Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Youth Adolesc. 2016 Aug;45(8):1696-710. doi: 10.1007/s10964-015-0275-3. Epub 2015 Apr 4.

Peer Group Similarity in Perceptions of Pubertal Timing.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, 108 E. Dean Keeton Stop #A8000, Austin, TX, 78712, USA. natalie.kretsch@gmail.com.
2
Department of Human Development, Martha van Rensselaer Hall Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA.
3
Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station D3700, Bellmont Hall 222, Austin, TX, 78712, USA.
4
Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, 108 E. Dean Keeton Stop #A8000, Austin, TX, 78712, USA.
5
Population Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, 108 E. Dean Keeton Stop #A8000, Austin, TX, 78712, USA.

Abstract

Self-report measures of perceived pubertal timing correspond only weakly with clinical measures of "objective" physical development. Peer and school contexts shape adolescents' self-perceptions of pubertal timing. The current study examined associations between perceived pubertal timing and the pubertal timing reported by nominated friends and schoolmates. Participants included 2817 adolescents (Mage = 16.6; 49 % female; 16 % Black; 20 % Hispanic) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Three measures of pubertal timing were included: age-standardized ratings of body changes, comparisons of development relative to peers (relative timing), and, in females, age at menarche. It was hypothesized that relative timing, which explicitly asks adolescents to compare themselves to their peers, would be related to the age-standardized pubertal timing of nominated friends and schoolmates. Surprisingly, there were no associations between relative timing and age-standardized pubertal timing reported by peers, suggesting that pubertal self-perceptions do not fluctuate in response to the average level of development in a friend group. Instead, males were similar to nominated friends and schoolmates in age-standardized ratings of body changes, and females were similar to nominated friends in relative timing, controlling for race, ethnicity, and age. Different self-report measures of pubertal timing index different underlying constructs, and the social processes that influence adolescents' perceptions of pubertal maturation may differ between genders.

KEYWORDS:

Measurement; Peers; Pubertal timing; Puberty

PMID:
25840777
PMCID:
PMC4848160
DOI:
10.1007/s10964-015-0275-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center