Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



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



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.




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Included in

Psychology Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).