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 July 22, 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 July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. 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