GAINESVILLE, Fla. ( – For kids, going through puberty is one of the toughest times in their young lives and can also bring ridicule from their friends and classmates.

But, some kids should probably think twice before they decide to pick on girls who hit puberty early or boys who mature later, according to new research from the University of Florida.

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According to UF researchers, kids who go through puberty at different times than their friends can have more violent reactions to stressful events.

This follows earlier research that said kids who mature earlier or later often have more emotional issues.

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“The early maturing girls who also had high rates of peer stress were the ones who were more aggressive; both in terms of indirect methods like spreading rumors about other children (or things like that) and also threats and physical aggression,” said UF researcher Julia Graber. “As well as late maturing boys, so those off-time boys who were sort of slow to get started on puberty when they experience peer stress they really, really didn’t deal with it well.”

UF researchers said it’s important for parents to teach kids who are either early or late-developing to have other ways to deal with the stress they may have over their development.

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In addition, researchers said parents should work with schools if kids continue to be harassed.