Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Early puberty linked to increased depression risk

09 December 2014, 14:30

Youngsters who enter puberty early are at increased risk for depression, a new study suggests.

Early puberty is linked with a number of factors associated with depression, such as poor self-image and high anxiety levels, according to the researchers. Early puberty was also linked to social problems, such as conflict with family and peers, and having friends who were prone to getting into trouble, the study found.

Although the study found an association between early puberty and these factors, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to show that early puberty is the cause of these issues.

"Only some teens are vulnerable to the effects of early maturation, particularly those with more disruption in their families and less support in their peer relationships," study leader Karen Rudolph, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, said in a university news release.

Boys and girls affected

The study also found that early puberty was associated with an increased risk of depression in boys as well as girls.

"It is often believed that going through puberty earlier than peers only contributes to depression in girls," Rudolph said. "We found that early maturation can also be a risk for boys as they progress through adolescence, but the timing is different than in girls," she added.

Read: Eating disorders may start before puberty
"In girls, early maturation seems to trigger immediate psychological and environmental risks and consequent depression," Rudolph said. "Pubertal changes cause early maturing girls to feel badly about themselves, cope less effectively with social problems, affiliate with deviant peers, enter riskier and more stressful social contexts and experience disruption and conflict within their relationships."

Initially, boys who entered puberty early had much lower rates of depression than girls, but had similar rates by the end of the study's fourth year.

"While early maturation seemed to protect boys from the challenges of puberty initially, boys experienced an emerging cascade of personal and contextual risks – negative self-image, anxiety, social problems and interpersonal stress – that eventuated in depression as they moved through adolescence," Rudolph said.

The study followed 160 youths for four years. It was published online in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

- Health24


How to get rid of cellulite at home

24 October 2016, 07:16

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Peter Kenneth will not run for Pr...

He clarified that he will not run for Presidency in 2017 as he supports Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Exams should not have political g...

He also said that school properties must not ‘carry any political portraits’. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Matatu crew drugs female passenge...

Hours after the story was circulated on social media Sunday, the crew was traced at Dagoretti and arrested. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
How to get rid of cellulite at ho...

Proper diets and a healthy lifestyle are among the most effective natural remedies for cellulite. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Peter Kenneth is not a good leade...

A local activist has slammed the former Presidential candidate Peter Kenneth for only appearing during elections but going underground when the country has problems.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Javelin champion Julius Yego invo...

He is undergoing treatment at the Medihill hospital in Eldoret. Read more...