Multiple Levels of Context are Influential During Adolescence

Adolescence is a period of rapid transitions in physical characteristics. The quality and timing of hormonal or other biological changes influence, and are influenced by, psychological, social, cultural, and historical factors (Elder, 1998; Gottlieb, 1997; Magnusson & Stattin, 1998; Tanner, 1991).

Biological effects interact with contextual and experiential factors to influence psychological and social function-ing—for example, academic achievement (Lerner, 2002; Lerner & Galambos, 1998; Simmons & Blyth, 1987). Evidence does not support the claim that behavioral disturbances are a universal part of adolescence (e.g., Hall, 1904;

Freud, 1969) or that general psychological or social disruptions mark adolescence. For example, the biological changes of early pubertal maturation have been linked to delinquency in adolescent girls, but only among those who attended mixed-sex schools (Caspi, Lynam, Moffitt & Silva, 1993) or among girls who socialized with older peers (Mag-nusson & Stattin, 1998).

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