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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Early Puberty Linked to Higher Substance Use in Adolescence

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim 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.
  • 2013 Oct 16
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A new University of Texas at Austin study reveals that teens for whom puberty begins early and who have rapid pubertal development are at greater risk for experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.

The study, "Perceived Pubertal Timing and Recent Substance Use Among Adolescents: A Longitudinal Perspective," was conducted by public health researcher Jessica Duncan Cance and colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was published in the October issue of the journal Addiction.

The study examined how an adolescent's perceived physical pubertal development (early, on-time or late compared with peers of the same age) is associated with the use of cigarettes, alcohol or marijuana. The study included almost 6,500 male and female 11- to 17-year-olds of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds who were surveyed about their substance use during the prior three months.

The study's findings suggest that early puberty prompts or exacerbates existing psychological and social aspects that can lead to substance use and other risky behaviors.

Source: MedicalXpress
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-10-early-puberty-linked-higher-substance.html