Behavior Genetics

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 51–70 | Cite as

Behavior Problems and Timing of Menarche: A Developmental Longitudinal Biometrical Analysis Using the NLSY-Children Data

  • Joseph Lee RodgersEmail author
  • Carol Van Hulle
  • Brian D’Onofrio
  • Paul Rathouz
  • Will Beasley
  • Amber Johnson
  • Irwin Waldman
  • Benjamin B. Lahey
Original Research


A powerful longitudinal data source, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Children data, allows measurement of behavior problems (BP) within a developmental perspective linking them to menarcheal timing (MT). In a preliminary analysis, we evaluate the bivariate relationships between BP measured at different developmental periods and the timing of menarche. Correlations were not consistent with any correlational/causal relationship between BP and MT. In the major part of our study, MT was used to moderate the developmental trajectory of BP, within a genetically-informed design. Girls reaching menarche early had behavior problem variance accounted for by the shared environment; those reaching menarche with average/late timing had behavior problem differences accounted for by genetic variance. Our findings match previous empirical results in important ways, and also extend those results. A theoretical interpretation is offered in relation to a theory linking genetic/shared environmental variance to flexibility and choices available within the family in relation to BP.


Behavior problems Conduct disorder Timing of menarche Cholesky models Moderation NLSY-Children data 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Lee Rodgers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carol Van Hulle
    • 2
  • Brian D’Onofrio
    • 3
  • Paul Rathouz
    • 2
  • Will Beasley
    • 4
  • Amber Johnson
    • 5
  • Irwin Waldman
    • 6
  • Benjamin B. Lahey
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Human DevelopmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin – MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.University of IndianaBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.University of OklahomaNormanUSA
  5. 5.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  6. 6.Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  7. 7.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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