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1.  Psychosocial Risk and Correlates of Early Menarche in Mexican-American Girls 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;173(10):1203-1210.
Mexican-American girls have one of the fastest rates of decline in age at menarche. To date, no study has addressed the role of psychosocial factors on age at menarche in this population. Using data from a longitudinal cohort of Mexican-American girls from the Houston, Texas, metropolitan area recruited in 2005, the authors investigated associations between family life and socioeconomic environment and age at menarche in 523 girls. After adjusting for maternal age at menarche, daughter's age, and body mass index at baseline, perception of family life environment as conflict-prone was significantly associated with an earlier age at menarche (< 11 years). Additionally, there was a 2-fold higher risk (odds ratio = 2.22, 95% confidence interval: 1.12, 4.40) of early menarche among daughters of mothers who were single parents compared with those who were not. Furthermore, girls who matured early had a 2.5-fold increased risk (odds ratio = 2.69, 95% confidence interval: 1.04, 6.96) of experimenting with cigarettes compared with those who had an average-to-late age at menarche (≥ 11 years). This study provides important information regarding the role of family life environment and single parenting on age at menarche in Mexican Americans. Awareness of the impact of the family life environment and fathers’ absence during the early years should be emphasized when addressing early age at menarche across cultures.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwq498
PMCID: PMC3121322  PMID: 21454827
family cohesion; family conflict; menarche; Mexican Americans; single parenting; smoking; social support
2.  Pubertal Development in Mexican American Girls: The Family’s Perspective 
Qualitative health research  2009;19(9):1210-1222.
Mexican American (MA) girls are entering puberty earlier than in the past, yet few studies have explored the perceptions surrounding puberty among this group. We conducted separate focus groups for fathers, mothers, and daughters aged 6 to 12 years to explore perceptions of body image, pubertal development, communications, and sources of puberty-related information in MA participants. Our results revealed parental concerns about daughters’ weight and pubertal development, as well as differences in their communication with their daughters. Although both parents willingly discussed pubertal issues concerning their daughters, mothers had a more active role in conveying pubertal information to daughters. Among the girls, there was a gap in knowledge about the pubertal process between the younger and older girls. Our findings present opportunities and challenges for addressing obesity as a pubertal risk factor in MA girls; however, more studies are needed to understand family beliefs and sociocultural dynamics surrounding puberty in MAs.
doi:10.1177/1049732309344326
PMCID: PMC3183834  PMID: 19690203
adolescents; female; body image; families; fathers; focus groups; Mexican Americans; relationships; mother–child; women’s health; young women

Results 1-2 (2)