Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Early Adolescence 8:4 (Winter 1988), pp. 405–419. Copyright © 1988 Sage Publications. Used by permission. DOI: 10.1177/0272431688084007 The online version of this article can be found at:


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relations between pubertal development and adolescents’ perceptions of their physical and emotional states. Two research questions were posed: (a) What are the effects of pubertal status upon satisfaction with appearance and mood states of the adolescent; and, (b) What are the patterns of those pubertal effects in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades? A nonclinical group of adolescents (N = 253) was selected from two cohorts and was followed from sixth through eighth grade. Multiple measures were used to assess satisfaction with appearance and mood states. Significant multivariate findings were limited to seventh and eighth grades. For satisfaction with appearance in girls, there were significant multivariate effects for pubertal status in both grades with the salient variable being satisfaction with weight. Girls who were more physically mature reported being less satisfied with their weight. For moods in seventh grade boys, the multivariate effect was significant for pubertal status with the salient variables being Impulse Control and Emotional Tone. Pubertal boys rated themselves higher, that is better on Impulse Control and Emotional Tone. Other significant univariate effects and polynomial trends are also discussed.