Psychosexological evaluation of children with precocious puberty: an interview study focusing on parental perspective and reasons for delaying treatment of their children

Damian Jacob Sendler, Anna Szewczyk


Background: Precocious puberty (PP) is characterized by the appearance of secondary sex characteristics or menarche in children under the age of 9. Parents often become concerned about the etiology of unexplained growth spur of their children. This study evaluates how parents approach the treatment of PP in light of the following themes: social, cultural, medical information, and treatment planning.
Methods: The primary mode of analysis is interview series, complete with 10 couples (M =5, mean age =37; F =5, mean age =33) who came in for treatment with their child for PP.
Results: In our analysis, we identified three themes that summarize the context of the discussions that we’ve had with our participants: pre-contemplation stage, evaluation and treatment stage, and follow-up stage. In the pre-contemplation stage, parents who seek help for their children face difficulties related to emotional preparation and getting their child ready for medical evaluation. In the evaluation and treatment stage, parents typically commit scheduling appointment with a medical provider to obtain more information about what causes their child’s PP. In the follow-up stage, parents remain concerned about maintaining appropriate medical care of their child and possibly adverse long-term side effects of treatment.
Conclusions: The study presented here investigated the perspective of parents of children who are experiencing the signs and symptoms of PP. We find that many parents feel that their children are going to be socially stigmatized because of their increased physical growth.