A prospective study of childhood social hardships and age at menarche

ArticleinAnnals of epidemiology 22(10):731-7 · September 2012with10 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.08.005 · Source: PubMed
To determine the role of type, timing, and cumulative childhood hardships on age at menarche in a prospective cohort study. A longitudinal analysis was undertaken of 4524 female participants of the National Child Development Study cohort (1958-2003). Six types of childhood hardships were identified with a factor analysis methodology. Paternal absence/low involvement in childhood was an a priori hardship. Retrospective reports of abuse in childhood also were explored in relation to age at menarche. Generalized logit regression analyses explored the impact of type, timing, and cumulative hardships on age at menarche (≤11, 12-13, ≥14 years). Cumulative childhood hardships were associated with a graded increase in risk for later menarche with adjusted odds ratio [AOR] of 1.37 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.10-1.70), 1.50 (95% CI, 1.18-1.91), and 1.58 (95% CI, 1.29-1.92) among those with two, three, and four or more adversities, respectively. More than two hardships in early life had the strongest association with late menarche (AOR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.12-4.80). Sexual abuse was most strongly associated with early menarche (AOR, 2.60; 95% CI, 1.40-4.81). Cumulative childhood hardships increased risk for later age at menarche. Child abuse was associated with both early and late menarche, although associations varied by type of abuse.
    • "In addition, acute and chronic illness and accumulated childhood hardships (e.g. poverty, poor nutrition, exposure to alcoholism or tobacco smoke, physical neglect, death of a parent) delay menarche as a stress response (Karapanou and Papadimitriou, 2010; Boynton-Jarrett and Harville, 2012; Dossus et al., 2012). It is likely that the high levels of disease and poor nutrition associated with rapid social and economic change in the nineteenth century pushed the mean age to artificially high levels, providing an uneven picture of pubertal development in the past. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study provides the first large scale analysis of the age at which adolescents in medieval England entered and completed the pubertal growth spurt. This new method has implications for expanding our knowledge of adolescent maturation across different time periods and regions. In total, 994 adolescent skeletons (10-25 years) from four urban sites in medieval England (AD 900-1550) were analyzed for evidence of pubertal stage using new osteological techniques developed from the clinical literature (i.e., hamate hook development, cervical vertebral maturation (CVM), canine mineralization, iliac crest ossification, and radial fusion). Adolescents began puberty at a similar age to modern children at around 10-12 years, but the onset of menarche in girls was delayed by up to 3 years, occurring around 15 for most in the study sample and 17 years for females living in London. Modern European males usually complete their maturation by 16-18 years; medieval males took longer with the deceleration stage of the growth spurt extending as late as 21 years. This research provides the first attempt to directly assess the age of pubertal development in adolescents during the 10th-17th centuries. Poor diet, infections, and physical exertion may have contributed to delayed development in the medieval adolescents, particularly for those living in the city of London. This study sheds new light on the nature of adolescence in the medieval period, highlighting an extended period of physical and social transition. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
    • "For those with adverse early life histories, puberty is marked by increase in emotional problems (Colvert et al., 2008). Early hardships and family dysfunction have been shown to delay or accelerate puberty depending on gender, window and type of deprivation (Boynton-Jarrett & Harville, 2012; Sheppard & Sear, 2012; Tither & Ellis, 2008;). This indicates interactions between quality of parenting experience, early stress systems, and pubertal maturation that may result in underlying physiology of defensive and appetitive motivations (Charmandari, Kino, Souvatzoglou, & Chrousos, 2003). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study tested the effect of early neglect on defensive and appetitive physiology during puberty. Emotion-modulated reflexes, eye-blink startle (defensive) and postauricular (appetitive), were measured in 12-to-13-year-old internationally adopted youth (from foster care or from institutional settings) and compared to non-adopted US born controls. Startle Reflex: adopted youth displayed lower overall startle amplitude across all valences and startle potentiation to negative images was negatively related to severity of pre-adoption neglect. Postauricular reflex (PAR): adopted youth showed larger PAR magnitude across all valences. Puberty: adopted youth showed diminished PAR potentiation to positive images and startle potentiation during mid/late puberty versus the opposite pattern in not-adopted. Early neglect was associated with blunted fast defensive reflexes and heightened fast appetitive reflexes. After puberty, early neglected youth showed physiological hyporeactivity to threatening and appetitive stimuli versus heightened reactivity in not adopted youth. Behavioral correlates in this sample and possible neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychophysiological differences are discussed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 9999: XX-XX, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015
    • "Este antecedente ha sido fuertemente asociado a menarquia temprana. Aunque no está claro el mecanismo, sobre todo porque los estudios no han podido determinar la temporalidad de los eventos de esta asociación (19,20,21). En el análisis bivariado se encontró asociación entre abuso sexual e inicio precoz de la actividad sexual, número de parejas sexuales, consumo de tabaco y frecuencia de consumo de alcohol, lo cual pone al antecedente de abuso sexual como una de las variables que se asocia más frecuentemente con alguna conducta de riesgo. "
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014
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