Reaching adulthood means a child becomes more responsible for their actions. Despite the actual and physiological growth of the brain at this stage, reaching puberty early may carry risks of self-harm, according to the most recent British study that discussed this topic, there are some risks associated with that stage.


Researchers attributed self-harm to the early stresses that puberty, with its physiological and psychological changes, carry on a child. The earlier they reach puberty; The severity of those pressures on the children and pushed them to wrong behaviors that could lead to harm on the psychological and physical levels.

Researchers at the University of Bristol explained that the aim of the study was to monitor the rates of increase in cases of self-harm among children in the early adolescence period, and to try to understand its causes in girls and boys alike, as many previous studies concerned girls only. And of course; Detecting puberty in males may be more difficult than in girls. The onset of menstruation (menarche) is a sure sign of puberty on both the physical and psychological levels of girls; Unlike boys, especially those who have a slender body; Secondary external signs of puberty, such as the appearance of a mustache or beard, can be delayed, although puberty has already begun. Which puts psychological pressure on some male teenagers.

Psychological stress

The researchers confirmed that many things can interfere and lead to self-harm. Including hormonal, physiological and brain development. However, the most important factor in self-harm is the psychological and social stress that the teenager suffers, and it naturally varies according to the environment and surrounding circumstances, and its incidence increases with the teenager's exposure to bullying, whether actual between peers. Electronic abuse, family ill-treatment, physical abuse by family, substance abuse and alcohol abuse; As well as being subjected to sexual assault. Especially girls. The problem is exacerbated if the aggressor is a teenager's close circle or a member of his family.

Researchers examined data from 5,000 adolescents, males and females, and found that a teen who reaches puberty early is most likely to self-harm at the age of 16. And for girls; Even after reaching adulthood, the risk of self-harm can persist. The researchers defined precocious puberty as the age at which peak height, or so-called growth spurt, occurred. Height continues at a normal, gradual rate throughout childhood. But in early adolescence, growth occurs very quickly. The age was set at 13.5 for males and 11.5 for girls.

The researchers also examined questionnaires that individuals answered at ages 16 and 21 about thinking about or doing self-harm. The result was that at 16 years old, the percentage of males who self-harmed 10 percent, while the percentage among girls was 25 percent. At the age of 21, which is considered the age of maturity, the proportion of males is 28 percent, and girls’ 35 percent, which means that psychological problems in the beginning of puberty can accompany a person even in their youth.