Filtered by category: Research Summaries Clear Filter

Predictors of Adolescents’ STEM Career Aspirations: Illuminating the Contours of Friendship Group Norms

Our interest in understanding how friends shape adolescents’ career aspirations evolved from our background in studying children’s gender development. Children’s peers play a critical role in socializing adherence to gender-role norms. Indeed, many gender-sensitive parents are dismayed to realize that their attempts to raise gender-flexible children are undone soon after their children begin interacting with peers at school. Among other things, children’s peers are responsible for transmitting messages about what types of academic pursuits are appropriate for girls and boys.

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Can dreams tell the future? Unique dreaming patterns predict later behavioral problems in a healthy early-adolescent sample

Nirit Soffer-Dudek, Ph.D.; Avi Sadeh, D.Sc.

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Armenian Adolescents and Globalization

Have you ever wondered how globalization is affecting adolescents in parts of the world that are more isolated, for example, in countries like Armenia? First, I will situate you in the context of Armenia by relating recent history, recent exposure to computers, changes in the school system, and the genesis of this research project. Next, I describe the practical matters involved in setting up and conducting the research. Finally, I summarize evidence we found regarding globalization influences on adolescents in Armenia. 

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Hmong American Adolescent Sexual Health and the Parents Who Care

Laurie L. Meschke, PhD, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

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Understanding Adolescent Health Risk and Protection in Rural Kenya

Molly Secor-Turner, Ph.D., R.N., and Brandy A. Randall, Ph.D.

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Things May Fall Apart…but You Will Make it Through with a Little Help from your Family, Friends, Teachers, and School

The transitions from childhood to adolescence and then from elementary to middle and high school and into college can be challenging for all youth.  However, they can be especially difficult for youth from low income, ethnic minority, or immigrant families.  As they transition to middle school, high school, and college, these youth often begin to exceed their parents’ level of schooling, thus making it necessary for them to rely on peers, teachers, and community mentors for help with school work and education/career goals  (Azmitia & Cooper, 2011; Cooper, 2011; Dennis, Phinney, & Chuateco, 2005).  In some cases, youths’ academic and career goals may be in conflict with the needs of their families and friends.  For example, families of college-bound youth may pressure them to attend a college close to home so they can continue to help the family economically, provide childcare, or serve as English translators (Chao, 2006; Grau, Azmitia, & Quatelbaum, 2008; Orellana, 2009; Syed, Azmitia, & Cooper, 2011).  Also, while their less-academically oriented friends often provide encouragement and support, over time higher achieving, low income, ethnic minority, or first generation students can feel alienated from their friends and peers. Because they also often feel they have little in common with their high achieving middle/upper income ethnic majority peers, these youth can feel that they do not belong at school, home, or their community (Azmitia & Radmacher, 2012; Azmitia, Syed, & Radmacher, in press; Johnson, Solbe, & Leonard, 2007; Orbe 2008; Ostrove & Long, 2009).

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Who’s more likely to have sex, a girl who likes her body or one who doesn’t?

Rosalie Corona, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University

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Talking about conflict with parents: Five observations and two questions

Adolescence is frequently portrayed as a time of increasing parent-child conflict, thanks in large parts to the roles played by G. Stanley Hall and Anna Freud.  As adolescents and their parents actively negotiate new roles, responsibilities, values, and expectations on the way to adulthood, parents also tend to disclose more personal information with their soon-to-be-adult adolescents than with younger children.  However, parent-adolescent conflict, even in small doses, can be distressing to children and is associated with emotional distress and unhappiness. 

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