Perceptions of Puberty: Adolescent, Parent, and Health Care Personnel

Lorah D. Dorn, Elizabeth J. Susman, Editha D. Nottelmann, Gale Inoff-Germain, George P. Chrousos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


This study was designed (a) to examine relations among ratings of pubertal stage by adolescents, parents, and health care personnel, and (b) to determine if accuracy of adolescent and parent ratings varied with stage of puberty. Ss were 90 healthy adolescents: 46 boys, ages 10-15, and 44 girls, ages 9-15, and their parents. Ss were shown photos of the 5 stages of puberty (Tanner criteria). Ss rated the adolescents' pubertal stage, and a nurse practitioner completed an examination to rate the adolescents' stage. Correlations between adolescent and examiner ratings ranged from r = .77 to r = .91 (p ≤ .001, κ = .33 to .50), and between parent and examiner from r = .75 to r = .87 (p ≤ .001, κ = .13 to .55). When inaccurate, Ss ratings were lower than examiner ratings and less accurate at later stages of puberty. Use of adolescent and parent ratings is limited if precise ratings of stage are necessary to answer a research question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-329
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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