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Family conditions may affect when girls experience puberty
Date:11/14/2007

girls) when they were in first grade, and the development of secondary sexual characteristicssuch as breast budding and the growth of body hairin 180 girls when they were in fifth grade.

Children living in families with greater parental supportiveness (from both mothers and fathers) and less marital conflict and depression (but only when reported by fathers) experienced the first hormonal changes of puberty later than other children, the researchers found. In addition, children whose mothers had started puberty later (a genetic factor), whose families were better off when the children were in preschool, whose moms gave them more support when they were in preschool, and who had lower Body Mass Index (BMI) when they were in third grade developed secondary sexual characteristics later than their peers.

Consistent with the theory, quality of parental investment emerged as a central feature of the proximal family environment in relation to the timing of puberty, according to Bruce J. Ellis, associate professor of family studies and human development at the University of Arizona and the lead author of the study. These results replicate and extend previous longitudinal research indicating that higher levels of positive investment and support in family relationships in preschool predict lower levels of pubertal maturation in daughters in the seventh grade.


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Contact: Andrea Browning
abrowning@srcd.org
202-289-7905
Society for Research in Child Development
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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