Protocol - History of Prepubertal Development - Female

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Protocol Name from Source:

Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS)


Publicly available


Female participants answer questions about when menstruation began and when they reached full height.


1. How old were you when your menstrual periods began?

[ ] 9 or less

[ ] 10

[ ] 11

[ ] 12

[ ] 13

[ ] 14

[ ] 15

[ ] 16

[ ] 17 or more

[ ] never had periods

2. At about what age did you reach your full height?

[ ] Before age 13

[ ] 13 - 17 years of age

[ ] after age 17

[ ] don’t know

Personnel and Training Required


Equipment Needs

Pencil and paper for self-administered questions.


Requirement CategoryRequired
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individualNo
Major equipmentNo
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collectionNo
Specialized trainingNo

Mode of Administration


Life Stage:


Specific Instructions:

The PhenX Reproductive Health Working Group recommends adding the response categories "can’t remember" and "don’t know" to Question 1 for females.

Research Domain Information

Release Date:

April 11, 2017


Questions to assess how old participants were when they reached puberty.


The purpose of these questions is to determine when participants reached puberty. It is important to measure because it is linked to sexual development and maturity.

Selection Rationale

The protocols are from well-established studies with questions that have been used for more than a decade.




Common Data Elements (CDE)Person Prepuberty Development History3007456CDE Browser
Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC)Hx prepubertal devel female proto62657-2LOINC

Process and Review

The [link[www.phenx.org/node/110|Expert Review Panel #5]] (ERP 5) reviewed the measures in the Reproductive Health domain.

Guidance from ERP 5 includes:

  • Revised descriptions of the measure

Back-compatible: no changes to Data Dictionary.

Previous version in Toolkit archive ([link[www.phenxtoolkit.org/index.php?pageLink=resources.archive|link]]).


Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. (1995). Black Women’s Health Study 1995. Boston, MA: Author. Question 7 (question 1). Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. (1999). Black Women’s Health Study 1999. Boston, MA: Author. Question 5 (question 2).

General References

Jenner, M. R., Kelch, R. P., Kaplan, S. L., & Grümbach, M. M. (1972). Hormonal changes in puberty. IV. Plasma estradiol, LH, and FSH in prepubertal children, pubertal females, and in precocious puberty, premature thelarche, hypogonadism, and in a child with a feminizing ovarian tumor. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 34(3), 521-530.

Jost, A. (1970). Hormonal factors in the sex differentiation of the mammalian foetus. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 259(828), 119-130.

MacLaughlin, D. T., & Donahoe, P. K. (2004). Sex determination and differentiation. New England Journal of Medicine, 350(4), 367-378.

Maliqueo, M., Sir-Petermann, T., Perez, V., Echiburu, B., Guevara, L. A., Galvez, C., Crisosto, N., & Azziz, R. (2009). Adrenal Function during Childhood and Puberty in Daughters of Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 94: 3282-3288.

Marshall, W., & Tanner, J. (1969). Variations in the pattern of pubertal changes in girls. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 44, 291-303.

Sizonenko, P. C., Burr, I. M., Kaplan, S. L., & Grumbach, M. M. (1970). Hormonal changes in puberty. II. Correlation of serum luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone with stages of puberty and bone age in normal girls. Pediatric Research, 4(1), 36-45.

Protocol ID:



Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
PX100601_Menstrual_Period_Began_First_AgePX100601010000How old were you when your menstrual periods began?4Variable Mapping
PX100601_Reach_Full_Height_AgePX100601020000At about what age did you reach your full height?4N/A