Objectives: Previous studies examining the reliability of self-reported Tanner stages have given conflicting results. We report on the reliability of self-reported Tanner stages in lean healthy children.
Methods: Self-reported Tanner staging of 240 children (130 girls, 110 boys) were compared to the ratings of a pediatric endocrinologist who was unaware of the children's self-assessments. The correlation between the two approaches was analyzed using kappa statistics.
Results: 40% (kappa coeffcient = 0.49, p <0.001) and 23% (kappa coefficient = 0.68, p <0.001) of the girls rated their breast and pubic Tanner stage incorrectly, respectively; 39% of the boys (kappa coefficient = 0.49, p <0.001) rated their pubic stage incorrectly. The age of the children who self-rated correctly and incorrectly was not different; no independent predictors for correct Tanner staging self-assessment were found.
Conclusions: The results of this analysis suggest that self-rated Tanner pubertal staging is not influenced by age and is not a reliable method of assessing Tanner stage.