Behavior problems and social competence in girls with true precocious puberty

William A. Sonis, Florence Comite, Jerome Blue, Ora H. Pescovitz, Charles W. Rahn, Karen D. Hench, Gordon B. Cutler, D. Lynn Loriaux, Robert P. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


We report a controlled standardized behavioral assessment of 33 girls with true precocious puberty using the Child Behavior Checklist. Although a majority of the girls were reported not to have behavior problems, many were reported to have a dysphoric adjustment to their condition. Twenty-seven percent of the girls with true precocious puberty scored >2 SD above the mean on the Total Behavior Problem scale 10 times the expected prevalence rate. They also scored significantly higher (P<0.01) than matched controls on both the internalizing or "overcontrolled symptom" and externalizing or "undercontrolled symptom" scales. Forty-eight percent scored >2 SD above the mean on the Social Withdrawal scale. The high prevalence of reported problem behaviors in this sample may be related directly or indirectly to the precocious maturation mediated by biologic, psychologic, social, and environmental variables. Although elevated levels of sex steroids may directly contribute to increased aggressive and hyperactive behaviors, they may also be modified by social and environmental factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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