Pubertal timing moderates the same-day coupling between family hassles and negative affect in girls and boys

Dev Psychopathol. 2022 Jul 25;1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0954579422000591. Online ahead of print.


This study examined the association between pubertal timing, daily affect, conduct problems, and the exposure to hassles across family, peer, and school contexts. Adolescents (M age = 12.27; 49.7% female; 62.6% White) completed ecological momentary assessments across 14 consecutive days (N = 388). Earlier maturing girls reported lower daily averages of positive affect compared to their same-sex, same-age peers. We did not find evidence for a relationship between pubertal timing and daily negative affect or conduct problems in girls, nor for daily negative and positive affect or conduct problems in boys. However, pubertal timing did moderate the day-level association between average negative affect and family hassles for both girls and boys. When experiencing more family hassles, earlier maturing girls reported greater negative affect relative to later maturing girls who experienced family hassles. In contrast, later maturing boys, relative to earlier maturing boys, reported higher levels of negative affect in the context of family hassles.

Keywords: Pubertal timing; daily affect and conduct problems; ecological momentary assessment; family hassles.