Pubertal Timing as a Transdiagnostic Risk for Psychopathology in Youth

Elissa J. Hamlat, Hannah R. Snyder, Jami F. Young, Benjamin L. Hankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence suggests that early pubertal timing may operate as a transdiagnostic risk factor (i.e., shared across syndromes of psychopathology) for both genders. The current study examined associations between pubertal timing and dimensional psychopathology, structured across different levels of three organizational models: (a) DSM-based syndrome model, (b) traditional model of internalizing and externalizing factors, and (c) bifactor (p factor) model, which includes a general psychopathology factor as well as internalizing- and externalizing-specific factors. For study analyses, 567 youth-parent pairs completed psychopathology measures when youths (55.5% female) were 13.58 years old (SD = 2.37, range = 9–17 years). Findings across all models revealed that early pubertal timing served as a transdiagnostic risk factor and also displayed some syndrome-specific associations. Gender did not moderate any relationships between pubertal timing and psychopathology. Study findings reinforce the importance of examining risk across different levels of psychopathology conceptualization and analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-429
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • adolescent development
  • classification
  • comorbidity
  • developmental psychopathology
  • preregistered

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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