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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2014

Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, UK
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK
Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, UK
1Corresponding author. Email:


Childhood adversity has been associated with accelerated menarcheal and reproductive timing in females. The relationship between family- and neighbourhood-level measures of childhood adversity, menarcheal timing and intended reproductive timing was investigated in a sample of 354 English adolescent girls. The data were collected from March to June 2012. In total 90 of the participants had reached menarche. Frequent residential relocations increased the likelihood of reaching menarche (HR 1.11; 95%CI 1.02–1.22). Girls who had moved house one to four times or five or more times, were respectively, more than twice (HR 2.14; 95%CI 1.23–3.73) and more than three times (HR 3.20; 95%CI 1.44–7.10) as likely to have reached menarche than girls who had never moved house. Frequent residential relocations were associated with stepfather co-residence, increased number of half/stepsiblings and reduced feelings of family support. Menarche was also accelerated by the presence of half/stepsisters. There was no relationship between menarcheal timing and intended reproductive timing. Frequent residential relocations may indicate instability in a young person's life, which is often outside of their control. Extending childhood adversity measures to include residential relocations could be important in better understanding the role early life events play in accelerating menarche.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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