Early Childhood Can Affect Adolescence

While this news might sound like it is too late for those going through puberty, it is not. It is right on time for all children. It is never too late to focus on positive attention.

Assistant professors Burrow and Mendle of Cornell University have been studying how to keep teens and young adults on the right track so they can thrive in adulthood. Mendle took it upon herself to ask why some kids are able to navigate puberty successfully while others run into more difficulty.

For insights, Mendle looked into early childhood. She and others found that early life difficulties, specifically trauma such as abuse or maltreatment and broader stressors like poverty can affect how and when kids will go through puberty.

Mendle and co-authors of her recent study looked at girls in foster care. They found links between maltreatment in early life and the early onset of puberty along with an accelerated process of physical maturation. The findings suggest that the timing and tempo of puberty are malleable based on early life experiences.

Distress at a young age is a key trigger to difficulties for today’s young adults… not  good!

Fight Against Violence! Just as you build a house with a solid foundation, so we build people with nurture and love, guidance, support, and educational stimulation. Just as houses show their wear with poor basic construction, people can falter with inadequate beginnings.

Can we still help our teens and young adults? Absolutely… and the sooner the better!

“Peace on earth. Good will toward man.” Start early with peace and reap the rewards of much “good will” to follow.



  1. Thank you so much for reviewing this material. Knowing that our research is delivered into the hands of those likely to have the largest impact on real lives, practitioners and parents, is one of the most satisfying professional experiences I can think of. Thank you for being part of making this happen. It truly does take a village!

  2. Hi Janis,
    Thank you very much for your comment and the fine work you are doing. The more we can make people aware of the importance of the early years on later development, the more we will be able to bring peace and love to our teens and adults. Right after the tragedy in Newtown I wrote “A Special Note from Dr. Sally about the Newtown Tragedy.” It was published on https://www.earlychildhoodnews.net on December 17, 2012. Please feel free to read this article and pass it on to anyone else who you think might be interested in it. Yes, I will continue to do everything I can to get this valuable information out.

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