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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 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 1 2006

Keywords

  • Adolescence puberty measurement epidemiology

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