ERIC Number: ED273655
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Early Adolescence: A Critical Development Transition?
Petersen, Anne C.
A longitudinal study of early adolescents examined gender differences in attitude and behavior, as well as the effects of pubertal change, parental expectations, and parental support. It was hypothesized that sex differences would emerge during preadolescence and that males' and females' rates of change would be significantly different. Subjects included 335 sixth grade boys and girls from predominantly white, middle to upper middle class suburban school districts. The subjects were followed through the eighth grade. Group assessments and individual interviews were conducted twice per year. The variables assessed included family relationships, peer relationships, school participation, self concept, self assessment of pubertal change, gender role identity, attitudes toward women, cognitive ability and development, ego development, and family feelings. Parents were also interviewed. Cognitive performance improved over time for both sexes; however, boys scored higher in spatial ability and formal reasoning and girls in fluent production. School achievement declined over time, related to the transition from one school to another. Pubertal timing (early, average, or late development) was related to school achievement, and pubertal status was related to body image and family relationship. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated that later maturation was associated with better adjustment. Three pages of references and numerous figures are provided. (GDC)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adolescent Development, Adolescents, Age Differences, Childhood Attitudes, Cognitive Ability, Developmental Stages, Intermediate Grades, Longitudinal Studies, Middle Class Students, Parent Attitudes, Parent Child Relationship, Preadolescents, Puberty, Self Concept, Sex Differences, Stereotypes
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).