The University of Michigan study focused on how African-American girls fit in or stand out socially in their schools based on their physical attributes among same-age peers.
The findings appear in the Journal of Black Psychology.
It may be helpful for parents to educate their daughters about the physical changes associated with pubertal development, Carter said.
Researchers said the findings might be similar for black boys, given they too are the first in their age cohort to develop.
They also assessed their grades and attachment to school and, the racial component of friends and peers, delinquent behavior among peers, and defiant behaviors.
Girls who perceived their development was early compared to their peers reported better grades, feeling connected to their school and engaged in fewer bad acts, especially those with more same-race friends.
Researchers looked at the influence of same-race friends and peers on more than 600 girls ages 13 to 17, using data from the National Survey of American Life Adolescent Supplement.
The girls were asked about their physical development compared to other girls their age—rating either looking younger or older than most.
As children enter their teenage years, it’s important for them to have a support system they can rely on.
The mood swings that teens experience are caused by fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—the sex hormones.
These same teen hormones will also affect the way they think about dating and sex.
Parents, siblings, counselors, teachers, and good friends can provide strength and advice as teens navigate this challenging, exciting time in their lives.
Without teenage hormones, normal physical and sexual development wouldn’t be possible.