Gender Differences in Risk Behaviours: Does Sexual Maturation Matter?
Background: Menarche is a milestone of entering puberty, representing an indicator of sexual maturity and revealing normal physical, biological, psychological, and emotional development. This study aimed to compare pre-menarche girls, same age post-menarche girls, and boys according to risk behaviours.
Methods: Participants (n=2608) completed a comprehensive survey regarding headache, irritability, feeling nervous, tobacco use, drinking beer, physical fighting, diet, and perception of health.
Results: The prevalence of having headaches (p<0.001), being irritable or having a bad temper (p<0.001), feeling nervous (p<0.001), being on a diet (p<0.001) was significantly higher among post-menarche girls than boys and pre-menarche girls. Post-menarche girls had a poorer perception of health (p<0.001). After adjusted data for socioeconomic status and BMI, frequency of having headaches, bad temper and feeling nervous was higher for post-menarche girls.
Conclusions: Specific school-based intervention is required so that the perception of well-being and social participation can be maintained during after menarche.
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