Pubertal Timing and Demographic Predictors of Adolescents in Southwest Nigeria LC11-LC13
Adedayo Olukemi Sabageh,
Consultant Public Health Physician, Department of Community Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology,
Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Background: Changes in the timing of puberty have been an area of research interest in developed countries because of its associated health and psychosocial problems. Adolescents in Africa are no exception as they are reaching adulthood today much earlier than before. This changing trend may have a major influence on adolescentsâ€™ sexual behaviour.
Aim: This study determined the timing of puberty and demographic predictors among the adolescents in southwest Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: The study was a cross-sectional study. Using Modified Sexual Maturity Scale (MSMS) of pubertal assessment, data were collected from 1000 respondents from rural and urban areas of Osun state, Nigeria. Data were collected using pre-tested Assisted Self Completion Questionnaires (ASCQ). The rate of pubertal development was based on age group and current pubertal stage. Data were analysed using SPSS version 16. Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were done to identify significant demographic predictors. Statistical significance was at 5% level.
Results: The overall mean age of the respondents was 14.22Â±2.47 years. The mean age for males was 14.19Â±2.38 years and 14.25Â±2.57 years for females. A total of 52.9% of the respondents were males and 47.1% were females. Higher proportions of the females, 41.6% were already in late puberty stages compared to their male counterparts where 21.9% were at this stage. With regards to this rate of pubertal development, more males, 14.2% significantly had late rate of pubertal development than the females 5.1%. The significant demographic predictors was socio-economic class in females only.
Conclusion: From this study, the timing of puberty was early for females and socio-economic class is an important demographic predictor for pubertal development. This study was however limited because intrinsic factors such as genetic makeup and nutritional status which could affect the finding were not be excluded.