Purpose: To examine concordance between two self-reported measures of puberty: Sexual Maturation Scale (SMS) and Pubertal Development Scale (PDS) and their acceptability to adolescents.
Methods: Participants of a school-based study in grades 5, 7 and 9 were classified into one of 5 pubertal stages using each method.
Results: 2864 students (age 9-16 years) participated. Agreement was moderate for males (kappa 0.42, 95% CI 0.39, 0.45) and females (kappa 0.57, 95% CI 0.53, 0.61). Concordance within one stage was excellent (females 97%, males 89%), with discrepancies due to females being classified one stage later on the PDS (26%) and males one stage earlier (32%). There were more missing data for the SMS (13%) than the PDS (4%).
Conclusions: Given the level of concordance and difficulties of using the drawings in a school-based survey, we would recommend the PDS as an alternative to assess pubertal status in epidemiological studies.