Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 528–537

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


  • Xiaojia Ge
    • Department of Humen and Community DevelopmentUniversity of California
  • Gene H. Brody
    • University of Georgia
  • Rand D. Conger
    • University of California
  • Ronald L. Simons
    • University of Georgia

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-006-9046-5

Cite this article as:
Ge, X., Brody, G.H., Conger, R.D. et al. J Youth Adolescence (2006) 35: 528. doi:10.1007/s10964-006-9046-5

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.


pubertyexternalizing and internalizing symptomsAfrican-American

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006