Pathways through Adolescence: Individual Development in Relation to Social Contexts

By Lisa J. Crockett; Ann C. Crouter | Go to book overview

tallization in early adolescence of behavioral trajectories that, if maintained, could affect development throughout adolescence and into adulthood; and (b) the role of the adolescent's social contexts in establishing and maintaining these trajectories. Recognizing that adolescents participate in an array of social contexts on a daily basis, we were especially interested in how the interrelations among these contexts might influence adolescents' behavioral trajectories, or pathways. Because some of the behaviors in which adolescents engage (e.g., substance use, delinquency, sexual activity, academic involvement, prosocial behavior) can have an important impact on their future lives, we saw early adolescence as a key developmental transition-a time in which pathways begin to take shape. Ultimately, our goal was to integrate emerging perspectives on trajectories with information on adolescents' social contexts in order to explore the processes underlying healthy and less healthy pathways of development. In addition, we were interested in identifying the implications of these issues for policies and programs focused on youth.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Both the conference and the development of this volume were funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of the Penn State PRIDE Project, an acronym meaning "Policy, Research, and Intervention for Development in Early Adolescence." Initiated in 1990 by Dr. Anne C. Petersen, then dean of Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, the PRIDE Project sought to create linkages among researchers from diverse disciplines, program providers, and policymakers -- with the overall aim of promoting healthy development in early adolescence. In 1992, leadership of PRIDE passed to Susan McHale, Katherine Fennelly, and Ann Crouter, who organized a new wave of PRIDE activities focused on university -- community collaborations to enhance youth development.

Many people contributed to making this volume a reality. First and foremost, we thank the authors of the chapters and commentaries for their excellent ideas, their openness to feedback, and the enthusiasm with which they responded to the conference discussion. We are also indebted to Bea Mandel, who handled all the logistics of the conference smoothly and professionally. Without her skillful facilitation, the conference would not have been the stimulating and enjoyable session that it was. In addition, we have benefited greatly from the skillful clerical assistance of Linda Greenawalt, Sandy Fenush, and Donna Ballock.

We appreciate the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and of the perspectives of David Hamburg, Elena Nightingale, Vivien Stewart, and Ruby Takanishi from the Carnegie Corporation, who, in their

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