Original Research

Validity of puberty self-report in children and adolescents in Ho Chi Minh City

Abstract

Background: Puberty is a milestone in child and adolescent development, yet a feasible tool to accurately assess pubertal stage in community context has not been validated in Vietnam.

Aim: This study was conducted to validate pubertal self-report among Ho Chi Minh City children and adolescents in comparison with paediatrician’s assessment.

Methods: 80 girls and 76 boys aged from 6 to 17 years old from 5 schools in Ho Chi Minh City were recruited. Self-administered questionnaires about sexual maturation were distributed to participants and results were compared with physician’s pubertal examination. Kappa statistic and Kendall’s τ b were used to evaluate validity of the questionnaire.

Results: Boys tended to overestimate their development stages while girls tended to underestimate. Fair to almost perfect agreement between students’ reports and paediatricians’ evaluation, along with high concordance was recorded, however younger boys (aged 6-11) showed limited evaluation of their own sexual maturation.

Conclusion: This method was inaccurate to evaluate younger boys’ sexual maturation; however, acceptable accuracy in sexual maturation estimation among younger girls and adolescents could allow it to serve as an effective screening tool in community context.

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