Adolescent development

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Adolescent development in the AIFS library catalogue.

Family and neighborhood socioeconomic status and temperament development from childhood to adolescence.

Strickhouser J and Sutin A
Journal of Personality 23 Aug 2019: Advance online publication
This article investigates whether children's temperament is associated with the socioeconomic status of their family and local neighbourhood. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), the article looks at the development of temperament across childhood and adolescence from the age of 4/5 to 15/16 years of age. Overall, the findings indicate that children from families and neighbourhoods with lower neighborhood socioeconomic status tend to have lower sociability, higher reactivity, and lower persistence - in childhood and into adolescence.

The upsides and downsides of the dark side : a longitudinal study into the role of prosocial and antisocial strategies in close friendship formation.

Ciarrochi J, Sahdra B, Hawley P and Devine E
Frontiers in Psychology v. 10 19 Feb 2019: Article 114
This article explores the role of prosocial and antisocial behaviours in how young people make friends. It compares the impact of positive, prosocial traits like cognitive and affective empathy, and more negative and antisocial behaviours, such as aggression and rule breaking, on how many close friends a young person has. Making friends of the same or different gender is also considered, as is differences between younger and older students. Data is taken from a 5-year longitudinal study of secondary students from grades 8 to 12, from Catholic schools in Cairns, Queensland, and in Illawarra, New South Wales. The article draws on resource control theory, where friendship can be considered a resource, and so also assesses whether these different resource control 'strategies' impose a psychological cost - that is, does being prosocial and antisocial affect mental health or self-esteem? The findings provide insights into winning friends and what young people value in their friends.

The older the bolder : does relative age among peers influence children's preference for competition?

Page L, Sarkar D and Silva-Goncalves J
Journal of Economic Psychology v. 63 Dec 2017: 43-81
This article is part of a body of work on how one's birthday can have a significant and long-lasting impact on life outcomes - due to whether a child enters school before or after the cut-off date and thus their age relative to the rest of their peers in their class. This article reports on a study on the impact of relative age on confidence and risk taking, and whether it shapes a preference for competition. A survey was conducted with 661 school children aged 13- to 15-years-old born one month apart from the school cut-off date - that is, the oldest and youngest students in the class. The findings suggests that the relatively old boys tended to be more competitive than their peers, but the effect is small.

How complex developmental trauma, residential out-of-home care and contact with the justice system intersect.

Bollinger J, Scott-Smith S and Mendes P
Children Australia v. 42 no. 2 Jun 2017: 108-112
While it is clear that trauma puts young people at risk of contact with the justice system, there is less information on the underlying reasons why. This article argues that identifying the mediating factors of underdeveloped brain systems is an important next step in identifying likely predictors of offending behaviour and more satisfactory treatment methods.

Executive function in adolescence: associations with child and family risk factors and self-regulation in early childhood.

Berthelsen D, Hayes N, White S and Williams K
Frontiers in Psychology v. 8 2 Jun 2017: Article 903
This article explores the role of early childhood child and family factors to the development of executive function in adolescence. Data is taken from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, for children recruited at age 4-5 years and now aged 14-15 years old. Factors examined include socio-economic position, parenting behaviours, maternal mental health, child behavioural risk, child attentional regulation, and child approaches to learning. The article finds that early factors have a significant indirect effect on executive function at age 14-15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behaviour.

Childhood social disadvantage and pubertal timing : a national birth cohort from Australia.

Sun Y, Mensah F, Azzopardi P, Patton G and Wake M
Pediatrics v. 139 no. 6 Jun 2017: Article e20164099
This article investigates whether cumulative social disadvantages in early life is associated with early puberty, drawing on data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Household socioeconomic position, neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage, and early onset of puberty were compared for boys and girls from birth to 10 to 11 years old. As early puberty is linked with a range of adverse health outcomes later in life, the findings add to the research exploring the mechanism underpinning the association.

The Oxford handbook of emerging adulthood

Arnett J
New York : Oxford University Press, 2016.
"In recent decades, the lives of people in their late teens and twenties have changed so dramatically that a new stage of life has developed. In an original paper published in 2000, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett identified this period, coining it "emerging adulthood," and he distinguished it from both the adolescence that precedes it and the young adulthood that comes in its wake. His new paradigm received a surge of scholarly attention after his first book on the topic launched the field, and both a flourishing society and journal developed to further expand this area of research. Studies and publications on emerging adulthood now abound, and the leading research has yet to be organized into a single handbook that covers the field. The Oxford Handbook of Emerging Adulthood is the first and only comprehensive compilation spanning the field of emerging adulthood. Expertly edited by Arnett, this Handbook is comprised of cutting-edge chapters written by leading scholars in developmental psychology. Topics include theoretical perspectives and structural influences in the field; cognitive development during emerging adulthood; family, friendship, and romantic relationships; sexual identity and orientation; education and work; leisure and media use; mental health; religious and political beliefs; positive development; and substance abuse and crime, to name a few. Sure to be the definitive resource for researchers, scholars, and students studying emerging adulthood, this Handbook will pave the way for new scholarship in this expanding area of inquiry and serve as an excellent resource for the wider field of developmental psychology."--Publisher abstract.

Pubertal status and emotional, school and social functioning.

Warren D and Yu M
The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2015. Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016: 126-152
Puberty is a major developmental milestone, and understanding the factors associated with the timing of the onset of puberty is important for its significant clinical, health and educational implications. This chapter looks at the timing of puberty in Australia, what family factors might be associated with this timing, and its impact on children's mental health, school functioning, and relationships with peers. Family factors reviewed include household structure, the absence of biological parents, and the parents' own pubertal timing. Data is taken from a large nationally representative sample of Australian children aged between 8 and 13, from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC).

Associations between selected dietary behaviours and academic achievement : a study of Australian school aged children.

Nyaradi A, Li J, Hickling S, Foster J, Jacques A, Ambrosini G and Oddy W
Nutrients vol. 7 no. 4 Apr 2015: 2961-2982
This article investigates the association between dietary patterns and academic performance among 14 year-old adolescents, using data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study linked with Western Australian Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (WALNA) results for mathematics, reading and writing. After adjusting for family and socioeconomic characteristics, the article finds significant negative associations between a 'Western' diet and mathematics and reading scores.

Transitioning from childhood to adolescence

Response Ability (Program), Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Melbourne, Vic. : Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, 2015.
Puberty is a time of significant change physically, psychologically and emotionally for young people. Written for teachers, this fact sheet provides information about this transition between childhood and adolescence, including: brain and physical changes, social and emotional changes, puberty and mental health, early onset of puberty, and the role of teachers in supporting children undergoing changes related to puberty, especially those who are developing early.

Tattoos, piercings and youth : how does body modification fit into young people's life circumstances?

Fraser C
Petray, Theresa, ed. Stephens, Anne, ed. The annual conference of The Australian Sociological Association : refereed proceedings of TASA 2015 Conference : Neoliberalism and contemporary challenges for the Asia-Pacific : James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 23-26 November, 2015. Hawthorn, Vic. : The Australian Sociological Association, 2015. 9780646947983: 232-242
This paper investigates whether young people's adoption of tattooing or body piercing is influenced by such factors as gender, religiosity, personal income, post-secondary education, career, partnering, residential circumstances, sexual orientation, or parent's occupation. Data is taken from the 'Our Lives: Social Futures and Life Pathways' project - a longitudinal study of 1927 young people in Queensland - which has so far followed participants from ages 12/13 to 19/20 years old. These findings add to the research on how body modification is currently understood at a socio-cultural level, as well as how it fits into young people's sense of identity and independence.

How pre-school influences children and young people's attainment and developmental outcomes over time: Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE 3-16+) Project

Taggart B
London : Dept. for Education, 2015.
The Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) longitudinal study in England followed over 2,800 young people from early childhood to 16 years of age. The study aimed to investigate the influence of pre- school on children's academic and social-behavioural outcomes, as well as the role of the home learning environment, the family, neighbourhood and other school experiences on children's learning, progress and dispositions. This overview paper summarises some of the key findings on the importance of pre-school over time, and its enduring impact on attainment, progress and development. It also reports on whether pre-school can make a difference to children from low socioeconomic families, and whether the quality of pre-school make a difference to disadvantaged children.

Influences on students' social-behavioural development at age 16: Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE 3-16) Project

Sammons P
London : Dept. for Education, 2014.
The Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) longitudinal study in England has followed nearly 2,600 young people from early childhood to 16 years of age. The study aims to explore the continued impact of demographic, socio-economic, and educational influences from pre-school to primary school and secondary school on adolescents' academic attainment, socio-emotional and social-behavioural development in Year 11. This report focuses on the influences on social-behavioural outcomes and development at 16 years of age. In particular, it aims to: investigate variations in outcomes; identify which student background characteristics, including individual, family, home learning environment, and neighbourhood characteristics, predict social-behavioural outcomes; explore the influence of pre-school, primary school and secondary school; and explore the role of secondary school processes and experiences. The combined final findings of the study are published in a separate report.

Students' educational and developmental outcomes at age 16: Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE 3-16) Project

Sylva K
London : Dept. for Education, 2014.
The Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) longitudinal study in England has followed nearly 2,600 young people from early childhood to 16 years of age. The study aims to explore individual, family, home learning environment, pre-school, school, and neighbourhood influences on the developmental and educational outcomes of young people. This report summarises the findings from seven technical reports, to identify the most important influences on developmental pathways that lead to academic achievement, mental well-being, social behaviours, and aspirations for the future at the end of statutory education at age 16. Overarching themes include the enduring legacy of preschool, the role of equity and disadvantage, the effects of secondary school, and the financial returns of preschool education.

Study protocol : the Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS).

Mundy L, Simmons J, Allen N, Viner R, Bayer J, Olds T, Williams J, Olsson C, Romaniuk H, Mensah F, Sawyer S, Degenhardt L, Alati R, Wake M, Jacka F and Patton G
BMC Pediatrics v. 13 2013: Article 160
This article explains the aims, design, and methodology of the Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS). This study, developed by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Victoria, aims to examine how the timing and sequencing of hormonal events during puberty are associated with the onset and course of emotional, behavioural, social and learning problems through childhood and adolescence. Recruitment commenced in 2012 with children in grade 3, aged 8-9 years old, and their parents.

Mid/late adolescence.

Smart D, Toumbourou J, Sanson A and Little K
Vassallo, Suzanne, ed. Sanson, Ann, ed. The Australian Temperament Project : the first 30 years. Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2013. 9781922038258: 10-12
The Australian Temperament Project is an ongoing longitudinal study examining the development of a large group of Victorians from 1983 onwards. This chapter outlines some of the research conducted regarding risk taking during middle to late adolescence, in particular antisocial behaviour and risky alcohol use.

Early adolescence.

Letcher P and Olsson C
Vassallo, Suzanne, ed. Sanson, Ann, ed. The Australian Temperament Project : the first 30 years. Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2013. 9781922038258: 8-9
The Australian Temperament Project is an ongoing longitudinal study examining the development of a large group of Victorians from 1983 onwards. This chapter outlines some of the research conducted with the participants during early adolescence regarding the development of anxiety and depression.

Growing up too fast : early puberty and mental illness.

Mensah F and Patton G
The Conversation 3 Apr 2013
It was previously thought that children who entered puberty earlier than their peers were at greater risk of these problems because they were less equipped to cope with the transition. However, it may be that social and emotional disadvantages and stresses in childhood trigger early puberty. This article summarises new research on adjustment and behaviour problems before the onset of early puberty, based on data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.

Early puberty and childhood social and behavioral adjustment.

Mensah F, Bayer J, Wake M, Carlin J, Allen N and Patton G
Journal of Adolescent Health v. 53 no. 1 Jul 2013: 118-124
Early puberty - that is, by age 8-9 years old - is associated with higher rates of mental health problems in adolescence. However, there is little research on whether early puberty is preceded by higher rates of mental health problems during earlier childhood. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, this article investigates whether mental health, adjustment, and behaviour problems are evident before the transition to early puberty. Information is included for children aged from 4-5 to 10-11 years old.

Child, adolescent and family development

Slee P, Campbell M and Spears B
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
This text book reviews current knowledge and issues in child development - from prenatal development to adolescence. It discusses concepts of development, theoretical foundations of child development, and physical, cognitive, and social and emotional development in infancy, toddlerhood, preschoolers, middle childhood, and adolescence.

The relationship between positive development during the transition to adulthood and education, temperament, and personality.

O'Connor M, Sanson A and Frydenberg E
Reevy, Gretchen, ed. Frydenberg, Erica, ed. Personality, stress, and coping : implications for education. Charlotte, N.C. : Information Age Publishing, 2011. 9781617355233: 111-130
This chapter identifies temperament, personality, and educational predictors of positive development in adolescence, which could form the basis of school-based targets for intervention. It draws on data from the Australian Temperament Project.

Predictors of positive development in emerging adulthood.

O'Connor M, Sanson A, Hawkins M, Letcher P, Toumbourou J, Smart D, Vassallo S and Olsson C
Journal of Youth and Adolescence v. 40 no. 7 Jul 2011: 860-874
This article examines childhood and adolescent precursors of positive functioning in adulthood. The study uses data from the Australian Temperament Project, a longitudinal study that has measured the psycho-social adjustment of a cohort of young people from infancy to emergent adulthood, with the participants now aged 19-20 years old. The article discusses individual characteristics, peer and family relationship factors, community-level factors, socioeconomic status, gender, and indicators of positive functioning, such as social competence, emotional control, trust, and civic engagement. A model is also developed, showing the relationship between factors in late childhood, early adolescence, and late adolescence on positive development in emerging adulthood.

100+ answers about puberty.

Dell G
Mount Tambourine, Qld. : Interrelate Family Centres, c2010.
Aimed at children and their parents, this book is a collection of common questions that children have about sexuality, puberty, development, safe sex, and relationships. The provided answers aim to answer the question simply and honestly, and aim to help parents open discussions with their children about their own views.

Dolly girls : tweenies as artefacts of consumption.

Brookes F and Kelly P
Journal of Youth Studies v. 12 no. 6 Dec 2009: 599-613
The 'tweens' or tweenies phenomenon - of girls aged between 9 and 12 as a distinct phase of childhood - is held to have emerged as a result of the consumer media identifying pre-teenage girls as a potentially lucrative target group. This article argues that this 'consumer-media culture' has established itself as one of the most powerful influences in the process of self-formation for girls and that the tweenie self can be understood as an artefact of consumption. It supports this argument with a content analysis of the messages and idealised images portrayed in Dolly magazine, a popular resource for young women in Australia.

Psychosocial precursors and correlates of differing internalizing trajectories from 3 to 15 years.

Letcher P, Sanson A, Smart D and Toumbourou J
Social Development v. 18 no. 3 Aug 2009: 618-646
Using longitudinal data of children aged from 3 to 15 years of age, this study investigates the onset and course of internalizing problems in young people. Participants were taken from the Australian Temperament Project, a longitudinal study of temperament and development, which follows 2,443 infants born in 1983 in Victoria. The study sought to identify the psychosocial precursors and correlates associated with differing internalizing trajectories, focusing on the factors that differentiated children on problematic trajectories from children on more well-adjusted paths. This article presents the findings of the study, discussing risk and protective traits, differences between boys and girls, and the effect of parents and school adjustment. The findings highlight the role of individual characteristics and relationship experiences in the development and course of internalizing problems.

Approaching adulthood with a chronic health condition: professionals' and young peoples' perspectives.

Honey A, Llewellyn G, Schneider J and Wedgwood N
Bennett, David L, ed. Towns, Susan J, ed. Elliott, Elizabeth J, ed. Merrick, Joav, ed. Challenges in adolescent health : an Australian perspective. New York : Nova Science Publishers, 2009. Health and human development series. 9781607416166: 177-188
A chronic health condition during adolescence has serious implications for development and care. Young people with a chronic illness are at higher risk of poor outcomes, and also show poor adherence to treatment regimens. Part one of this chapter looks at the possible effects of chronic illness on physiological development, cognitive development, psychosocial development and well-being, risk taking behaviours, and education and employment, as well as the issue of responsibility for illness management. Part two looks at young people' priorities for themselves, such as living a 'normal' life. Combining these sections, part three looks at how health professionals can work with young people to optimise care, and what young people want from their health practitioners.

Pubertal transitions in health.

Patton G and Viner R
Bennett, David L, ed. Towns, Susan J, ed. Elliott, Elizabeth J, ed. Merrick, Joav, ed. Challenges in adolescent health : an Australian perspective. New York : Nova Science Publishers, 2009. Health and human development series. 9781607416166: 19-37
Puberty marks significant physical, psychological, and emotional changes, as well as increasing risk of mental illness, psychosomatic syndromes, substance abuse, and antisocial behaviour. This chapter considers the role of puberty and pubertal timing on the course of pre-existing childhood health problems the initiation of adolescent health problems, and the risk for illness in adulthood. It summarises findings from a literature review on mental health disorders and mental depression; epilepsy; musculoskeletal disorders and pain; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antisocial behaviour, and substance use; obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome and cardiovascular risk; and cancer.

Self productivity and complementarities in human development: evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk

Blomeyer D
Bonn, Germany : IZA, 2008.
"This paper investigates the role of self-productivity and home resources in capability formation from infancy to adolescence. In addition, we study the complementarities between basic cognitive, motor and noncognitive abilities and social as well as academic achievement. Our data are taken from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk, an epidemiological cohort study following the long-term outcome of early risk factors. Results indicate that initial risk conditions cumulate and that differences in basic abilities increase during development. Self-productivity rises in the developmental process and complementarities are evident. Noncognitive abilities promote cognitive abilities and social achievement. There is remarkable stability in the distribution of the economic and socio-emotional home resources during the early life cycle. This is presumably a major reason for the evolution of inequality in human development."

Inquiry into Children and Young People 9-14 Years in NSW: submission from the Australian Institute of Family Studies

Smart D, Vassallo S and Hayes A
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, May 2008.
Though the period of early childhood has received much research and policy attention, middle childhood is equally as important, to ensure the sustained benefits of earlier interventions and positive development, and to address the new challenges of this age group, which includes the onset of puberty. In this submission, the Institute outlines the developmental changes of middle childhood, including the transition to high school, changing relationships with peers and family, and increased risk of behavioural and emotional problems. It then concludes with some opportunities for policy development and service provision, including support for school transitions. The submission draws upon the research work of the Institute, which includes the Australian Temperament Project and the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.

The economic socialisation of young people : a psychological perspective

Furnham A
London : Social Affairs Unit, 2008.
"All parents want their children to be "savvy" about money. All governments want their citizens to be informed, sensible and responsible when it comes to earning, saving, spending and investing money. In his latest book, Professor Adrian Furnham investigates the economic socialisation of children and adolescents. He looks at how, when and why some people become economically literate and others do not, and attempts a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the scattered interdisciplinary research in this much neglected and important field. This is a book that will be welcomed by many different groups of people - not least parents bewildered by the complexities and pitfalls of pocket-money systems."
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