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J Adolesc Health Care. 1989 Sep;10(5):363-8.

Menarche: the black American experience.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33101.


There is an increasing awareness that attitudes learned during socialization into a cultural/ethnic group may influence one's perception of and response to menarche. To date, studies have primarily involved white Americans. There is a lack of information regarding the experience of menarche among diverse ethnic groups. Our study of a sample of black American girls (mean age 13.5 years) revealed that the proportion of blacks who felt they were not prepared for menarche was almost twice that of whites. A comparison of the black adolescents' assessment of their level of preparedness suggests that the less prepared they perceive themselves to have been, the more negative feelings they express toward menarche--which is comparable to the findings among white Americans. The black and white adolescents alike attributed the most positive feelings about menarche to their mothers, compared with their own and their fathers' emotional response.

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