Many adults may still believe that the magic age of 13 is the time to talk about puberty, but for many boys and girls, this is years too late. A recent study of 17,000 healthy girls ages 3 through 12 visiting pediatricians’ offices found that % of White girls and % of African American girls were showing some signs of puberty by age 7 (., breast and/or pubic hair development) (Herman-Giddens et al., 1997; Kaplowitz and Oberfield, 1999). The findings of this study suggest that onset of puberty may be occurring about 1 year earlier in White girls and 2 years earlier in African American girls than had previously been thought. However, studies have not yet been completed on nonclinical samples to confirm that this is the case for girls in general. Relatively little research has examined differences in the course of puberty among different ethnic groups; this is clearly an area that deserves additional attention (Lerner & Galambos, 1998). Professionals who work with children and their families can alert parents to the need to prepare their children early for the changes of adolescence. Professionals can also offer helpful advice to parents and other adults about how to discuss puberty with younger adolescents.
Malcolm Gladwell searches for the counterintuitive in what we all take to be the mundane: cookies, sneakers, pasta sauce. A New Yorker staff writer since 1996, he visits obscure laboratories and infomercial set kitchens as often as the hangouts of freelance cool-hunters -- a sort of pop-R&D gumshoe -- and for that has become a star lecturer and bestselling author.
Sparkling with curiosity, undaunted by difficult research (yet an eloquent, accessible writer), his work uncovers truths hidden in strange data . His always-delightful blog tackles topics from serial killers to steroids in sports, while provocative recent work in the New Yorker sheds new light on the Flynn effect -- the decades-spanning rise in . scores.
Gladwell has written four books. The Tipping Point , which began as a New Yorker piece, applies the principles of epidemiology to crime (and sneaker sales), while Blink examines the unconscious processes that allow the mind to "thin slice" reality -- and make decisions in the blink of an eye. His third book, Outliers , questions the inevitabilities of success and identifies the relation of success to nature versus nurture. The newest work, What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures , is an anthology of his New Yorker contributions.