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Coming of Age Too Early: Pubertal Influences on Girls’ Vulnerability to Psychological Distress

Citation

Ge, Xiaojia; Conger, Rand D.; & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (1996). Coming of Age Too Early: Pubertal Influences on Girls' Vulnerability to Psychological Distress. Child Development, 67(6), 3396-3400.

Abstract

This 4-year longitudinal study investigates 3 hypothesized effects of the pubertal transition on the psychological distress of adolescent girls (N = ca. 200): early maturation, the impact of heterosexual versus same-sex friends, and prepubertal vulnerabilities, such as early emotional distress and father hostility. Building on Caspi and Moffitt's study of girls' delinquency, this study found that early maturing girls experienced significantly higher levels of psychological distress compared to their on-time and late maturing age-mates. In line with prior studies of girls' delinquency (Caspi, Lynam, Moffitt, & Silva, 1993; Magnusson, 1988), early maturing girls also experienced higher levels of distress at the tenth grade as reported by fathers, mothers, and adolescents when they were associated with mixed- rather than same-sex friends during the seventh through ninth grades. Finally, early maturing girls were more vulnerable to prior psychological problems, deviant peer pressures, and fathers' hostile feelings when compared to on-time and late maturing peers.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1131784

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Child Development

Author(s)

Ge, Xiaojia
Conger, Rand D.
Elder, Glen H., Jr.

Year Published

1996

Volume Number

67

Issue Number

6

Pages

3396-3400

Reference ID

861