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March 22nd, 2021

Girls who enter puberty earlier have higher rates of depressive symptoms and antisocial behaviors in early to mid adulthood. The article published in Pediatrics states that the behavioral difficulties began early and did not attenuate over time.

Couple this data with the fact that girls are entering puberty 12-18 months earlier now than 4 decades ago and we have another compounded problem in adolescence.

Pediatrics review from 1999 noted: The primary conclusions of this review are:

1. The current recommendation that breast development before age 8 is precocious is based on outdated studies. Until 1997, no data were available on pubertal staging in US girls that could have documented a trend to earlier maturation. 2. The 1997 study indicates that stage 2 of breast and pubic hair development is being achieved ~1 year earlier in white girls and 2 years earlier in African-American girls than previous studies have shown. (Kaplowitz et. al. 1999)

Among 17,077 girls between the ages of 3 and 13, breast buds and pubic hair started, on average, by age 10 among white girls and by 8.9 years among African-American girls. There was little change in menarche: 12.3 years among white girls and 12.1 among black girls. (Herman-Giddens et. al. 1997)

The reasons are myriad as to why this is happening and completely hypothetical. Endocrine disrupting chemcials, obesity, SAD nutrition, sedentary behaviors are all likely involved in the early puberty problem for both boys and girls.

This is a serious concern as there was a natural order to puberty that is changing based on modern societal lifestyle choices. This change is now associated with mental health concerns.

Dr. M


Mendle Pediatrics
Herman Giddens Pediatrics
Epstein Psychology Today
Toppari Mol Cell Endo
Kaplowitz Pediatrics