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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 87

of 'School readiness for children in the United States'

Pubertal maturation and the development of behavioural and emotional problems in early adolescence.
Laitinen-Krispijn S, Van der Ende J, Hazebroek-Kampschreur AA, Verhulst FC
Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1999;99(1):16.
Development of problem behaviour in early adolescence was predicted from change in pubertal stage and timing of pubertal development. Parent-reported (Child Behavior Checklist) and self-reported (Youth Self-Report) problem behaviour, pubertal stage and life events were assessed twice from a community sample of nearly 1300 Dutch children, aged 10-12 years at T1 and 12-14 years at T2. Pubertal change was a significant predictor of development in most parent-reported problems. Once initial differences in problems had been accounted for, the slower the progress in pubertal development, the higher the problem score at T2. Development of self-reported problems was independent of pubertal change. Pubertal timing predicted development of two parent-reported and three self-reported problem scales. Of the parent-reported problems, early maturation was associated with a decrease in boys' social problems and attention problems. Late maturing increased girls' social problems. Of the self-reported problems, early maturation was associated with an increase in girls' withdrawn and delinquent behaviour. Late maturing increased boys' attention problems. We conclude that pubertal development has small but significant effects on the development of problem behaviour in early adolescence.
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Sophia Children's Hospital, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.