Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Brent Morrow

Committee Members

James R. Bitter, Patricia Robertson


Father absence and the introduction of a stepfather before menarche have been shown to contribute to the early onset of menarche. The present study analyzes the effects of father absence situations that tend to result on the onset of menarche. Presence of a related male in a father-absent homes is also considered as a protective factor for menarcheal onset. Participants consisted of 342 female students enrolled in undergraduate work at a southeastern university. The mean age of participants was 20.7 years. Participants completed a survey consisting of 12 questions pertaining to their family environment before menarche. Participants were asked to give their age at first menarche in years and months. Results indicted a significant difference in menarcheal age between those from homes where both biological parents were present and those where the biological father was absent before menarche. No other significant results were found. Implications for future research discussed.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.