Oldehinkel AJ, Verhulst FC, Ormel J › Trails

TRAILS

Mental Health Problems During Puberty: Tanner Stage-Related Differences in Specific Symptoms. The TRAILS Study

Authors: Oldehinkel AJ, Verhulst FC, Ormel J

The aim of this study was to investigate associations between specific mental health problems and pubertal stage in (pre)adolescents participating in the Dutch prospective cohort study TRAILS (first assessment: N=2230, age 11.09±0.56, 50.8% girls; second assessment: N=2149, age 13.56±0.53, 51.0% girls). Mental health was assessed by the Youth Self-Report, pubertal (Tanner) stage by parent-rated drawings of secondary sex characteristics. Overall, higher Tanner stages were related to more reported tiredness, irritability, rule-breaking behaviors, and substance use; and fewer fears and somatic complaints. Girls showed increases in social uncertainty, depressed mood, and worries; boys a decrease in self-criticism. Increasing problems during puberty were mostly related to the process of physical maturation, whereas decreasing problems were rather related to general age-related developments. Pubertal timing was associated with different symptoms than pubertal status or age. Puberty seems to affect girls more negatively than boys.

Copyright © 2010 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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