Age at menarche associated with subsequent educational attainment and risk-taking behaviours: the Pelotas 1982 Birth Cohort.
Annals of human biology 2020 ; 47: 18-24.
PubMed ID : 32028806
Earlier age at menarche (AAM), a marker of puberty timing in females, has been associated with a higher likelihood of adolescent risk-taking behaviours and variably associated with educational attainment. To examine the association between AAM and educational attainment in the Pelotas, Brazil, 1982 Birth Cohort. AAM was categorised as Early (7-11 years), Average (12-13 years), or Late (14+ years). Primary outcome: years of education (age 30). Secondary outcomes: risk-taking behaviours, adult income and school grade failure. In adjusted models, compared to Average AAM, Late AAM was associated with 0.64 fewer years of education (95% CI: -1.15, -0.13). Early AAM was associated with earlier age at first sexual intercourse (-0.25 years; 95% CI: -0.39, -0.12), whereas Late AAM was associated with 17% lower adult income (0.83; 95% CI: 0.71, 0.95) and 0.31 years older age at first alcohol consumption (95% CI: 0.10, 0.52). Our findings confirm the association between earlier puberty timing in females and a greater likelihood of risk-taking behaviours in this setting of recent secular changes towards earlier puberty. However, the association between Late AAM and lower education was surprising and may support a psychosocial rather than biological link between puberty timing and educational outcomes.