Pubertal synchrony is defined as the degree of coherence to which puberty-related body changes (e.g., breast development, growth spurt, voice change, underarm hair growth) are coordi-nated. During the pubertal transition, youth’s body parts grow asynchronously, making each youth’s physical appearance unique. Physical appearance is a known correlate of youth’s psychosocial functioning during adolescence, but we know little about how pubertal asynchrony plays a role in their peer relationships. Using data from an adoption study (the Early Growth and Development Study; n = 413; 237 boys, 176 girls), this study examined the effect of pubertal asynchrony on peer victimization. Results revealed sex-specific effects of pubertal asynchrony; pubertal asynchrony was associated with a higher risk of peer victimization for girls but a lower risk for boys. Findings highlight the intersection of physical development and social context in understanding youth’s experiences of puberty.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health