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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Dec;36(12):1768-76.

Is psychopathology associated with the timing of pubertal development?

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Department of Human Development, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.



This investigation tested whether the timing of pubertal development was associated with concurrent and prior experiences of psychopathology (symptoms and disorders) in adolescent boys and girls.


A large (N = 1,709) community sample of high school students were interviewed using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children as adapted for use in epidemiological studies. Adolescents also completed a questionnaire battery covering a range of psychosocial variables.


Analyses tested whether pubertal timing was associated with present and lifetime history of mental disorders, psychological symptoms, and psychosocial functioning. As hypothesized, early-maturing girls and late-maturing boys showed more evidence of psychopathology than other same-gender adolescents.


Early-maturing girls had the poorest current and lifetime history of adjustment problems, indicating that this pattern of pubertal development merits attention by mental health providers and researchers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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