Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor's Name

Wendy K. Silverman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

William M. Kurtines

Third Advisor's Name

Jonathan G. Tubman

Date of Defense

11-17-2004

Abstract

Empirical research has shown that pubertal development is closely linked with adolescent externalizing (e.g., aggressive) and internalizing (e.g., anxiety) problems. In most studies, pubertal timing, pubertal status, or both, are used to examine this link. The present study adds to the existing literature by examining the link between puberty and adolescent behavior problems in a sample of predominantly urban African American adolescent girls. One hundred and seventeen adolescent girls of color, aged 11-18 (M = 14.72 SD = 1.44), and their primary caregiver participated in this study. Sixty-eight percent were African American, 22.2 % were Hispanic/Latina, and 9.4% were Haitian. Among the Hispanic/Latina girls, 9.4% were Black Hispanic/Latina. Results showed that pubertal status and perceived pubertal timing (breasts) are better predictors of externalizing behavior problems than chronological age and quality of relationship with peers. No significant findings were found with anxious/depressed symptoms.

Identifier

FI14052592

Comments

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Included in

Psychology Commons

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