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I'm "Mature" for my Age: An Investigation into Adolescent Perceptions of their Physical Development

Sat, Nov 17, 9:30 to 10:50am, Marriott, M109, Marquis Level

Abstract

The period of adolescence is met with rapid physical and psychological changes. Most adolescents share similar developmental experiences; however historically, the race and gender of the youth has influenced the ways in which society responds to an adolescent’s development. Recent literature has examined adult perceptions of adolescents, finding that when asked to estimate a youth’s age, youth of color are perceived as older than their age, whereas their white counterparts are perceived to be their true age. Less well known is how youth perceive their own development. Perhaps more importantly, are there social demographics that shape a youth’s perception of their physical development? If so, does that relationship remain consistent over time? The present study examines this relationship using longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Implications from this study include taking a more developmentally sound approach to juvenile-justice policy and practices in policing, courts, and corrections.

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