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Journal Article

The Psychological Impact of Menarche on Early Adolescent Females: A Review of the Literature

Esther Blank Greif and Kathleen J. Ulman
Child Development
Vol. 53, No. 6, Early Adolescence (Dec., 1982), pp. 1413-1430
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130069
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130069
Page Count: 18
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The Psychological Impact of Menarche on Early Adolescent Females: A Review of the Literature
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Abstract

This paper reviews research on the psychological impact of onset of menstruation (menarche). Menarche is an important event for all girls, yet there is relatively little research on this topic, and the existing research contains a number of conceptual and methodological problems. In this paper, we review attitudes toward menarche and personality characteristics of pubertal girls. Then we look at memories of menarche from late adolescents and adult women. Finally, we examine studies of the impact of timing (early and late menarche). Overall, the studies indicate that menarche is a memorable and significant event for girls. Frequently the experience is perceived negatively, but there is also a positive, integrating result to menarche. Factors influencing the psychological impact of menarche include age at time of first period, social factors, amount of preparation, and cultural factors. The paper focuses on research problems and provides suggestions for future research.

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