Do i look gawky? The association between pubertal asynchrony and peer victimization

Misaki N. Natsuaki, Sofia T. Stepanyan, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, Daniel S. Shaw, Jody M. Ganiban, David Reiss, Leslie D. Leve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number794
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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