Pubertal Development: Correspondence Between Hormonal and Physical Development

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.
Child Development (Impact Factor: 4.92). 03/2009; 80(2):327-37. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01263.x
Source: PubMed


Puberty is advanced by sex hormones, yet it is not clear how it is best measured. The interrelation of multiple indices of puberty was examined, including the Pubertal Development Scale (PDS), a picture-based interview about puberty (PBIP), and a physical exam. These physical pubertal measures were then associated with basal hormones responsible for advancing puberty. Participants included 160 early adolescents (82 boys). Puberty indices were highly correlated with each other. The physical exam stages correlated well with boys' and girls' testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone and less so with girls' estradiol. The PDS and PBIP were similarly related to basal hormones. Self-report may be adequate when precise agreement is unnecessary. Multiple measures of puberty are viable options, each with respective strengths.

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    • "The second set of analyses compared performance of the no/lowdrinking group with an independent group of 139 adolescents (64 male, 75 female) whose alcohol consumption exceeded the thresholds (Supplemental Tables 1–2) and were deemed a moderate/highdrinking group; nine met lifetime criteria for DSM–IV alcohol abuse, and none met criteria for alcohol dependence. Participants were characterized by age, sex, pubertal stage using the self-assessment Pubertal Development Scale (PDS; Petersen, Crockett, Richards, & Boxer, 1988; Shirtcliff, Dahl, & Pollak, 2009), self-identified ethnicity, and SES determined as the highest level of education achieved by either parent (Akshoomoff et al., 2014; see Table 1). In light of the substantial differences in salaries and incomes across the five geographically distributed data collection sites, we expressed SES with reference to parental education level, which is less subject than family income to geographical This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. "
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    • "Participants are asked to respond to five questions – for boys and girls separately – about their physical development (e.g., growth spurt, beard growth, breast development), by rating whether a physical change has occurred yet on a scale from 1 (not started/happened yet) to 4 (development completed). The PDS has been found to have good validity and reliability (Petersen et al., 1988; Shirtcliff, Dahl, & Pollak, 2009), including evidence that PDS scores are strongly associated with physical examination of pubertal development. In the current study, Cronbach's alpha was .73. "
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    • "There are five puberty categories in the PDS: prepubertal, early pubertal, midpubertal, late pubertal, and postpubertal. The PDS correlates well with physician ratings of puberty development (Brooks-Gunn et al. 1987; Petersen et al. 1988; Shirtcliff et al. 2009) as well as basal testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone levels (Shirtcliff et al. 2009). The PDS also correlates with the percent achieved of adult stature (Khairullah et al. 2013), which is another measure of relative growth measured as the individual's current height relative to their estimated final height based on parental stature (Khamis and Roche 1994). "

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