Showing posts with label puberty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label puberty. Show all posts

Monday, December 22, 2014

Self-assessing Puberty in Teens: Is Accuracy a Sign of Maturation as Well?

How often do we ask our teen patients if they have begun to show signs of puberty or where they are in their own pubertal development? Should we trust their self-assessment?

Rasmussen et al. (doi:10.1542/peds.2014-0793) opted to answer this question by offering almost 900 children and early teens and their parents a questionnaire asking about breast, genital and pubic hair development after being shown drawings of Tanner stages. They were then examined by physicians blinded to the self-assessment. Neither the boys nor the girls were very accurate in their self-assessments, and while parents did better than their children, their batting average was also off.

The crux of this study is that while self-assessment is important, a physical examination to determine pubertal staging is just as important and together they can frame a good discussion of adolescent development and expectations for pre-teens, teens, and their parents. The reasons why younger children underestimate their level of puberty relative to their peers, and older children overestimate their pubertal development relative to peers makes for some interesting discussion when you read this study and see what develops.

Have you found your teen patients also are unreliable in assessing their own pubertal stages? Share your thoughts by responding to this blog or via an e-letter or on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Early Puberty: Does It Increase the Risk of Problem Behaviors in Young Adolescent Girls?

We have published several articles recently noting the earlier and earlier onset of puberty (e.g. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-3773) and suggested reasons for this phenomenon. But what about the behaviors of those who develop earlier? Does it make teens more apt to become aggressive and/or delinquent?

Photo by  PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

Mrug et al. (doi:10.1542/peds.2013-0628) try to answer these questions in a fascinating and troubling longitudinal study of more than 2,300 girls from three urban areas, as well as their parents, who were interviewed at three time points over 6 years from ages 11 to 16. The influence of a best friend’s behavior on the early versus non-early pubertal female adolescent was also studied.

The results show some initial behavioral findings that are well-worth knowing about. After reading this study, you will want to immediately apply the findings to younger teens in your own practice who experience early menarche to determine if their behavioral patterns are as concerning as those in this study.

Do you agree with the findings? Whether or not you do, we’d love to hear your comments by responding to this blog entry below or sharing your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, or an eLetter that we can post on our website.

Related Readings:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pubertal Changes —Are They Coming Earlier and Earlier? A Longitudinal Study Tells All

Photo by Antogonon via Pixabay
We have published several landmark articles over the past several decades noting the earlier onset of pubertal changes in girls and boys (largely cross-sectional studies) suggesting earlier changes than initially published, but none followed a cohort longitudinally to validate this hypothesis.

Fortunately Biro et al. (doi: peds.10.1542/2012-3773) have followed such a cohort of more than 1,200 girls enrolled prospectively at ages 6-8 years in three different geographic areas. The authors uncover some interesting data suggesting differences in onset of thelarche when one looks at race, ethnicity, and BMI.

Helping to make sense of this earlier and earlier initiation of pubertal change is a commentary by Dr. Marcia Herman-Giddens (doi: peds.10.1542/2013-3058) that sheds more light on why these changes might be occurring. If you want the most mature look possible at the subject of earlier pubertal development, then read this study and commentary to see what is developing that might better explain those earlier pubertal changes you are seeing in your own practice patients.