Somatometric Method for Predicting the Onset of Puberty
It is well known that children vary greatly in the age at which they reach different developmental landmarks, such as the onset of puberty, menarche, etc. This variability reflects the difference between the biological and chronological age of the growing child. The time a pubertal event is most likely to occur for an individual child can be predicted if data for the respective population are known. However, such prognosis based only on chronological age ranges up to 5 years (Marshall, 1974). The error can be reduced if additional information is properly used. Various criteria have been employed as prognostic indicators but none except somatotype was used for prediction of the onset of puberty. Skeletal maturation is reliable and a commonly used indicator for predicting the age at menarche but there is no evidence that it is useful in predicting the onset of puberty (Marshall, 1974; Malina, 1978). A prediction of the onset of puberty is possible from somatotype alone, but not sufficiently accurate. As a result of the present study, a method based on a set of somatometric measurements and indices was developed which makes the prediction more precise.
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