This study examines trends in menarcheal age of women born in China between 1950 and 1973, and explores the impact of relevant social background characteristics on the timing of first menarche. Data on recalled ages of menarche collected in the 1988 Chinese Two-per-Thousand Fertility Survey are used in a linear regression model where the covariates are transformed with the help of an Alternating Conditional Expectation (ACE) algorithm. The results indicate that a trend towards early menarche has evolved in China during recent decades. The pattern of early menarche is especially pronounced among women residing in urban areas, and those who are better educated.
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