Accuracy of pubertal Tanner staging self-reporting

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Mar;19(3):213-21. doi: 10.1515/jpem.2006.19.3.213.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Image*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Puberty*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self-Examination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sexual Maturation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires