Article

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

ABSTRACT

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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    • "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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