Family composition and age at menarche. Findings from the International Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study

Candace Currie, Martin Steppan, Juliet McEachran, Ross Whitehead

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Background: Early menarche has been associated with father absence, stepfather presence and adverse health consequences in later life. This presentation assesses associations of different family compositions with age at menarche.
Pathways that may explain any association between family characteristics and pubertal timing are explored.
Methods: Cross-sectional international data on age at menarche, family structure and covariates (age, psychosomatic complaints,
media consumption, physical activity) were collected from the 2009–10 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The sample focuses on 15-year-old girls, comprising 36,175 individuals across 40 countries in Europe and North America (N¿=¿21,075 for age at menarche). The study examined the association of different family characteristics with age at menarche. Regression and path analyses were applied, incorporating multilevel techniques to adjust for the nested nature of data within countries. Results: Living with a mother (Cohen’s d¿=¿0.12), father (d¿=¿0.08), brothers (d¿=¿0.04) and sisters (d¿=¿0.06) are independently associated with later age at menarche. Living in a foster home (d¿=¿-0.16), with ‘someone else’ (d¿=¿-0.11), a stepmother (d¿=¿-0.10) or stepfather (d¿=¿-0.06) was associated with earlier menarche. Path
models show that up to 89% of these effects can be explained through lifestyle and psychological variables.
Conclusions: Earlier menarche is reported among those with living conditions other than a family consisting of two biological parents. This can partly be explained by girls in these families having a higher Body Mass Index, which is a biological determinant of early menarche. Lower physical activity and elevated psychosomatic complaints were also more often found in girls in these family environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Society for Population Studies, 46th Annual Conference, University of Cardiff
PublisherBritish Society for Population Studies (BSPS)
Pages1
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2019

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Menarche
Health Behavior
Fathers
Siblings
Exercise
Social Conditions
North America
Life Style
Body Mass Index
Parents
Regression Analysis
Mothers
Psychology
Health

Keywords

  • menarche, family structure,

Cite this

Currie, C., Steppan, M., McEachran, J., & Whitehead, R. (2019). Family composition and age at menarche. Findings from the International Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. In British Society for Population Studies, 46th Annual Conference, University of Cardiff (pp. 1). British Society for Population Studies (BSPS).
Currie, Candace ; Steppan, Martin ; McEachran, Juliet ; Whitehead, Ross. / Family composition and age at menarche. Findings from the International Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. British Society for Population Studies, 46th Annual Conference, University of Cardiff. British Society for Population Studies (BSPS), 2019. pp. 1
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abstract = "Background: Early menarche has been associated with father absence, stepfather presence and adverse health consequences in later life. This presentation assesses associations of different family compositions with age at menarche. Pathways that may explain any association between family characteristics and pubertal timing are explored. Methods: Cross-sectional international data on age at menarche, family structure and covariates (age, psychosomatic complaints, media consumption, physical activity) were collected from the 2009–10 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The sample focuses on 15-year-old girls, comprising 36,175 individuals across 40 countries in Europe and North America (N¿=¿21,075 for age at menarche). The study examined the association of different family characteristics with age at menarche. Regression and path analyses were applied, incorporating multilevel techniques to adjust for the nested nature of data within countries. Results: Living with a mother (Cohen’s d¿=¿0.12), father (d¿=¿0.08), brothers (d¿=¿0.04) and sisters (d¿=¿0.06) are independently associated with later age at menarche. Living in a foster home (d¿=¿-0.16), with ‘someone else’ (d¿=¿-0.11), a stepmother (d¿=¿-0.10) or stepfather (d¿=¿-0.06) was associated with earlier menarche. Path models show that up to 89{\%} of these effects can be explained through lifestyle and psychological variables. Conclusions: Earlier menarche is reported among those with living conditions other than a family consisting of two biological parents. This can partly be explained by girls in these families having a higher Body Mass Index, which is a biological determinant of early menarche. Lower physical activity and elevated psychosomatic complaints were also more often found in girls in these family environments.",
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Currie, C, Steppan, M, McEachran, J & Whitehead, R 2019, Family composition and age at menarche. Findings from the International Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. in British Society for Population Studies, 46th Annual Conference, University of Cardiff. British Society for Population Studies (BSPS), pp. 1.

Family composition and age at menarche. Findings from the International Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. / Currie, Candace; Steppan, Martin; McEachran, Juliet ; Whitehead, Ross.

British Society for Population Studies, 46th Annual Conference, University of Cardiff. British Society for Population Studies (BSPS), 2019. p. 1.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Family composition and age at menarche. Findings from the International Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study

AU - Currie, Candace

AU - Steppan, Martin

AU - McEachran, Juliet

AU - Whitehead, Ross

N1 - Conference ran from 9-11 September 2019 Acceptance and AAM requested ET 17/9/19 ^Changed template to paper with note to author; doesn't appear to be conf. with formal proceedings. ET 25/10/19

PY - 2019/9/10

Y1 - 2019/9/10

N2 - Background: Early menarche has been associated with father absence, stepfather presence and adverse health consequences in later life. This presentation assesses associations of different family compositions with age at menarche. Pathways that may explain any association between family characteristics and pubertal timing are explored. Methods: Cross-sectional international data on age at menarche, family structure and covariates (age, psychosomatic complaints, media consumption, physical activity) were collected from the 2009–10 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The sample focuses on 15-year-old girls, comprising 36,175 individuals across 40 countries in Europe and North America (N¿=¿21,075 for age at menarche). The study examined the association of different family characteristics with age at menarche. Regression and path analyses were applied, incorporating multilevel techniques to adjust for the nested nature of data within countries. Results: Living with a mother (Cohen’s d¿=¿0.12), father (d¿=¿0.08), brothers (d¿=¿0.04) and sisters (d¿=¿0.06) are independently associated with later age at menarche. Living in a foster home (d¿=¿-0.16), with ‘someone else’ (d¿=¿-0.11), a stepmother (d¿=¿-0.10) or stepfather (d¿=¿-0.06) was associated with earlier menarche. Path models show that up to 89% of these effects can be explained through lifestyle and psychological variables. Conclusions: Earlier menarche is reported among those with living conditions other than a family consisting of two biological parents. This can partly be explained by girls in these families having a higher Body Mass Index, which is a biological determinant of early menarche. Lower physical activity and elevated psychosomatic complaints were also more often found in girls in these family environments.

AB - Background: Early menarche has been associated with father absence, stepfather presence and adverse health consequences in later life. This presentation assesses associations of different family compositions with age at menarche. Pathways that may explain any association between family characteristics and pubertal timing are explored. Methods: Cross-sectional international data on age at menarche, family structure and covariates (age, psychosomatic complaints, media consumption, physical activity) were collected from the 2009–10 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The sample focuses on 15-year-old girls, comprising 36,175 individuals across 40 countries in Europe and North America (N¿=¿21,075 for age at menarche). The study examined the association of different family characteristics with age at menarche. Regression and path analyses were applied, incorporating multilevel techniques to adjust for the nested nature of data within countries. Results: Living with a mother (Cohen’s d¿=¿0.12), father (d¿=¿0.08), brothers (d¿=¿0.04) and sisters (d¿=¿0.06) are independently associated with later age at menarche. Living in a foster home (d¿=¿-0.16), with ‘someone else’ (d¿=¿-0.11), a stepmother (d¿=¿-0.10) or stepfather (d¿=¿-0.06) was associated with earlier menarche. Path models show that up to 89% of these effects can be explained through lifestyle and psychological variables. Conclusions: Earlier menarche is reported among those with living conditions other than a family consisting of two biological parents. This can partly be explained by girls in these families having a higher Body Mass Index, which is a biological determinant of early menarche. Lower physical activity and elevated psychosomatic complaints were also more often found in girls in these family environments.

KW - menarche, family structure,

M3 - Conference contribution

SP - 1

BT - British Society for Population Studies, 46th Annual Conference, University of Cardiff

PB - British Society for Population Studies (BSPS)

ER -

Currie C, Steppan M, McEachran J, Whitehead R. Family composition and age at menarche. Findings from the International Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. In British Society for Population Studies, 46th Annual Conference, University of Cardiff. British Society for Population Studies (BSPS). 2019. p. 1