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The current study is designed to inform prevention efforts by assessing the relationship between pubertal timing and ADA in a nationally representative sample of US girls.
Our hypothesis was that early puberty would elevate the risk for subsequent ADA, especially when girls’ friendship groups included a high percentage of boys, older friends, and when friends participated in high levels of risk behavior.
Add Health is a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of adolescents from the United States who were in grades 7 through 12 in 1994 to 1995 when the study began.
Our final analytic sample comprised 3870 girl participants aged 13 to 17 years self-identified as white (61%), African American (22.5%), and Hispanic (16.5%).
However, they did not test how the effect of pubertal timing varied as a function of adolescents’ social environment.