Brief Report: Autistic-Like Traits in Childhood Predict Later Age at Menarche in Girls
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- Whitehouse, A.J.O., Maybery, M.T., Hickey, M. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2011) 41: 1125. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1129-1
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We investigated the relationship between autistic-like traits in early childhood and age at menarche in typically developing girls. Autistic-like symptoms were measured at age 2 years using the Child Behaviour Checklist, and age at menarche (AAM) was determined prospectively using self-report questionnaires at age 8, 10, 14 and 17 years. Girls with ‘high’ autistic-like symptoms at age 2 years demonstrated significantly later AAM (n = 70; M = 13.07 years; SD = 1 year) than girls reported to show ‘typical’ (n = 216; M = 12.72 years; SD = 1.1) or ‘low’ (n = 47; M = 12.66 years; SD = 1.13 years) levels of these behaviors. These data further establish a link between the autism phenotype and later AAM and may provide insights into the etiology of the condition.