The onset of puberty, the time in life when a person becomes sexually mature, typically occurs between ages 8 and 13 for girls and ages 9 and 14 for boys. Precocious puberty is puberty that begins abnormally early, and delayed puberty is puberty that begins abnormally late. The NICHD and other NIH Institutes and federal agencies support and conduct research on the causes of precocious puberty and delayed puberty. They also investigate the biology and chemistry of normal puberty to shed light on the mechanisms responsible for precocious and delayed puberty.
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