At some point of life each of us has to go through a process called puberty, which is a span of physical changes that result in sexual maturity, and survive adolescence, a period of development that starts with puberty.
It is important to mention, that adolescence is considered as relatively new concept for human beings. Back in the day puberty was seen as a signal that one has entered adulthood. This misconception might have happened due to a few things. First, word “puberty” originally means “adult”, when translated from Latin. Second, there is an impressive shift in the average age of puberty occurrence.
Around a century ago it used to start at about the age of 16, when, technically, people were ready to enroll into some adult roles, while nowadays it starts near 12 years of age and it is impossible in most modern societies to be considered as a grownup at that lifespan decade. Not only there is a significant change with the start point of puberty, but also with the end of it. Yet, there are no particular verifications on why we are observing a drop of age from 16 to 12 or raise of the endpoint.
Although, there are some hypotheses. Some think that the escalation is a result of widened span of education and guidance needed in modern societies. However, according to The Guardian there might be some other more specific reasons for that to happen, such as a link between Body Mass Index or change in nutrition due to some circumstances and puberty. According to most researchers there is an obvious correlation between body weight and early development, so if a child is overweight then most likely it will enter into puberty earlier compared to its peers. An example of nutrition change effects is a study done by Teilmann G1, Pedersen CB, Skakkebaek NE, Jensen TK (2006), in which they tested children from developing countries, who were recently adopted by representatives of developed countries and had to move, change habits, nutrition etc. Maybe, there was more to that, like stress of the whole process but researchers focus mostly on diet of their participants. Another crucial factor is that this particular unit of our lives includes the most intense gray matter growth.
Needless to say, the modern world needs way more time for adaptation and gray matter in order to understand it, especially considering the changes that are happening on a daily basis and constant information flow that each has to deal with. Indeed, everything comes to an end at some point and both adolescence or puberty are not an exception. However there is no unity concerning the endpoint of adolescence, it is a common belief that it ends when both physical changes associated with sexual maturity and brain development are achieved, since these factors are seen as necessary for taking adult roles. Either way, in a modern world adolescence is considered as the best time of our lives regarding all the body changes, emotional instability, drive to engage into risky behaviors, etc. Most importantly, this is the time when we are starting to form a clear picture of our own identity, consistent unified sense of self which clearly helps each of us throughout adulthood.