Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 528–537 | Cite as

Pubertal Maturation and African American Children’s Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms

  • Xiaojia Ge
  • Gene H. Brody
  • Rand D. Conger
  • Ronald L. Simons

The association of pubertal maturation with internalizing and externalizing symptoms was examined with a sample of 867 African-American 10 – 12-year-old children. Children reported their pubertal development status and timing using a self-report questionnaire, and symptoms were assessed through diagnostic interviews with the children and their primary caregivers. Pubertal status and timing were significantly associated with children's reports of the internalizing symptoms of social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depression and with the externalizing symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit disorder, and conduct disorder. Pubertal development also was associated with caregivers’ reports of children's externalizing symptoms. The pubertal transition was associated with internalizing and externalizing symptoms in both boys and girls.


puberty externalizing and internalizing symptoms African-American 



This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (MH48165, MH62669) and the Center for Disease Control (029136-02).  Additional funding for this project was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station (Project #3320). Writing of this manuscript was also supported by the California Agriculture Experiment Station (CA-D*-HCD-6092-H).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaojia Ge
    • 1
  • Gene H. Brody
    • 2
  • Rand D. Conger
    • 3
  • Ronald L. Simons
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Humen and Community DevelopmentUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaGeorgiaUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  4. 4.University of GeorgiaGeorgiaUSA

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