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Acta Paediatr. 1997 Jan;86(1):10-7.

Self-assessment of sexual maturity by mid-adolescents based on a global question.

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Department of Pediatrics, Göteborg University, Sweden.


The objective of this research was to investigate the use of a global question for evaluation of body development relative to age-mates in addition to graded statements on sexual maturity (SM) as part of self-reports on pubertal development. In total, 4516 adolescents answered written questions on pubertal development and the global question. They represented a normative Swedish sample. To validate these results, 100 mid-adolescents were asked to answer the statements regarding SM and the global question. This was compared with ratings made by two professional examiners for each young person. The outcome of the population study was evaluated against standard biological timetables and demonstrated adequate agreement. In the validation study, the inter-rater agreement between the professionals was excellent and so were professional ratings against those of the adolescents, with one exception: boys rating of their public hair. The global question alone gave the best agreement on pubertal progress. We can conclude that the global question is a valid tool for evaluation of pubertal development during mid-adolescence in population surveys.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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