Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 283–304 | Cite as

Variability in Hormone Concentrations and Self-Reported Menstrual Histories in Young Adolescents: Menarche as an Integral Part of a Developmental Process

  • Lorah D. Dorn
  • Editha D. Nottelmann
  • Elizabeth J. Susman
  • Gale Inoff-Germain
  • Gordon B. CutlerJr.
  • George P. Chrousos


Menarche has been considered a marker for examining interindividual differences in biobehavioral development and for separating pubertal development into 2 stages. The purpose of this study was (1) to compare hormone concentrations in pre- and postmenarcheal girls to determine whether they fit a continuous or dichotomous model of pubertal development surrounding menarche; and (2) to address methodological issues of variability in self-reports of menstrual histories and reliability in reporting age at menarche. Girls (N = 52) ages 9 to 14 years were enrolled in a longitudinal study. Blood was drawn for hormone concentrations. Menstrual-cycle information was collected by questionnaire and oral report. Discrepancies in reporting of age at menarche ranged from 0 to 18 months and variability was noted in length of cycle. There was great overlap in hormones between pre- and postmenarcheal categories. Future studies might consider menarche as the culmination of underlying developmental processes rather than as a discrete event. Limitations of each measure of puberty should be considered by investigators conducting biobehavioral studies of adolescents.


Future Study Longitudinal Study Developmental Process Methodological Issue Discrete Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorah D. Dorn
    • 1
  • Editha D. Nottelmann
    • 2
  • Elizabeth J. Susman
    • 3
  • Gale Inoff-Germain
    • 4
  • Gordon B. CutlerJr.
    • 5
    • 6
  • George P. Chrousos
    • 7
  1. 1.School of Nursing and Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh
  2. 2.Developmental Psychopathology BranchNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesda
  3. 3.The Pennsylvania State University
  4. 4.National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH)Bethesda
  5. 5.Growth and Recovery Research and Clinical InvestigationEli Lilly and CompanyIndianapolis
  6. 6.Indiana University School of Medicine
  7. 7.Pediatric Endocrinology Section, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Director, Pediatric Endocrinology Training ProgramNational Institutes of HealthBethesda

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