Early Puberty Leads to Depression in Girls
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2011 Jan 05
Girls who go through puberty early are more likely to suffer mental health problems in their teenage years because of arguments with parents and boyfriend troubles, a study has found.
Evidence suggests girls are now going through puberty earlier than before - with improved nutrition and high levels of pollution suggested as possible causes.
Now research conducted by University of Bristol and the University of Cambridge has found a link between when a girl first menstruated and symptoms of depression.
The findings published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that girls who started their periods before the age of 11.5 years had the highest rates of depression at 13 and 14.
By comparison, girls who started their periods after the age of 13.5 had the lowest rates of depression.
Lead researcher Dr Carol Joinson said: "Our study found that girls who mature early are more vulnerable to developing depressive symptoms by the time they reach their mid-teens. This suggests that later maturation may be protective against psychological distress. Early maturing girls may feel isolated, and faced with demands which they are not emotionally prepared for."