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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1982 Aug;21(8):482-4.

Adolescent self-assessment of sexual maturation: reassessment and evaluation in a mixed ethnic urban population.


Pubertal changes correlate better with sexual maturity ratings than with chronological age. The applicability of sexual maturity ratings to research is impeded by the necessity to disrobe the adolescent. This study demonstrates that a mixed ethnic urban group of adolescent females can self-assess their own developmental stages by using standard photographs of sexual maturity stages. However, males do less well in self-assessment. Self-ratings by 22 female adolescents and 22 male adolescents aged 11 to 18 were compared to physicians' assessment. There was total agreement in 17/22 (r=0.87) breast stage assessment, 16/22 (r=0.86)female pubic hair assessment, 10/22 (r=0.72) male genital assessments and 11/22 (r=0.69) male pubic assessments. The mean differences in sexual maturity ratings between physician and adolescent were 0.32 for female pubic hair assessments, 0.64 for male pubic hair assessments, 0.68 for male genital assessments and 0.28 for breast assessments. This study suggests the feasibility of self-assessment of sexual maturity rating among black, white, and Hispanic adolescent females, but the need for further research before it is used among adolescent males.

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