It has often been said that when kids grow up in an adverse environment, they grow up faster.  A recent study finds that to be not only metaphorically true, but also physically true.

A study put out by the University of Arizona and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that girls who have a stable home life characterized by greater parental support from both fathers and mothers, less marital conflict and fewer depressive symptoms experience the beginning of puberty later in life.  Lower Body Mass Index was also found to be an precursor to later puberty.  Later puberty is associated with lower risks of substance abuse, risky sexual activity, mood disorders, and cancers of the reproductive system.

University of Arizona (2007, November 16). Girls Will Be Girls Longer When Home Life Is Stable. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 21, 2009, from­ /releases/2007/11/071115091715.htm