Effects of pubertal timing on alcohol and tobacco use in the early adulthood: A longitudinal cohort study in Taiwan

Meng Che Tsai, Yi Ping Hsieh, Carol Strong, Chung-Ying Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We aimed to examine the effects of pubertal timing on adolescents' alcohol and tobacco use from late adolescence to young adulthood. In addition, we separately explored associative factors of the use of these substances stratified by pubertal timings. A longitudinal cohort of 7th- and 9th-grade students was recruited in Taiwan. Pubertal timing was classified according to the Pubertal Developmental Scale. Effects of pubertal timing on self-reported drinking and smoking at age 20 were evaluated using generalized estimating equation analysis. Furthermore, we assessed the predictive roles of parental monitoring, parent-child relationships, peer influence, and school adhesion among participants, stratified by pubertal timing using multiple logistic regression analysis. A survey of 2290 participants was analyzed, with 51.2% being female. The smoking rate is 19.2% (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03-2.00) and the alcohol drinking rate is 41.6% (adjusted OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.07-1.69) for early maturing adolescents as compared to 12.3% and 41.6% respectively for on-time peers. A satisfactory parent-child relationship is a protective factor and strict parental monitoring is a risk factor for future tobacco and alcohol use in logistic regression analyses. Early maturation confers risk for cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption in young adulthood. Health professionals and parents should be advised of the potential associative factors with future substance use among adolescents with different maturation tempo. Emphasis could be placed on promoting positive parenting strategies and intra-familial interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-383
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Parent-child relationship
  • Parenting
  • Pubertal timing
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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