Father absence and timing of menarche in adolescent girls from a UK cohort: the mediating role of maternal depression and major financial problems

Iryna Culpin, Jon Heron, Ricardo Araya, Roberto Melotti, Glyn Lewis, Carol Joinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a prospective birth cohort study of 5295 girls from the UK-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we examined the association between biological father absence in childhood and age at menarche whilst adjusting for antenatal indicators of socioeconomic disadvantage and maternal characteristics. We also examined whether exposure to maternal depression and financial problems during middle childhood mediate the association between father absence and age at menarche. There was stronger evidence for an association between father absence during the first 5 years of life and early timing of menarche compared with father absence between 5 and 10 years. There was evidence that maternal depression and major financial problems explained some of the association between early childhood father absence and age at menarche. Although father absence cannot be a direct target of prevention, family-based programs to address family processes influenced by maternal depression and socioeconomic disadvantage may be effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Fathers
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Menarche
  • Mothers
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Questionnaires
  • Risk Factors

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