Depression and Pubertal Timing

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Carolina Gamazo
November 14th, 2012
Timothy Day
Research article

Pubertal Timing, Peer Position and Adolescent Depression
Introduction:
There have been many studies regarding the pubertal time and peer popularity in adolescence by examining isolated risk factors from models such as interpersonal, biological, cognitive, sociocultural, etc. but there is little to no evidence of integrative model, integrative models being a deeper, more thorough understanding of bodies of a knowledge using critical thinking skills. This study wanted to know the understanding of the pubertal timing (early, on-time, late puberty) with the effects of popularity and how it will effects or currently effects adolescent depression. In past research, using the biological and interpersonal perspective, information resulted that this correlation is more pertinent in girls than in boys, by the means of early pubertal timing or later pubertal timing and the acceptance they received from their peers, but still highly significant to both sexes. Researchers noted that early pubertal development was associated with higher levels of depression and depressive symptoms only when accompanied by low popularity status amongst peers1, but with higher levels of popularity amongst peers, the depressive symptoms developed later, or if at all. This shows that there is an environmental, biological and interpersonal relationship to the formation of depression amongst adolescence between the ages of 11 – 141. Methods:

The participants total was 613 youths in this study, 319 girls about 52% of the study and 294 boys, ranging from ages 11 to 14 enrolled in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th of a public middle school within a city of homogeneous middle-class socioeconomic status1. This included a percentage of children that were eligible or had applied for free or reduced price lunch, 11%. A variety of ethnicity were using including 86% Caucasian, 4% Asian-American, 2% Latino-American, 1% African-American and 6% of mixed ethnicities1. This research is considered a longitudinal study with two different time sets of the effectiveness in puberty and popularity. Time 1 was within the grade ranges of 6th – 8th, then with the same group Time 2 continued till 7th – 9th grade with some children in middle school and a portion starting high school but was only concentrating on girls and depressive symptoms1.The participating middle school distributed informational consent and recruitment forms to families explaining the research that was going to be occurring if they allowed their child to participate. The outcome was significantly high with a 92% return rate of the forms with an 80% allowing their child to participate within the research1. There were different measurements for each category that was being measured within this study; pubertal timing, popularity and depressive symptoms. The pubertal timing was set in categories for each sex. Boys were classified under the guidelines of 5 items: growth spurt, body hair, skin change, voice change and facial hair. Girls were measured under: growth spurt, body hair, skin change, breast growth and menarche or the beginning of their menstrual cycle. Each group was measure one a point scale 1 to 4, 1 stating the child had not started the stages of puberty and 4 where the stage seemed complete1. Popularity in this case was measured by the means of a questionnaire that was distributed to the students that were grouped in academic teams that was configured of around 35 to 75 students, twice the size of a regular classroom1. They were ask to look at a survey and mark the most popular (as many that applied) and the least popular (as many that applied) where the participants names were placed in alphabetical order. By using standardized testing the researchers were able to determine the most popular and the least popular1. The last and final method of measurement was for depressive symptoms. This is a test where there are 27 items with three...
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