Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Mental Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
More Are Seeking Mental Health Care, But Not Always Those Who Need It MostMental Health Help Becoming Less of a Stigma in MilitaryMajor Injuries Take a Toll on Mental HealthSmoking Persists for Americans With Mental Health IllsSexual Assault Has Long-Term Mental, Physical Impact1 in 3 College Freshmen Faces Mental Health WoesMore Evidence Ties Stress to Heart TroubleIs a Haywire Body Clock Tied to Mood Disorders?From Pigs to Peacocks, What's Up With Those 'Emotional-Support Animals'?Is Evolution of the Human Brain to Blame for Some Mental Disorders?Massive Study Finds Same Genes Drive Many Psychiatric ConditionsDoes Mental Illness Raise Diabetes Risk?'Religious Refusal Laws' May Take Mental Health Toll on LGBT AmericansDisruption of Circadian Rhythm Negatively Impacts Mental HealthNon-Stigmatizing Messages Boost Mental Health Services SupportIncreased Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety After CRCGuidance Offered for Improving Mental Health in WorkplaceCommon Gynecologic Condition Linked to Mental Health IssuesGreat Recession of 2008 Triggered More Than Financial WoesGenetic Variations Impacting Empathy Tied to Psych IssuesEarly Periods Tied to Mental Health Issues Into AdulthoodGender Minorities Have Greater Mental Illness, DisabilityPets Provide Support to People With Mental Health ConditionsPets Good Medicine for Those Battling Mental IllsLimited Evidence for Effect of Cranial Electrical StimulationVirtual Reality-Based CBT Beneficial for Psychotic DisordersAutism, Bipolar and Schizophrenia Share Genetic SimilaritiesSubstantial Unmet Need for Mental Health Care for VeteransMental Health Care Access Differs With Race, InsuranceVA Health System Failing on Mental Health Care: ReportSevere Bullying Tied to Mental Health Woes in TeensMore Sought Mental Health Specialty Care in 2008 to 2015'Mountain Madness' Found to Be a Real PsychosisHealth Tip: Stay WellU.S. Soldier in Custody Following Slaying of 5 Americans in Iraq
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Schizophrenia
Eating Disorders
Medications

Early Periods Tied to Mental Health Issues Into Adulthood

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Mar 9th 2018

new article illustration

FRIDAY, March 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Mental health problems can last into adulthood for girls who start having their periods at an early age, a new study suggests.

Previous research had found that girls with early periods have more frequent and severe mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. They're also more prone to substance abuse, delinquency and failing or dropping out of school.

How long these problems usually last, though, has been unclear.

The new study followed nearly 8,000 U.S. girls for about 14 years, generally from adolescence until their late 20s. The younger the girls were when their periods started, the more likely they were to have depression and antisocial behaviors, such as acting out, rule-breaking and delinquency.

These problems persisted at least until the girls were in their late 20s, the researchers found.

"It can be very easy for people to dismiss the emotional challenges that come along with growing up as a girl, and say, 'Oh, it's just that age; it's what everyone goes through,'" study author Jane Mendle said in a news release from Cornell University.

"But not everyone goes through it, and it's not just 'that age,'" Mendle said. "And it's not trivial. It puts these girls on a path from which it is hard to deviate." She's an associate professor of human development at Cornell.

The average age girls get their first period is now 12.5 years old, according to the researchers. Over the past 50 years, this age has become lower and lower. Today, one-third of American girls are having their first period by age 8, Mendle's team said.

The study also found that the behavior of girls who matured early tended to worsen as they got older. Mendle said that's the opposite of the normal pattern of teen development.

"Usually people aren't shoplifting at 25 as much as they do at 15," she said. "But these kids did not show the typical age-related declines in antisocial behavior, and their behaviors got worse."

However, the researchers only saw an association, and figuring out why mental health problems associated with early periods continue into adulthood will require additional study, the researchers said.

The findings of Mendle and her colleagues were published in Pediatrics.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on girls and puberty.