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Contextual Demands for Early Adolescent Behavioral Style

Contextual Demands for Early Adolescent Behavioral Style

Abstract

The focus of this investigation was to describe the contextual demands placed on early adolescents and to determine if these demands differ across contexts. In addition, we assessed whether adolescents could accurately perceive the demands placed on them and if their "fit" with demands differed across contexts. By focusing on demands regarding behavioral style, or temperament, and studying 101 early adolescents (56 males, 45 females), from the Pennsylvania Early Adolescent Transitions Study, we assessed adolescents' self-rated temperament and the demands placed on the adolescents by their peer group, their teachers, and their parents. Results of multivariate analyses of variance indicated that parents and peers hold different demands for behavioral style. Adolescents perceived several of their peers' demands as being significantly different than the peers' actual demands. Finally, except for one of nine attributes of temperament, the adolescents' self-rated temperament attributes exceeded the contextual expectations for behavioral style in all settings and exceeded the demands of parents and teachers more than they exceeded the demands of their peers. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are noted.
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