Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 328
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 121-126

An assessment of sexual maturation among school girls in Abakaliki Metropolis, Ebonyi State, South-East Nigeria

1 Department of Pediatrics, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria
2 Department of Pediatrics, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki; Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus; Department of Pediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Onyinye Uchenna Anyanwu
Department of Pediatrics, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1117-1936.190348

Rights and Permissions

Background: Sexual maturation is an important milestone which starts between 8 and 14 years in girls. However, varying ages of onset of sexual maturation have been reported in different environments, with more recent studies showing earlier ages of onset in girls. There is therefore need to describe the sexual maturation of girls in each environment. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 6–18-year-old school girls in Abakaliki. One thousand one hundred and fifty-five girls were selected through multi-staged sampling. They were interviewed, and sexual maturation was assessed using breast and pubic hair development. Results: Pubic hair development occurred earliest at a mean age of 9.87 ± 2.19 years. Breast development followed at a mean age of 10.53 ± 2.38 years. The mean age for menarche was 12.82 ± 1.29 years, which chronologically occurred between sexual maturity rating stages 3 and 4. Overweight/obesity was found to be correlated with an earlier age of onset of sexual maturation (P < 0.05). Participants belonging to the upper socioeconomic class also had earlier age of onset of sexual maturation (P < 0.05). Compared with earlier studies, positive secular trend for earlier maturation was found using pubic hair development, breast development and menarche as markers of onset of maturation. Conclusions/Recommendations: Against the background of the present findings of a continuing secular trend of earlier sexual maturation in Igbo girls, there is a need to provide relevant information to parents/guardians and to reduce puberty-related anxiety. This will go a long way in improving quality of parental support for adolescents during this crucial period.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded331    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 3    

Recommend this journal