Abuse accelerates the physical growth and maturity of children

BY DAVID SIMS | PUBLISHED: 03-21-2017

According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.

A new study warns that abuse accelerates the physical growth and maturity of children.

According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.
Sexual abuse, in particular, forces children to mature at a faster rate.

Also, early puberty is suspected to be a major contributor to increased rates of depression, substance abuse, sexual risk-taking and teenage pregnancy.

The study was conducted at Pennsylvania State University and compared the pubescent trajectories of 84 females with a history of sexual abuse, and 89 of their counterparts without sexual abuse history.

In conjunction with nurses and Child Protective Services, the test subjects were tracked from pre-puberty to full maturity, using a system known as Tanner staging.

Tanner staging is a numeric rating index that corresponds with the physical advancement of puberty.

The scientists studied pubic hair and breast development, as two separate markers for pubescent change.

The subjects were placed on a numbered scale from one to five. One was marked prepubescence, while five was marked maturity.

The researchers discovered that girls with histories of sexual abuse were more likely to transition into high puberty stages earlier than the girls who did not suffer abuse.

The abused girls developed breasts approximately eight months earlier than the non-abused girls. Their pubic hair grew at least one year earlier.

"Though a year's difference may seem trivial in the grand scheme of life, this accelerated maturation has been linked to concerning consequences, including mental health problems and reproductive cancer," said Dr. Jennie Noll, director of Child Maltreatment Solutions Network.

Dr. Noll, a professor of human development and family studies, said that the body is timed so that physical and developmental changes occur in unison.

When physical maturity surpasses psychosocial growth, the mismatch in timing is known as maladaptation

 

 

Comments
Laurel Kornfeld - 5 hours ago
According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.
Laurel Kornfeld - 5 hours ago
According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.
Chad Young - 6 hours ago
According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.
Chad Young - 6 hours ago
According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.
Vicky Webb - 6 hours ago
According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.
Paul Pate - 6 hours ago
According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.
Laurel Kornfeld - 6 hours ago
According to scientists, young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to twelve months earlier than their peers who do not suffer from abuse.