.
Answer: A
Rationale:

One reason for the average difference in height between adult men and women is that boys
are typically older and taller when they enter the adolescent growth spurt compared to girls,
leading to a difference in final adult height.
14) During early adolescence, _____ gain more body fat and _____ gain more muscle.
A) boys; boys
B) girls; girls
C) girls; boys
D) boys; girls
Answer: C
Rationale:
During early adolescence, girls tend to gain more body fat, particularly in preparation for
potential pregnancy, while boys tend to gain more muscle mass, which is influenced by the
effects of testosterone.
15) During puberty, boys increase in physical strength more than girls in part because
A) they are more likely to exercise regularly.
B) girls put on proportionately more body fat than boys.
C) their endocrine systems produce more testosterone, closely linked to muscle growth.
D) All of the above.
Answer: D
Rationale:
Boys increase in physical strength more than girls during puberty due to several factors,
including differences in exercise patterns, hormonal influences (such as testosterone), and
changes in body composition (boys gaining more muscle mass while girls gain more body
fat).
16) Typically, boys experience their first ejaculation fairly _____ in puberty, and girls
experience their first menstrual period fairly _____ in puberty.
A) early; early

B) early; late
C) late; early
D) late; late
Answer: B
Rationale:
Typically, boys experience their first ejaculation fairly early in puberty, while girls experience
their first menstrual period fairly late in puberty. This difference in timing is due to the
maturation of different systems within the body.
17) "Tanner stages" refers to
A) the sequence of changes in secondary sex characteristics during puberty.
B) the levels of melatonin found in the skin of adolescents from different backgrounds.
C) the growth and maturation of the long bones of the body.
D) the increased production of sebum that is linked to adolescent acne.
Answer: A
Rationale:
"Tanner stages" refer to the sequence of changes in secondary sex characteristics during
puberty, including the development of breast tissue in girls and the growth of facial hair in
boys, among other physical changes.
18) In most girls, the first outward indication of puberty is
A) the appearance of pubic hair.
B) menarche.
C) the swelling of the breast bud.
D) the development of complexion problems.
Answer: C
Rationale:

In most girls, the first outward indication of puberty is the swelling of the breast bud, which
is the initial stage of breast development.
19) In most boys, the first outward sign of puberty is
A) the growth of the testes and scrotum.
B) the appearance of facial hair.
C) the appearance of pubic hair.
D) register changes in the voice.
Answer: A
Rationale:
In most boys, the first outward sign of puberty is the growth of the testes and scrotum, which
is often accompanied by an increase in penis size.
20) For boys, the first signs of puberty usually occur around age
A) nine.
B) eleven.
C) thirteen.
D) fifteen.
Answer: B
Rationale:
For boys, the first signs of puberty typically occur around age eleven, although there can be
variation in the timing of puberty onset.
21) For girls, the first signs of puberty usually occur around age
A) ten.
B) twelve.
C) fourteen.
D) sixteen.

Answer: A
Rationale:
For girls, the first signs of puberty usually occur around age ten, although there is variability
in the timing of puberty onset. This typically includes the development of breast buds and the
growth of pubic hair.
22) Research on trends in puberty often focuses on the age of menarche because
A) pubertal trends change more for girls than for boys.
B) it is the earliest sign of puberty in girls.
C) it is a definite event that is usually noticed and remembered.
D) sexual development in boys happens more slowly and gradually.
Answer: C
Rationale:
Research on trends in puberty often focuses on the age of menarche because it is a definite
event that is usually noticed and remembered by girls, making it a reliable indicator for
studying pubertal timing and trends.
23) The age at which girls experience their first menstrual period is affected by
A) nutrition.
B) family conflict.
C) intensive exercise.
D) All of the above.
Answer: D
Rationale:
The age at which girls experience their first menstrual period is affected by various factors,
including nutrition, family environment (such as conflict or support), and level of physical
activity, among others.

24) Between 1900 and 1960, the average age of menarche in Canada and the United States
dropped by about two months every decade. This is an illustration of the
A) pubertal decline.
B) secular trend.
C) delayed phase preference.
D) lowered reaction range.
Answer: B
Rationale:
The decrease in the average age of menarche in Canada and the United States between 1900
and 1960 illustrates the secular trend, which refers to the phenomenon of earlier onset of
puberty observed over generations.
25) Historical evidence suggests that in Classical Greece and Rome, menarche
A) came somewhat later than it does in Europe and North America today.
B) came much later than it does in Europe and North America today.
C) came at roughly the same age as it does in Europe and North America today.
D) came somewhat earlier than it does in Europe and North America today.
Answer: C
Rationale:
Historical evidence suggests that in Classical Greece and Rome, menarche came at roughly
the same age as it does in Europe and North America today, indicating that the timing of
puberty has not always been consistent across different time periods and cultures.
26) Girls who have negative feelings about their breast development tend to attribute this to
A) the stress of having to leave childhood.
B) increased parental restrictions on their activities.
C) the hassle of having to dress modestly.
D) overt reactions from others, especially boys.

Answer: D
Rationale:
Girls who have negative feelings about their breast development tend to attribute this to overt
reactions from others, especially boys, which can contribute to feelings of self-consciousness
and body image concerns.
27) When girls experience menarche, most respond by
A) telling their mother.
B) telling their closest friend.
C) keeping it secret.
D) telling their father.
Answer: A
Rationale:
When girls experience menarche, most respond by telling their mother, as she is often a
primary source of support and information about menstruation.
28) For pubertal boys, self-consciousness about penis size can lead to
A) checking out other boys' bodies for reassurance.
B) "locker room syndrome," or fear of being seen naked by other boys.
C) involuntary erections during public moments.
D) frequent conversations on the topic with close friends.
Answer: B
Rationale:
For pubertal boys, self-consciousness about penis size can lead to "locker room syndrome,"
which is a fear of being seen naked by other boys in communal changing areas, such as
locker rooms.
29) Girls who enter puberty earlier than their age mates
A) are better prepared for adolescent changes.

B) tend to be taller as adults.
C) usually get more social support from parents and peers.
D) tend to be less popular and more depressed.
Answer: D
Rationale:
Girls who enter puberty earlier than their age mates tend to be less popular and more
depressed, possibly due to feeling different or out of sync with their peers who have not yet
experienced puberty.
30) Early-maturing girls are less likely to have problems if
A) puberty comes at the same time as moving to a new school.
B) their community doesn't offer sexuality education until junior high school.
C) they attend an all-girls school.
D) their friends have not yet reached puberty.
Answer: C
Rationale:
Early-maturing girls are less likely to have problems if they attend an all-girls school, as this
can reduce social comparisons and pressures related to physical development.
31) Boys who enter puberty earlier than their age mates
A) are seen and treated as more mature.
B) are more likely to get involved with drug and alcohol use.
C) have fewer problems with parents.
D) All of the above.
Answer: D
Rationale:

Boys who enter puberty earlier than their age mates may be seen and treated as more mature,
but they are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. They
may have fewer problems with parents due to perceived maturity, but they can still face
challenges related to early physical and social development.
32) According to the _____ hypothesis, the effects of entering puberty markedly early or late
result from the stress of being different from others in one's peer group.
A) stage termination
B) deviance
C) adult resemblance
D) continuum
Answer: B
Rationale:
According to the deviance hypothesis, the effects of entering puberty markedly early or late
result from the stress of being different from others in one's peer group, which can lead to
feelings of alienation and low self-esteem.
33) According to the _____ hypothesis, entering puberty early is negative for girls because
they haven't had time to complete the psychological tasks of childhood.
A) stage termination
B) deviance
C) adult resemblance
D) continuum
Answer: A
Rationale:
According to the stage termination hypothesis, entering puberty early is negative for girls
because they haven't had time to complete the psychological tasks of childhood, such as
developing a stable sense of identity and autonomy.

34) With puberty, both boys and girls tend to have _____ closeness and _____ conflict with
their mothers.
A) more; less
B) less; more
C) more; more
D) less; less
Answer: C
Rationale:
With puberty, both boys and girls tend to have more closeness and more conflict with their
mothers, as the adolescent seeks greater independence while still needing support and
guidance.
35) The Jewish Bar Mitzvah is an example of the custom of
A) honoring outstanding teens.
B) puberty rites.
C) birthday celebrations.
D) exchanging gifts on special days.
Answer: B
Rationale:
The Jewish Bar Mitzvah is a puberty rite that marks the coming of age for boys, signifying
their religious and social responsibilities as adults in the community.
36) As compared to puberty rites for girls, puberty rites for boys tend to be more
A) enthusiastically celebrated.
B) focused on rules and taboos.
C) harsh and painful.
D) rapidly dying out.

Answer: C
Rationale:
As compared to puberty rites for girls, puberty rites for boys tend to be more harsh and
painful, often involving physical ordeals to mark the transition to adulthood.
37) During puberty and adolescence, neurons in the brain lose as many as half their
interconnections, in a process called
A) synaptic pruning.
B) dendritic branching.
C) myelination.
D) nerve conservation.
Answer: A
Rationale:
During puberty and adolescence, neurons in the brain undergo synaptic pruning, where as
many as half of their interconnections are eliminated to increase the efficiency of neural
transmission.
38) During adolescence, the brain becomes more efficient and precise in its functioning,
partly because of the increase in
A) neurons.
B) myelin.
C) hemispheres.
D) synapses.
Answer: B
Rationale:
During adolescence, the brain becomes more efficient and precise in its functioning, partly
because of the increase in myelin, a fatty substance that insulates nerve fibers and speeds up
neural transmission.

39) The belief that complex processes must be explained in terms of more elementary
processes is known as
A) atomism.
B) elementarism.
C) reductionism.
D) basicalism.
Answer: C
Rationale:
The belief that complex processes must be explained in terms of more elementary processes
is known as reductionism, which is a fundamental approach in many scientific disciplines.
40) During adolescence, young people form important health habits that affect their wellbeing during adulthood, including
A) getting enough sleep.
B) eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
C) exercising regularly.
D) All of the above.
Answer: D
Rationale:
During adolescence, young people form important health habits that affect their well-being
during adulthood, including getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet, and
exercising regularly. These habits contribute to overall health and wellness throughout life.
41) Mood swings during adolescence
A) are the direct result of changes in hormone levels.
B) are no greater than those during childhood or adulthood.
C) reflect both a larger number of unpredictable events and a greater vulnerability to them.
D) are just as extreme in late adolescence as during puberty.

Answer: C
Rationale:
Mood swings during adolescence are not solely the result of changes in hormone levels but
also reflect a larger number of unpredictable events and a greater vulnerability to them, such
as social pressures, academic challenges, and identity exploration.
42) Girls who see themselves as overweight, even when they are not, and are especially
dissatisfied with their hips, thighs, and waists, suffer from a distorted
A) body image.
B) pubertal growth.
C) sexual self.
D) media obsession.
Answer: A
Rationale:
Girls who see themselves as overweight, even when they are not, and are especially
dissatisfied with their hips, thighs, and waists, suffer from a distorted body image, which can
contribute to low self-esteem and disordered eating behaviors.
43) Among adolescent girls, dissatisfaction with their bodies
A) is found mostly among those whom others consider unattractive.
B) is generally the result of being overweight.
C) is more common among those who watch more television and read more teen magazines.
D) can generally be overcome through a focus on dieting and exercise.
Answer: C
Rationale:
Among adolescent girls, dissatisfaction with their bodies is more common among those who
watch more television and read more teen magazines, which often promote unrealistic body
ideals. This can contribute to negative body image and disordered eating patterns.

44) Adolescents who do not get 8 or more hours of sleep on weeknights
A) can make up for it by sleeping more on weekends.
B) are more likely to have academic and emotional problems.
C) are the minority, because most teens do get that much.
D) are normal, because teens need less sleep than children.
Answer: B
Rationale:
Adolescents who do not get 8 or more hours of sleep on weeknights are more likely to have
academic and emotional problems, as adequate sleep is important for cognitive function,
mood regulation, and overall well-being.
45) About _____% of Canadian adolescents eat too much unhealthy saturated fat.
A) 25
B) 40
C) 66
D) 91
Answer: D
Rationale:
About 91% of Canadian adolescents eat too much unhealthy saturated fat, which can
contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and other health problems.
46) What proportion of Canadian adolescents eat at least one serving of fruit a day?
A) Less than half.
B) Two-thirds.
C) Three quarters.
D) Over 90%.
Answer: A

Rationale:
Less than half of Canadian adolescents eat at least one serving of fruit a day, highlighting the
need for improved dietary habits among this population.
47) Recent research on diet among teens in industrialized countries indicates that _______
adolescents have the highest rates of overweight and obesity.
A) Canadian
B) American
C) British
D) Australian
Answer: B
Rationale:
Recent research on diet among teens in industrialized countries indicates that American
adolescents have the highest rates of overweight and obesity, which can be attributed to
factors such as diet, physical activity levels, and socio-economic status.
48) Among Canadian adolescent boys, _____ meet ‘moderate’ standards of physical activity.
A) more than three quarters
B) about two-thirds
C) less than half
D) fewer than one quarter
Answer: C
Rationale:
Less than half of Canadian adolescent boys meet 'moderate' standards of physical activity,
highlighting the need for increased efforts to promote physical activity among this group.
49) Canadian teens spend _________ in sedentary activities every day.
A) more than 9 hours
B) less than 9 hours

C) 3-5 hours
D) None of the above
Answer: A
Rationale:
Canadian teens spend more than 9 hours in sedentary activities every day, such as watching
TV, using computers, and playing video games, which can have negative impacts on their
health and well-being.
50) In recent years, physical education classes in school when offered
A) have become longer and more rigorous.
B) are more likely to be required of all students.
C) are one hour once weekly.
D) are more popular among older adolescents.
Answer: C
Rationale:
In recent years, physical education classes in school, when offered, are often one hour once
weekly, which may not be sufficient to meet recommended levels of physical activity for
adolescents.
Essay Questions
1) What body system regulates puberty? What are the crucial elements in this system? How
does it carry out its regulatory function?
Answer: The endocrine system regulates puberty by way of the HPG axis -- hypothalamus,
pituitary, gonads -- which controls the levels of sex hormones, androgens (testosterone) and
estrogens (estradiol). The HPG axis creates a feedback loop that keeps hormone levels at their
set point. At puberty, the hypothalamus becomes less sensitive to sex hormones, which raises
the set point.
2) How is the course of physical and sexual development during puberty different for girls
and boys?

Answer: Girls enter puberty and the pubertal growth spurt about 2 years earlier than boys. As
a result, while they are taller on average between 11 and 13, boys end up taller by midadolescence. Girls reach sexual maturity, or menarche, late in the course of pubertal
development, but boys begin producing sperm early in puberty.
3) Shanti is one of the first girls in her school class to enter puberty. What are some of the ways
in which this is likely to affect her? What explanations have been offered for these effects?
Answer: Girls who mature early tend to suffer for it. They are less popular with other girls,
have lower self-esteem, and are more anxious and depressed. Explanations include the
deviance hypothesis (those who deviate from the norm suffer for it), the stage termination
hypothesis (girls who enter puberty early haven't had time to finish the tasks of childhood),
and the adult resemblance hypothesis (girls who look more mature are likely to become
involved early in deviant activities).
4) What are puberty rites? What social functions may they serve? How are they usually
different for girls and boys?
Answer: Especially in traditional cultures, a child’s entry into puberty is generally marked by
special events called puberty rites. For girls, these generally include instruction on adult roles
and rules, taboos, and sexual matters. Boys are often subjected to difficult and painful
ordeals.
5) What important health issues come forward during puberty? Discuss in detail how teens
are affected and what might be done to help.
Answer: Health issues during puberty include mood swings; poor body image; insufficient
sleep; poor nutrition; and lack of exercise. New issues and experiences, along with hormonal
shifts, can create mood swings and heightened emotionality. Unhappiness with one’s
changing body is common, especially among girls who read teen-oriented magazines, and can
lead to serious eating problems. Many adolescents are chronically sleep-deprived. Too many
skip meals and rely on high-fat fast food, resulting in an epidemic of teen obesity, and too
few get even a minimum of physical exercise.

Test Bank for Adolescence
Ian McMahan, Susan Thompson
9780205990559, 9780133957341, 9780205482320, 9780205843718

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