Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Problem-child behavior could result from early puberty in girls

Date:
December 9, 2013
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
A study shows early maturing in adolescent girls can increase aggressive and delinquent behavior.

Findings from a University of Alabama at Birmingham study published Dec. 9 in the journal Pediatrics show that adolescent girls who experience their first menstrual cycle prior to age 11 reported more delinquent and physically aggressive behavior.

Related Articles


By age 16, the effect of early puberty on physical aggression disappeared, but these girls still reported more delinquent behavior than those who did not experience early puberty.

"Delinquency and aggression put adolescents at risk for many negative outcomes in the future, including lower educational achievement, substance abuse, depression and problems in relationships," explained the study's lead author Sylvie Mrug, Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB Department of Psychology. "Thus it is important to understand how these problem behaviors develop and how pubertal timing and friends' behavior -- among other variables -- contribute to them."

Mrug and colleagues interviewed more than 2,600 girls and their parents three times between the ages of 11-16 to examine how early puberty onset and best friends' problem behavior, like talking back to adults, lying, cheating and not being nice, contributed to delinquency and different types of aggression over time.

Girls who had a best friend with more problem behavior reported more delinquent and aggressive behavior at age 11, but these effects mostly dissipated by age 16.

"This suggests that negative peer influences from best friends at age 11 are short-lived, perhaps because best friends change as children enter middle school," Mrug said. "The most interesting finding was that girls who experienced early puberty reported more delinquent behavior if their best friend was more deviant."

The results suggest that early maturing girls are more vulnerable to negative peer influences.

"It is important for parents and other adults to monitor who the friends are and what the girls do with their friends," Mrug said. "Of course this is important for all children and adolescents, but it may be even more critical for girls who mature early, as they are more vulnerable."

Another result is that early puberty and best friends' behavior at age 11 do not put girls on trajectories of long-term problem behaviors, according to Mrug.

"These influences can be short-lived, and this may give hope to families dealing with such issues," she said.

Mrug says it is important to have more studies that follow girls and boys from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood to see how much different risk factors matter in the long-term. Further study is needed to examine other relevant risk and protective factors such as social support or parenting influences.

The sample of girls came from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, and results showed that most of the relationships between early puberty, friends' behavior and aggression and delinquency are the same across race and ethnicity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sylvie Mrug, PhD et al. Early Puberty, Negative Peer Influence, and Problem Behaviors in Adolescent Girls. Pediatrics, December 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Problem-child behavior could result from early puberty in girls." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131209132448.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2013, December 9). Problem-child behavior could result from early puberty in girls. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131209132448.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Problem-child behavior could result from early puberty in girls." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131209132448.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins