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moods over time. Contrary to prior literature, results indicated that early maturing girls had higher positive mood scores at Time 1 and increased in positive moods over the two time points, with other girls showing decreases in positive moods over the two time points. Girls' anger intensity and variability increased over time regardless of pubertal timing group. Given that most of the existing literature on pubertal timing examined effects for girls in the later or post-pubertal years, the present early timing effects on positive mood in younger girls may not be inconsistent. Possibly, the negative effects of early maturation may not be evident until around the age the girls begin middle school, which would suggest contextual effects of puberty. Stattin and Magnusson (1990) found that most negative effects occur when girls are nearly fully developed, viewed by others as older than they are, and unable to meet the social pressures this may impose.

In sum, findings of this study suggest that beginning secondary sexual characteristic development may be experienced most negatively by girls over the short-term, and that stability or lack of change in development (at least in the earliest stages of puberty) may be experienced most positively. The implication of these findings is that a faster rate of pubertal change, specifically during early puberty, may be most salient to mood. Even though the groups of girls for these analyses were particularly small, these should be viewed as preliminary findings that illuminate the need for researchers to consider not only stage of pubertal development, but also the rate and possibly sensitive periods of pubertal development.

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