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ERIC Number: EJ810942
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Impact of Fathers on Daughters' Age at Menarche: A Genetically and Environmentally Controlled Sibling Study
Tither, Jacqueline M.; Ellis, Bruce J.
Developmental Psychology, v44 n5 p1409-1420 Sep 2008
Girls growing up in homes without their biological fathers tend to go through puberty earlier than their peers. Whereas evolutionary theories of socialization propose that this relation is causal, it could arise from environmental or genetic confounds. To distinguish between these competing explanations, the authors used a genetically and environmentally controlled sibling comparison design to examine the effects of differential exposure to family disruption/father absence in a community sample of sister pairs. As specified by evolutionary causal theories, younger sisters had earlier menarche than their older sisters in biologically disrupted families (n = 68) but not biologically intact families (n = 93). This effect was superseded, however, by a large moderating effect of paternal dysfunction. Younger sisters from disrupted families who were exposed to serious paternal dysfunction in early childhood attained menarche 11 months earlier than either their older sisters or other younger sisters from disrupted families who were not exposed to such dysfunction. These data suggest that early exposure to disordered paternal behavior, followed by family disruption and residential separation from the father, can lead to substantially earlier menarche. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand