Girls Who Mature Early May Be At Higher Depression Risk

By Staff Writer

Girls who enter puberty early may be at a greater risk of developing depression later in life and needing help from rehab facilities, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Medicine.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that the timing of puberty in girls may be related to mood disorders. However, the researchers said that this is the first study to track the development of the situation into adolescence.

Investigators from Bristol University in the UK examined a group of girls between the ages of 10 and 14. The age of the participants’ first period was noted and they were then assessed for depressive symptoms later in adolescence. The researchers found that those who matured early were more likely to show signs of depression later in their teen years.

While the report gave no indication of whether the connection is emotional or caused by underlying physical conditions, the researchers said that programs aimed at helping girls who mature early to cope with the situation and reduce the likelihood that they will develop depression.