A comparison of self-reported puberty using the Pubertal Development Scale and the Sexual Maturation Scale in a school-based epidemiologic survey

Lyndal Bond, Jackie Clements, Nadine Bertalli, Tracy Evans-Whipp, Barbara J. McMorris, George C. Patton, John W. Toumbourou, Richard F. Catalano

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83 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To examine concordance between two self-reported measures of puberty: Sexual Maturation Scale (SMS) and Pubertal Development Scale (PDS) and their acceptability to adolescents. Methods: Participants of a school-based study in grades 5, 7 and 9 were classified into one of 5 pubertal stages using each method. Results: 2864 students (age 9-16 years) participated. Agreement was moderate for males (κ 0.42, 95% CI 0.39, 0.45) and females (κ 0.57, 95% CI 0.53, 0.61). Concordance within one stage was excellent (females 97%, males 89%), with discrepancies due to females being classified one stage later on the PDS (26%) and males one stage earlier (32%). There were more missing data for the SMS (13%) than the PDS (4%). Conclusions: Given the level of concordance and difficulties of using the drawings in a school-based survey, we would recommend the PDS as an alternative to assess pubertal status in epidemiological studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-720
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the schools and students for their participation in the study. This paper uses data from the International Youth Development Study (IYDS), funded by NIH-NIDA (DA 121410), Richard F. Catalano, PI. Dr. Lyndal Bond is funded by a VicHealth/DHS Public Health Research Fellowship. Richard F. Catalano is a consultant to Channing Bete Company, distributor of the Communities That Care Survey that was modified to create the survey instrument described in this paper. He is also on the board of the Channing Bete Company. The survey itself is in the public domain.

Keywords

  • Adolescence puberty measurement epidemiology

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