Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many factors contribute to adolescents' decision-making autonomy

Date:
April 2, 2010
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Decision-making within families is an important way for young people to gain independence and responsibility, and adolescence is a time of increasing autonomy. A longitudinal study concludes that teens have more say in certain areas than in others, and that some teens have more autonomy than others.

Decision making within families is an important way for young people to gain independence and responsibility, and adolescence is a time of increasing autonomy. A longitudinal study by Penn State researchers in the College of Health and Human Development concludes that teens have more say in certain areas than in others, and that some teens have more autonomy than others.

Over a span of nine years, the researchers annually canvassed parents in about 200 White, European-American families about their teens' decision making. Mothers and fathers reported on who made decisions in eight areas of their children's lives: chores, appearance, curfew and bedtime, health, schoolwork, social life, activities and money.

The study found that young people's input into decisions increased gradually from ages 9 to 14, and then surged from ages 15 to 20. Also, young people had more input into decisions about appearance, activities, schoolwork and social life than about chores, health and curfews. In late adolescence, ages 18 to 20, decisions about money and health were still being made jointly by parents and adolescents, suggesting that autonomy developed more gradually for these types of decisions.

The study also found that certain children had more decision-making autonomy than others. Those with more autonomy included girls, young people whom their parents said were easy to supervise and children with better-educated parents.

The researchers -- Laura Wray-Lake, a predoctoral fellow in human development and family studies, Ann Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development, and Susan McHale, professor of human development -- published their findings in the March-April issue of the journal Child Development.

According to Wray-Lake, there wasn't a single, universal pattern in the development of decision making. Instead, decision-making autonomy, a reflection of the development of youths' independence and responsibility, depended on what kinds of decisions youngsters faced, and on their personal and family circumstances.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funded part of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Laura Wray-Lake, Ann C. Crouter, Susan M. McHale. Developmental Patterns in Decision-Making Autonomy Across Middle Childhood and Adolescence: European American Parents' Perspectives. Child Development, 2010; 81 (2): 636 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01420.x

Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Many factors contribute to adolescents' decision-making autonomy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325113423.htm>.
Penn State. (2010, April 2). Many factors contribute to adolescents' decision-making autonomy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325113423.htm
Penn State. "Many factors contribute to adolescents' decision-making autonomy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325113423.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins