Dr. Laura Berman on early puberty study

August 17, 2010 Funded by a seven-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute, the study looked at 1,239 girls from Harlem and the Cincinnati and San Francisco areas over a six-year period.

Although the causes of earlier onset puberty aren't entirely clear, obesity and environmental factors appear to be the main contributors. As the body mass index increases, the body produces increased levels of estrogen that can accelerate growth and pubertal development.

Psychologically, young girls are not prepared to deal with puberty (especially menstruation) at such a young age. They may also be teased by their peers which can lead to low self-esteem and depression.

Parents must: Address the issue by talking to their children instead of just ignoring the development.

Explain to young girls what they are going through and what to expect in the future.

Answer any questions that they may have and pose questions so that you can be sure your child understands what is going with their body.

Show information:

Dr. Berman's show is currently being taped in Chicago and they are still looking to cast even more couples for upcoming episodes:

The show, In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman, will premiere on OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network) in January.

Dr. Berman conducts therapy sessions with the couples, and then takes the therapy out of the office to be applied in the real world. Through authentic tests of intimacy, communication and just plain fun, couples are able to reconnect (things like visiting a ropes course, Flirty Fitness, etc).

The show is looking for couples that struggling with intimacy, want a better relationship and long for a more fulfilling sex life

Couples need not be married but must be committed to making a change and be willing to appear and discuss their private lives on television, if selected.

Interested couples can go to www.oprah.com/drberman to fill out their information to be considered for the show.

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