This work was supported by NIH grants HD010333 and DA011015. The authors are grateful to Sally-Ann Rhea for her assistance in data preparation and to the research participants.
Pubertal Timing as a Potential Mediator of Adoption Effects on Problem Behaviors
Version of Record online: 18 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Research on Adolescence © 2012 Society for Research on Adolescence
Journal of Research on Adolescence
Volume 22, Issue 4, pages 739–745, December 2012
How to Cite
Brooker, R. J., Berenbaum, S. A., Bricker, J., Corley, R. P. and Wadsworth, S. A. (2012), Pubertal Timing as a Potential Mediator of Adoption Effects on Problem Behaviors. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22: 739–745. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2012.00820.x
Rebecca J. Brooker is now at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
- Issue online: 13 NOV 2012
- Version of Record online: 18 JUL 2012
- NIH. Grant Numbers: HD010333, DA011015
Adopted children show more problem behaviors than nonadopted children. Given that internationally adopted individuals show earlier puberty than nonadopted individuals, and early puberty is associated with problem behaviors in nonadopted youth, we analyzed data from adopted domestic adoptees to determine whether problem behaviors could be explained by differences in pubertal timing. Relative to nonadopted controls (n = 153), domestically adopted girls (n = 121) had earlier menarche, earlier sexual initiation, and more conduct disorder symptoms. Age at menarche partially mediated the relation of adoptive status to sexual initiation, but not to conduct disorder symptoms. Extending findings from international adoptees, results show that domestic adoption is also linked to earlier puberty, and suggest early puberty as one mechanism linking adoption to problematic outcomes.