Publications by authors named "Jane Mendle"

38 Publications

How nonshared environmental factors come to correlate with heredity.

Dev Psychopathol 2020 Oct 29:1-13. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.

Conventional longitudinal behavioral genetic models estimate the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors to stability and change of traits and behaviors. Longitudinal models rarely explain the processes that generate observed differences between genetically and socially related individuals. We propose that exchanges between individuals and their environments (i.e., phenotype-environment effects) can explain the emergence of observed differences over time. Phenotype-environment models, however, would require violation of the independence assumption of standard behavioral genetic models; that is, uncorrelated genetic and environmental factors. We review how specification of phenotype-environment effects contributes to understanding observed changes in genetic variability over time and longitudinal correlations among nonshared environmental factors. We then provide an example using 30 days of positive and negative affect scores from an all-female sample of twins. Results demonstrate that the phenotype-environment effects explain how heritability estimates fluctuate as well as how nonshared environmental factors persist over time. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying change in gene-environment correlation over time, the advantages and challenges of including gene-environment correlation in longitudinal twin models, and recommendations for future research.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579420001017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8081739PMC
October 2020

The Future of Women in Psychological Science.

Perspect Psychol Sci 2020 Sep 9:1745691620952789. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley.

There has been extensive discussion about gender gaps in representation and career advancement in the sciences. However, psychological science itself has yet to be the focus of discussion or systematic review, despite our field's investment in questions of equity, status, well-being, gender bias, and gender disparities. In the present article, we consider 10 topics relevant for women's career advancement in psychological science. We focus on issues that have been the subject of empirical study, discuss relevant evidence within and outside of psychological science, and draw on established psychological theory and social-science research to begin to chart a path forward. We hope that better understanding of these issues within the field will shed light on areas of existing gender gaps in the discipline and areas where positive change has happened, and spark conversation within our field about how to create lasting change to mitigate remaining gender differences in psychological science.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691620952789DOI Listing
September 2020

Mental health and clinical psychological science in the time of COVID-19: Challenges, opportunities, and a call to action.

Am Psychol 2020 Aug 10. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University.

COVID-19 presents significant social, economic, and medical challenges. Because COVID-19 has already begun to precipitate huge increases in mental health problems, clinical psychological science must assert a leadership role in guiding a national response to this secondary crisis. In this article, COVID-19 is conceptualized as a unique, compounding, multidimensional stressor that will create a vast need for intervention and necessitate new paradigms for mental health service delivery and training. Urgent challenge areas across developmental periods are discussed, followed by a review of psychological symptoms that likely will increase in prevalence and require innovative solutions in both science and practice. Implications for new research directions, clinical approaches, and policy issues are discussed to highlight the opportunities for clinical psychological science to emerge as an updated, contemporary field capable of addressing the burden of mental illness and distress in the wake of COVID-19 and beyond. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000707DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7873160PMC
August 2020

Psychological Distress amid Change: Role Disruption in Girls during the Adolescent Transition.

J Abnorm Child Psychol 2020 09;48(9):1211-1222

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

The present study investigates the underlying cognitive, social, and behavioral tendencies that may explain why some girls are more likely to perceive the adolescent transition as disrupting and difficult, otherwise characterized as role disruption. It was hypothesized that individual differences in rumination, rejection sensitivity, peer problems, and pubertal status would contribute to why some girls perceived more role disruption during the transition from childhood to adolescence, and that girls who reported more role disruption would be at increased risk for subsequent depression. N = 188 girls (M = 11.70 years) reported on their level of pubertal development, rumination, rejection sensitivity, peer problems, and depressive symptoms at three time points approximately 4 months apart. Structural equation modeling results suggested that baseline levels of rumination and angry rejection sensitivity explained perceptions of role disruption at Time 2 more than overall levels of pubertal development, and that greater role disruption predicted subsequent depressive symptoms at Time 3. These findings highlight the importance of individual tendencies in understanding who will find early adolescence challenging.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-020-00667-yDOI Listing
September 2020

Evolution, the Menstrual Cycle, and Theoretical Overreach.

Perspect Psychol Sci 2020 07 15;15(4):1113-1130. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Department of Human Development, Cornell University.

A considerable amount of recent psychological research has attributed a variety of menstrual-cycle-related changes in social behavior to evolutionarily adaptive functions. Although these studies often draw interesting and unusual conclusions about female emotion and behavior within evolutionary theory, their significant limitations have not yet been addressed. In this article, we outline several methodological and conceptual issues related to the menstrual cycle that constitute threats to the internal validity and theoretical integrity of these studies. We recommend specific guidelines to address these issues and emphasize the need to apply more comprehensive and sophisticated theoretical structures when considering menstrual-cycle-related changes in emotion and behavior.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691620906440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7334061PMC
July 2020

The unique predictive value of discrete depressive symptoms on derailment.

J Affect Disord 2020 06 1;270:65-68. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-4401, United States.

Background: Studies have consistently demonstrated a positive cross-sectional association between depressive symptoms and derailment, or the sense of being "off-course" in life. Still unknown is whether all symptoms of depression similarly relate to derailment. Given that depressive symptoms do not weigh equally in the prediction of other important outcomes, this study aimed to bridge the gap between these novel findings and emerging perspectives focused on the impact of individual depressive symptoms.

Methods: The study was preregistered prior to data collection. The analytic sample contained 1,457 adults (M = 37.46 years, 54.22% female) recruited from Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Participants self-reported on depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and perceived changes in identity and self-direction using the Derailment Scale.

Results: All symptoms of depression shared positive unadjusted associations with derailment. Feelings of failure, fatigue, and sleep problems shared positive unique associations with derailment, and represented the top three contributors to the explained variance in derailment.

Limitations: This study relied on self-report methods, making results vulnerable to bias (e.g., social desirability, errors in memory, interpretation).

Conclusions: As work understanding the association between depressive symptoms and derailment continues to unfold, this study has provided markers for researchers and clinicians by suggesting that those who feel like they have failed, are fatigued, or report sleep problems may be the most likely to feel off-course and disconnected from their past selves. This work helps establish the utility of considering identity within the context of mental health, and future directions stemming from these findings are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.097DOI Listing
June 2020

Puberty and Transdiagnostic Risks for Mental Health.

J Res Adolesc 2020 09 28;30(3):687-705. Epub 2020 Feb 28.

Cornell University.

Puberty in girls represents a notable period of vulnerability for different psychological disorders. The research literature has primarily considered external and contextual factors that might explain these rises in symptomatology. In the present study, we investigate relations of pubertal status and timing with individual cognitive, emotional, and behavioral tendencies, commonly identified as transdiagnostic processes, in a sample of N = 228 girls (M  = 11.75 years). We also test whether these transdiagnostic processes mediate associations of pubertal status and pubertal timing with depressive symptoms. Results support greater endorsement of rumination, co-rumination, negative urgency, and both anxious and angry rejection sensitivity in girls with more advanced pubertal status, as well as in girls with early pubertal timing. Higher levels of transdiagnostic processes fully mediated associations of pubertal status and timing with depressive symptoms at significant and marginally significant levels, respectively. Although the data are cross-sectional, these findings offer promising preliminary evidence that transdiagnostic processes represent an important mental health risk in early adolescent girls.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jora.12552DOI Listing
September 2020

Best practices in research mentoring in clinical science.

J Abnorm Psychol 2020 Jan;129(1):70-81

Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University.

The growth of clinical science as a field depends on the work of engaged mentors nurturing future generations of scientists. Effective research mentoring has been shown to predict positive outcomes, including greater scholarly productivity, reduced attrition, and increased satisfaction with training and/or employment, which ultimately may enhance the quality of the clinical-science research enterprise. Barriers to effective research mentoring, however, pose significant challenges for both mentees and mentors, as well as for labs, training programs, and/or departments. We discuss some key issues as they apply to clinical-science mentoring and note how they are affected across different developmental levels (undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, doctoral, internship, postdoctoral associates, and early career faculty). Although we do not proclaim expertise on these issues-and have struggled with them in our own careers-we believe an open discussion around best mentoring practices will enhance our collective effectiveness and help mentees and our field to flourish. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/abn0000478DOI Listing
January 2020

Early Menarche and Internalizing and Externalizing in Adulthood: Explaining the Persistence of Effects.

J Adolesc Health 2019 11 7;65(5):599-606. Epub 2019 Sep 7.

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Purpose: Earlier ages at menarche are associated with elevations in internalizing and externalizing that persist into adulthood. The present study examines whether early pubertal timing precipitates experiences during adolescence that account for long-term elevations in depressive symptoms and antisocial behavior among early maturing girls.

Methods: Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Adult Health (Add Health), the study examines significant postmenarcheal life events that might mediate associations of age at menarche with depressive symptoms and antisocial behavior in adulthood: teenage criminal arrest, teenage pregnancy and childbearing, high school dropout, and different forms of postpubertal physical and sexual traumatic assault.

Results: Results indicate that earlier menarche was associated with greater likelihood of postmenarcheal discontinued education, physical and sexual assault, and teenage pregnancy and childbearing. Discontinued education, physical assault, and sexual assault mediated associations of pubertal timing with adult depressive symptoms; sexual assault mediated associations of pubertal timing with adult antisocial behavior.

Conclusions: Earlier menarche seems to precipitate postpubertal stressful events that, in turn, account for higher rates of psychological problems in adulthood. These results suggest that the adolescent experiences of early maturing girls channel them into life paths where stress, adversity, and other risks to psychological well-being are more likely to be a continuing facet of daily life.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.06.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6814541PMC
November 2019

Pubertal Maturation and Trajectories of Depression During Early Adolescence.

Front Psychol 2019 12;10:1362. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States.

Beginning at puberty, prevalence of depression in females rises dramatically. The physical changes of puberty coincide with a period of social flux, during which relationships become less stable and more prone to conflict. While this social upheaval is normatively distressing for girls, it may be especially so for girls with cognitive styles that leave them more susceptible to depression. The present study investigated depressive symptoms at two time points during early pubertal maturation.  = 110 girls ( = 11.57, SD = 0.98) reported on depressive symptomology, pubertal maturation, ruminative coping style, frequency of peer conflict, and rejection sensitivity. Multivariate analyses suggest more advanced pubertal development and greater rejection sensitivity at Time 1 predicted higher levels of depressive symptoms at Time 2, after accounting for baseline levels of depressive symptoms and all other social and cognitive correlates of depression. This effect was also found in early maturing girls. Menarche status was not significant. Since menarche occurs toward the end of puberty, results suggest that risk for worsening depression is not associated with completing puberty, or with menstruation itself. Rather, increases in depressive symptoms seem to be associated with physical changes that emerge early in the pubertal transition, especially for early maturing girls, paired with anticipatory concerns about social rejection.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01362DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6582206PMC
June 2019

Understanding Puberty and Its Measurement: Ideas for Research in a New Generation.

J Res Adolesc 2019 03;29(1):82-95

Pennsylvania State University.

The measurement of puberty is an intricate and precise task, requiring a match between participants' developmental age and appropriate techniques to identify and capture variations in maturation. Much of the foundational work on puberty and its psychosocial correlates was conducted several decades ago. In this article, we review the biological foundation of puberty; the operationalization of puberty in statistical analyses; and strategies for considering diversity and social context in research to help researchers align measurement with meaningful conceptual questions. These three areas are particularly important, given new statistical techniques, greater awareness of individual variations in development, and key differences between past cohorts and youth coming of age today.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jora.12371DOI Listing
March 2019

Background connectivity between frontal and sensory cortex depends on task state, independent of stimulus modality.

Neuroimage 2019 01 17;184:790-800. Epub 2018 Sep 17.

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine Department of Neurobiology, Birmingham, AL, 35294, USA. Electronic address:

The human brain has the ability to process identical information differently depending on the task. In order to perform a given task, the brain must select and react to the appropriate stimuli while ignoring other irrelevant stimuli. The dynamic nature of environmental stimuli and behavioral intentions requires an equally dynamic set of responses within the brain. Collectively, these responses act to set up and maintain states needed to perform a given task. However, the mechanisms that allow for setting up and maintaining a task state are not fully understood. Prior evidence suggests that one possible mechanism for maintaining a task state may be through altering 'background connectivity,' connectivity that exists independently of the trials of a task. Although previous studies have suggested that background connectivity contributes to a task state, these studies have typically not controlled for stimulus characteristics, or have focused primarily on relationships among areas involved with visual sensory processing. In the present study we examined background connectivity during tasks involving both visual and auditory stimuli. We examined the connectivity profiles of both visual and auditory sensory cortex that allow for selection of task-relevant stimuli, demonstrating the existence of a potentially universal pattern of background connectivity underlying attention to a stimulus. Participants were presented with simultaneous auditory and visual stimuli and were instructed to respond to only one, while ignoring the other. Using functional MRI, we observed task-based modulation of the background connectivity profile for both the auditory and visual cortex to certain brain regions. There was an increase in background connectivity between the task-relevant sensory cortex and control areas in the frontal cortex. This increase in synchrony when receiving the task-relevant stimulus as compared to the task irrelevant stimulus may be maintaining paths for passing information within the cortex. These task-based modulations of connectivity occur independently of stimuli and could be one way the brain sets up and maintains a task state.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.09.040DOI Listing
January 2019

Age at Menarche, Depression, and Antisocial Behavior in Adulthood.

Pediatrics 2018 01;141(1)

Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Background: Early pubertal timing in girls is one of the best-replicated antecedents of a range of mental health problems during adolescence, but few researchers have examined the duration of these effects.

Methods: We leverage a nationally representative sample ( = 7802 women) managed prospectively from adolescence over a period of ∼14 years to examine associations of age at menarche with depressive symptoms and antisocial behaviors in adulthood.

Results: Earlier ages at menarche were associated with higher rates of both depressive symptoms and antisocial behaviors in early-middle adulthood largely because difficulties that started in adolescence did not attenuate over time.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that the emotional sequelae of puberty extend further than documented in previous research, and suggest that earlier development may place girls on a life path from which it may be difficult to deviate. The American Academy of Pediatrics already provides guidelines for identifying and working with patients with early pubertal timing. Pediatricians and adolescent health care providers should also be attuned to early maturers' elevated mental health risk and sensitive to the potential duration of changes in mental health that begin at puberty.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-1703DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5744273PMC
January 2018

Early Childhood Maltreatment and Pubertal Development: Replication in a Population-Based Sample.

J Res Adolesc 2016 09 13;26(3):595-602. Epub 2015 Mar 13.

Cornell University.

Early experiences are critically important for female reproductive development. Although a number of early childhood hardships predict earlier physical development in girls, research on specific populations suggests a distinct effect of childhood sexual abuse compared to other adversities. This study leverages the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 6,273 girls) to test the generalizability of these findings, examining associations of early physical abuse, sexual abuse, and physical neglect with pubertal timing. Child sexual abuse predicted earlier menarche and development of secondary sexual characteristics, whereas other types of maltreatment did not. In addition to replicating results from smaller, more specialized samples, these findings reinforce the value of considering puberty within a broader "life span" continuum of birth to adolescence.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jora.12201DOI Listing
September 2016

Recollections of puberty and disordered eating in young women.

J Adolesc 2016 Dec 28;53:180-188. Epub 2016 Oct 28.

Cornell University, USA. Electronic address:

Puberty begins a period of vulnerability for disordered eating that is maintained and amplified through adolescence and early adulthood. In the present study, we test the association between young women's recollections of physical maturation and disordered eating outcomes in early adulthood. Participants comprised N = 421 female undergraduate students at a large, northeastern university in the United States (M = 19.7 years). Three models assessed the relative contributions of recollected puberty (perceptions of changes and preparedness, and timing of puberty), current contextual (social support, romantic bond, sorority or sport participation), and demographic (race, socioeconomic status, family structure) variables to three eating-disorder outcomes. Recollections of feeling unprepared and disliking the physical changes of puberty predicted eating disorder symptoms more than any other demographic or current contextual factor. Results indicate that how young women experience the pubertal transition is related to eating disorder symptoms many years later.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.10.011DOI Listing
December 2016

A Twin Study of Objective and Subjective Pubertal Timing and Peer Influence on Risk-Taking.

J Res Adolesc 2016 Mar 20;26(1):45-59. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

The current study used a behavioral genetic design to test whether three measures of pubertal timing moderated peer influence on risk-taking in a sample of 248 female adolescent twin pairs ( =16.0, =1.5) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Peer influence was operationalized as the quasi-causal association between girls' self-reported risk-taking and the risk-taking reported by their friends. Girls with earlier ages at menarche and who perceived themselves as more developed than peers were more susceptible to peer influence on risk-taking. However, age-standardized ratings of body changes did not moderate peer influence. This study highlights distinctions between multiple measures of pubertal timing, using an innovative synthesis of genetically informative data and peer nomination data.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jora.12160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808296PMC
March 2016

Puberty, Socioeconomic Status, and Depression in Girls: Evidence for Gene × Environment Interactions.

Clin Psychol Sci 2016 Jan 23;4(1):3-16. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin.

In the current study, we tested for Gene × Environment interactions in the association between pubertal timing and adolescent depression by examining how socioeconomic factors might moderate age at menarche's relation with depressive symptoms. Participants comprised 630 female twin and sibling pairs from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Consistent with previous studies, results showed that genetic predispositions toward later menarche were associated with fewer depressive symptoms and that genetic predispositions toward earlier menarche were associated with more depressive symptoms. However, this pattern was subtle and evident only in girls from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Although girls from lower socioeconomic families showed the highest overall levels of depression, their symptoms appeared unrelated to timing of physical development through either a genetic or an environmental path.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2167702614563598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7450762PMC
January 2016

Early Childhood Maltreatment and Girls' Sexual Behavior: The Mediating Role of Pubertal Timing.

J Adolesc Health 2015 Sep;57(3):342-7

Department of Psychology, Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia.

Purpose: Although links between early childhood maltreatment and girls' sexual behavior in adolescence have been well established, it is unclear whether different forms of maltreatment are differentially associated with sexual outcomes and whether distinct mechanisms explain associations across maltreatment types.

Methods: Using data from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), the present study examines whether physical abuse, sexual abuse, and physical neglect in early childhood differentially predict girls' age at first intercourse and number of sexual partners in early adulthood. The study also tests whether early pubertal timing mediates the link between early maltreatment and sexual behavior (N = 6,364).

Results: Findings indicate that early sexual and physical abuse were equally predictive of earlier age at first intercourse and a greater number of sexual partners, but that only the sexual abuse-age at first intercourse link was mediated by early puberty.

Conclusions: These results suggest that sexual abuse and physical abuse are associated with earlier and riskier sexual behavior in girls relative to no maltreatment and to similar degrees. However, only the link between sexual abuse and sexual behavior involves a biological mechanism manifested in early pubertal timing.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.06.005DOI Listing
September 2015

Peer Group Similarity in Perceptions of Pubertal Timing.

J Youth Adolesc 2016 08 4;45(8):1696-710. Epub 2015 Apr 4.

Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, 108 E. Dean Keeton Stop #A8000, Austin, TX, 78712, USA.

Self-report measures of perceived pubertal timing correspond only weakly with clinical measures of "objective" physical development. Peer and school contexts shape adolescents' self-perceptions of pubertal timing. The current study examined associations between perceived pubertal timing and the pubertal timing reported by nominated friends and schoolmates. Participants included 2817 adolescents (Mage = 16.6; 49 % female; 16 % Black; 20 % Hispanic) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Three measures of pubertal timing were included: age-standardized ratings of body changes, comparisons of development relative to peers (relative timing), and, in females, age at menarche. It was hypothesized that relative timing, which explicitly asks adolescents to compare themselves to their peers, would be related to the age-standardized pubertal timing of nominated friends and schoolmates. Surprisingly, there were no associations between relative timing and age-standardized pubertal timing reported by peers, suggesting that pubertal self-perceptions do not fluctuate in response to the average level of development in a friend group. Instead, males were similar to nominated friends and schoolmates in age-standardized ratings of body changes, and females were similar to nominated friends in relative timing, controlling for race, ethnicity, and age. Different self-report measures of pubertal timing index different underlying constructs, and the social processes that influence adolescents' perceptions of pubertal maturation may differ between genders.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-015-0275-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848160PMC
August 2016

Linking Childhood Maltreatment with Girls' Internalizing Symptoms: Early Puberty as a Tipping Point.

J Res Adolesc 2014 Dec;24(4):689-702

University of California - Riverside.

Early pubertal timing in girls is one of the most frequently replicated antecedents of adolescent emotional distress. Yet understanding the impact of pubertal timing in psychosocial development has presented something of a conundrum for developmentalists, as earlier physical maturation may often be preceded by a range of early adversities and life stressors. The present paper disentangles these associations by investigating childhood maltreatment, adolescent internalizing symptoms, and perceived pubertal timing in girls who were residing in foster care at study entry ( = 100, = 11.54 years old at Time 1). Girls were assessed at two time points two years apart. There were no significant direct effects of maltreatment on internalizing symptoms; rather, childhood sexual abuse predicted earlier perceived pubertal development at study onset which, in turn, was associated with higher levels of internalizing symptomatology. These higher levels of internalizing symptoms persisted over the two years of the study. This distinctive role for early pubertal timing - even within a sample subject to stressors and risks which far exceed the developmental norm - confirms the unique salience of pubertal timing in emotional adjustment, and suggests that the heightened sexual circumstances of puberty may be especially disturbing for girls whose lives have already been traumatically disrupted by inappropriate and unwanted sexual experiences.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jora.12075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4236856PMC
December 2014

Descriptive review: hormonal influences on risk for eating disorder symptoms during puberty and adolescence.

Int J Eat Disord 2014 Nov 11;47(7):718-26. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.

Objective: Puberty is an important period of risk for the onset of eating pathology in adolescent females. This review focuses on changes in reproductive hormones during puberty as one specific psychopathogenic mechanism.

Method: Studies of puberty and eating disorder-related phenotypes were identified using search databases and the reference sections of previous literature.

Results: Correlational studies of adult women and experimental studies of animals provide evidence for the effects of reproductive hormones on eating disorder symptoms. Very few studies of puberty, however, have directly measured or tested the effects of hormonal change in samples of human adolescents. Commonly used measures of pubertal development, such as menarche or self-reported pubertal status, are relatively poor indicators of individual differences in hormones. The extent to which puberty-related hormonal change accounts for elevated risk for disordered eating remains unclear.

Discussion: Future research is necessary to elucidate the specific relations between hormonal change during puberty and risk for disordered eating. In particular, there is a need for longitudinal studies with multivariate measurement of pubertal development, including direct measures of change in reproductive hormones.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22317DOI Listing
November 2014

Pubertal timing and adolescent sexual behavior in girls.

Dev Psychol 2014 Jun 3;50(6):1734-45. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

Department of Human Ecology, Cornell University.

Girls who experience earlier pubertal timing relative to peers also exhibit earlier timing of sexual intercourse and more unstable sexual relationships. Although pubertal development initiates feelings of physical desire, the transition into romantic and sexual relationships involves complex biological and social processes contributing both to physical maturation and to individual interpretations of pubertal experiences. Using a sample of female sibling pairs (n = 923 pairs) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the present study investigated associations among menarche and perceived pubertal timing, age of first sexual intercourse (AFI), and adolescent dating and sexual behavior using a behavioral genetic approach. Genetic factors influencing age at menarche and perceived pubertal timing predicted AFI through shared genetic pathways, whereas genetic factors related only to perceived pubertal timing predicted engagement in dating, romantic sex, and nonromantic sex in the previous 18 months. These results suggest that a girl's interpretation of her pubertal timing beyond objective timing is important to consider for the timing and the contexts of romantic and reproductive behavior.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036027DOI Listing
June 2014

Do maladaptive behaviors exist at one or both ends of personality traits?

Psychol Assess 2014 Jun 3;26(2):433-46. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame.

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) personality disorder trait model, maladaptive behavior is located at one end of continuous scales. Widiger and colleagues, however, have argued that maladaptive behavior exists at both ends of trait continua. We propose that the role of evaluative variance differentiates these two perspectives and that once evaluation is isolated, maladaptive behaviors emerge at both ends of nonevaluative trait dimensions. In Study 1, we argue that evaluative variance is worthwhile to measure separately from descriptive content because it clusters items by valence regardless of content (e.g., lazy and workaholic; apathetic and anxious; gullible and paranoid; timid and hostile, etc.), which is unlikely to describe a consistent behavioral style. We isolate evaluation statistically (Study 2) and at the time of measurement (Study 3) to show that factors unrelated to valence evidence maladaptive behavior at both ends. We argue that nonevaluative factors, which display maladaptive behavior at both ends of continua, may better approximate ways in which individuals actually behave.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0035587DOI Listing
June 2014

Early adverse environments and genetic influences on age at first sex: evidence for gene × environment interaction.

Dev Psychol 2014 May 13;50(5):1532-42. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Department of Psychology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Youth who experience adverse environments in early life initiate sexual activity at a younger age, on average, than those from more advantaged circumstances. Evolutionary theorists have posited that ecological stress precipitates earlier reproductive and sexual onset, but it is unclear how stressful environments interact with genetic influences on age at first sex. Using a sample of 1,244 pairs of twins and non-twin full siblings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the present study tested for gene-by-environment interactions (G × E) on age at first sex (AFS). Multivariate interaction models indicated that genetic influences on AFS were suppressed among low-socioeconomic-status (SES) and ethnic-minority compared with higher SES and ethnic-majority youth. Father absence did not uniquely moderate genetic influences on AFS. These results are broadly consistent with previous findings that genetic influences are minimized among individuals whose environments are characterized by elevated risk; however, future research would benefit from samples with larger numbers of individuals at the very low end of the SES spectrum.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0035479DOI Listing
May 2014

Depression and adolescent sexual activity in romantic and nonromantic relational contexts: a genetically-informative sibling comparison.

J Abnorm Psychol 2013 Feb 17;122(1):51-63. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

Adolescent dating and sexual activity are consistently associated with risk for depression, yet the pathways underlying this association remain uncertain. Using data on 1,551 sibling pairs (ages 13-18) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the current study utilized a sibling comparison design to assess whether adolescent dating, sexual intercourse with a romantic partner, and sexual intercourse with a nonromantic partner were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms independent of familial factors. Results indicated that adolescent dating, in and of itself, was not associated with depressive symptoms. The association between depressive symptoms and sexual activity with a romantic partner was fully accounted for by between-family genetic and shared environmental confounds. In contrast, sexual activity with a nonromantic partner was significantly associated with both mean levels of depressive symptoms and clinically severe depression, even within sibling dyads. This relationship was greater for younger adolescents (<15 years). These results are consistent with a growing body of research demonstrating that relationship contexts may be critical moderators of the psychosocial aspects of adolescent sexual experiences.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029816DOI Listing
February 2013

Associations Between Early Life Stress, Child Maltreatment, and Pubertal Development Among Girls in Foster Care.

J Res Adolesc 2011 Dec;21(4):871-880

Jane Mendle is at the University of Oregon. Leslie D. Leve and Mark Van Ryzin are at the Oregon Social Learning Center. Misaki N. Natsuaki is at the University of California, Riverside.

The present study investigated pubertal development in girls with maltreatment histories (N = 100), assessed at four time points over 2 years beginning in the spring of their final year of elementary school. This sample is unique, in that participants were subject to an unusual level of environmental risk early in life and resided in foster care at the start of the study. Analyses replicated the previously established association between sexual abuse and earlier onset of maturation and earlier age at menarche. Physical abuse was related to a more rapid tempo of pubertal development across the period assessed. These results strengthen previous investigations of childhood maltreatment and puberty, highlighting the complexity and specificity of early life experiences for later development.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2011.00746.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3278162PMC
December 2011

Peer relationships and depressive symptomatology in boys at puberty.

Dev Psychol 2012 Mar 21;48(2):429-35. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

The physical changes of puberty coincide with an increase in the salience of peer relationships and a growing risk for depression and other forms of psychopathology. Previously, we reported that pubertal tempo, defined as a child's rate of intraindividual change in pubertal status (measured using parent-reported Tanner stages; Marshall & Tanner, 1970), was associated with changes in boys'--but not girls'--depressive symptoms over and above effects explained by pubertal timing (Mendle, Harden, Brooks-Gunn, & Graber, 2010). The present study extends this previous research by examining changes in the quality of peer relationships in the association between individual differences in pubertal development and change in boys' depressive symptoms. Boys (N = 128, M = 9.61 years, SD = 0.70, at Time 1) were recruited from public schools and assessed annually for 4 years. Results from latent growth curve models indicated that earlier pubertal timing and more rapid pubertal tempo were associated with greater decrements in the quality of boys' peer relationships. After accounting for the association between change in peer relationships and depressive symptoms, the direct effects of pubertal timing and tempo on depressive symptoms were no longer significant. These results highlight a multifaceted approach to studying puberty and emphasize how social mechanisms may intersect with biological risk to produce psychological distress.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0026425DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3714849PMC
March 2012

Why don't smart teens have sex? A behavioral genetic approach.

Child Dev 2011 Jul-Aug;82(4):1327-44. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Academic achievement and cognitive ability have been shown to predict later age at first sexual intercourse. Using a sample of 536 same-sex twin pairs who were followed longitudinally from adolescence to early adulthood, this study tested whether relations between intelligence, academic achievement, and age at first sex were due to unmeasured genetic and environmental differences between families. Twins who differed in their intelligence or their academic achievement did not differ in their age at first sex. Rather, the association between intelligence and age at first sex could be attributed entirely to unmeasured environmental differences between families, whereas the association between academic achievement and age at first sex could be attributed entirely to genetic factors.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01607.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3134531PMC
November 2011

Gene-environment interplay in the association between pubertal timing and delinquency in adolescent girls.

J Abnorm Psychol 2012 Feb 13;121(1):73-87. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Department of Psychology, University of Texas, USA.

Early pubertal timing places girls at elevated risk for a breadth of negative outcomes, including involvement in delinquent behavior. While previous developmental research has emphasized the unique social challenges faced by early maturing girls, this relation is complicated by genetic influences for both delinquent behavior and pubertal timing, which are seldom controlled for in existing research. The current study uses genetically informed data on 924 female-female twin and sibling pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to (1) disentangle biological versus environmental mechanisms for the effects of early pubertal timing and (2) test for gene-environment interactions. Results indicate that early pubertal timing influences girls' delinquency through a complex interplay between biological risk and environmental experiences. Genes related to earlier age at menarche and higher perceived development significantly predict increased involvement in both nonviolent and violent delinquency. Moreover, after accounting for this genetic association between pubertal timing and delinquency, the impact of nonshared environmental influences on delinquency are significantly moderated by pubertal timing, such that the nonshared environment is most important among early maturing girls. This interaction effect is particularly evident for nonviolent delinquency. Overall, results suggest early maturing girls are vulnerable to an interaction between genetic and environmental risks for delinquent behavior.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4079281PMC
February 2012

Going through the rites of passage: timing and transition of menarche, childhood sexual abuse, and anxiety symptoms in girls.

J Youth Adolesc 2011 Oct 24;40(10):1357-70. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

Menarche is a discrete, transitional event that holds considerable personal, social, biological, and developmental significance. The present longitudinal study examined both the transition and timing of menarche on the trajectory of anxiety in girls with histories of childhood maltreatment (N = 93; 63% European American, 14% multiracial, 10% Latino, 9% African American, and 4% Native American). We hypothesized that because menarche is a novel, unfamiliar experience, girls would show greater anxiety around the time of menarche. The anxiety-provoking nature of menarche may be accentuated among earlier-maturing girls and girls with histories of childhood sexual abuse. Results indicated that earlier-maturing girls were more anxious in the pre- and peri-menarche periods than their later-maturing peers; however, their anxiety declined after menarche. Childhood sexual abuse was associated with heightened anxiety throughout this transition. The developmental significance of the timing and transition of menarche in relation to childhood sexual abuse and anxiety is discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-010-9622-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170681PMC
October 2011