J Adolesc Health 2017 Dec 23;61(6):685-693. Epub 2017 Sep 23.
Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Purpose: Relative to on-time or late-maturing peers, girls who begin puberty early typically begin romantic and sexual experiences earlier; however, advanced pubertal status does not necessarily coincide with commensurate interpersonal skills necessary for healthy romantic relationships. Research is limited on the long-term implications of early puberty for relationship quality, and virtually nothing is known about the social implications of early timing for sexual minority females.
Methods: Using linear regression, we examine longitudinal associations between two measures of girls' pubertal timing (self-perceived timing and menarcheal age) and romantic relationship quality in young adulthood, stratified by sexual orientation, among 5,568 females in waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Read More