IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The relationship between age of menarche and mental distress in Norwegian adolescent girls and girls from different immigrant groups in Norway: Results from an urban city cross-sectional survey

Listed author(s):
  • Lien, Lars
  • Dalgard, Florence
  • Heyerdahl, Sonja
  • Thoresen, Magne
  • Bjertness, Espen
Registered author(s):

    Lower age of menarche has been associated with increased mental distress among adolescent girls. The association might be mediated via body image, as girls with early menarche tend to have higher weight than those with late onset menarche. Many of the existing studies of menarche and mental distress are based on samples of white, western girls. The aim of the study was to analyze the association between age of menarche and mental distress among Norwegian girls and girls from different immigrant groups, and to study the effect of body mass index (BMI) and the difference between current and desired weight, on the relationship between age of menarche and mental distress. The study was a cross-sectional population-based self-report survey of all 10th grade pupils in Oslo for two consecutive years. A total of 3694 girls (91%) participated, one quarter of which were first or second generation immigrants. The Hopkins Symptom Checklist-10 was used to measure mental distress. An inverse, linear association between age of menarche and mental distress was found for both Norwegian girls and girls from all the immigrant groups. Regardless of immigrant status, girls with early onset menarche had higher BMI and higher difference in current and desired weight than those with late onset menarche. In linear regression, the difference in current and desired weight was more strongly associated with mental distress both among the Norwegian girls and girls from immigrant groups than age of menarche and BMI when controlling for social and behavioral factors. Early age of menarche might serve as a predictor for psychopathology in Norwegians girls as well as in girls from different immigrant groups. The association between age of menarche and mental distress might be mediated via differences in current and desired weight.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 63 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 285-295

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:2:p:285-295
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Kaltiala-Heino, Riittakerttu & Marttunen, Mauri & Rantanen, Päivi & Rimpelä, Matti, 2003. "Early puberty is associated with mental health problems in middle adolescence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 1055-1064, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:2:p:285-295. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.