According to a study published in the current issue of the Journal of Pediatrics, US girls as young as 7 years old are hitting puberty .
The researchers, who used 1239 girls from across the US, defined the onset of puberty as stage 2 breast development. While the number of girls who had attained this stage of breast development, the number varied by age and race/ethnicity. For example 10.4% of white girls, 23.4% of black non-Hispanic girls, and 14.9% of Hispanic girls had sufficient breast development at age 7 to be considered pubertal. Girls who were 8 at the time of the study had significantly higher breast development with 18.3% of white girls, 42.9% of black non-Hispanic girls, and 30.9% of Hispanic girls meeting the criteria.
Since this was a multimeter study throughout the US, it's important to note that these numbers were substantially the same across sites. This study shows that puberty is ocuring at much earlier ages than just 10 to 30 years ago -- this was particularly true of white girls.
See also: Puberty Basics
I can't imagine having a daughter who encounters puberty at such a young age, can you? What do you think about this study? Did you or your daughter experience early puberty? How did you handle it? Leave you comments!