My role


Research into puberty and public health

 Over the past 150 years, the age of puberty onset has fallen substantially across many developed countries in boys as well as girls. What has been the impact of this on public health? The Centre for Public Health at Liverpool JM University is investigating and need your help.

boy and girlLead researcher Jennifer Downing said: 'This study will examine risk-taking behaviour and the relationship between risk and pubertal development. It will also explore trends in pubertal development and aims to provide current data on the age of puberty onset, which may help to inform the provision of sex and relationship education in schools. This is a retrospective study aimed at men and women aged 16-45 years and has been approved by JMU ethics.'

The survey is being carried out through the website:

'The researchers are particularly trying to promote the website at men as they are more difficult to reach then women and the MHF are happy to help,' said MHF CEO Peter Baker. 'The data could be very useful to us too given that next year's Men's Health Week is about men and risk-taking. Please pass the website address on.'

Factors behind earlier puberty include public health successes such as improved childhood nutrition and reduction in childhood infections have been major factors accelerating the onset of puberty. But stress also accelerates puberty with family disruption, including the absence of a father being clearly implicated. 

Page created on September 19th, 2008

Page updated on December 1st, 2009