Menarcheal age of girls from dysfunctional families
The objective of the present study was to determine median age at menarche and the influence of familial instability on maturation. The sample included 7047 girls between the ages of 9 and 17 years from Tuzla Canton. The girls were divided into two groups. Group A (N=5230) comprised girls who lived in families free of strong traumatic events. Group B (N=1817) included girls whose family dysfunction exposed them to prolonged distress. Probit analysis was performed to estimate mean menarcheal age using the Probit procedure of SAS package. The mean menarcheal age calculated by probit analysis for all the girls studied was 13.07 years. In girls from dysfunctional families a very clear shift toward earlier maturation was observed. The mean age at menarche for group B was 13.0 years, which was significantly lower that that for group A, 13.11 years (t=2.92, P<0.01). The results surveyed here lead to the conclusion that girls from dysfunctional families mature not later but even earlier than girls from normal families. This supports the hypothesis that stressful childhood life events accelerate maturation of girls.