Research Items (28)
Promoting trust in public officials and active political engagement is vital to sustaining a well-functioning democracy. Developmental psychologists propose that youths’ beliefs about government and participation in politics are rooted in personal experiences within their communities. Previous studies have focused on how positive experiences within youths’ families, schools, and communities facilitate greater social trust and political participation. However, less is known about how negative interpersonal experiences–such as criminal victimization–intersect with youths’ beliefs about the trustworthiness, competence, and knowledge of government officials, and their participation in political activity. Using data from 39 waves of the Monitoring the Future study, the current study examined associations among youth victimization, beliefs about government, and participation in various political activities. Adolescents (N = 109,574; 50.9% female) enrolled in 12th grade across the U.S. reported on whether they had experienced various types of victimization during the previous year, their beliefs about government, and their participation in multiple forms of political activity. Adolescents who reported more frequent victimization experiences endorsed significantly greater discontent with government and were significantly more engaged in various forms of political activity. The magnitude and direction of these effects were generally consistent across different types of victimization, different demographic subgroups of youth, and different sociohistorical periods. Findings are interpreted from a social contract theory perspective, followed by a discussion of implications for building psychological theory and informing public policy.
Using a dual-process model framework, this research examined whether right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) are differentially associated with adolescent delinquency. In Study 1 (N = 847; Mage = 15.96) and Study 2 (N = 340; Mage = 16.64), adolescents completed measures of RWA, SDO, and engagement in different forms of delinquency. In Study 2, adolescents also reported their beliefs about obeying different laws. Across both studies, adolescents who endorsed greater RWA engaged in lower levels of delinquency and those who endorsed greater SDO engaged in higher levels of delinquency. Findings from Study 2 suggest that these associations are contingent on the domain-specific purpose of the law being violated and are also present with adolescents’ beliefs about their obligation to obey laws. These results extend the dual-process model, demonstrating that RWA and SDO are differentially linked with youth delinquency.
Objective: Although a large number of risk markers for suicide ideation have been identified, little guidance has been provided to prospectively identify adolescents at risk for suicide ideation within community settings. The current study addressed this gap in the literature by utilizing classification tree analysis (CTA) to provide a decision-making model for screening adolescents at risk for suicide ideation. Method: Participants were N = 4,799 youth (Mage = 16.15 years, SD = 1.63) who completed both Waves 1 and 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. CTA was used to generate a series of decision rules for identifying adolescents at risk for reporting suicide ideation at Wave 2. Results: Findings revealed 3 distinct solutions with varying sensitivity and specificity for identifying adolescents who reported suicide ideation. Sensitivity of the classification trees ranged from 44.6% to 77.6%. The tree with greatest specificity and lowest sensitivity was based on a history of suicide ideation. The tree with moderate sensitivity and high specificity was based on depressive symptoms, suicide attempts or suicide among family and friends, and social support. The most sensitive but least specific tree utilized these factors and gender, ethnicity, hours of sleep, school-related factors, and future orientation. Conclusions: These classification trees offer community organizations options for instituting large-scale screenings for suicide ideation risk depending on the available resources and modality of services to be provided. This study provides a theoretically and empirically driven model for prospectively identifying adolescents at risk for suicide ideation and has implications for preventive interventions among at-risk youth. (PsycINFO Database Record
Organized activities represent a potentially important context for the development of adolescent sociopolitical values, but few studies have examined longitudinal associations between youths’ sociopolitical values and activity involvement. Adolescents (N = 299, Time 1 Mage = 15.49, SD = .93, 62% female) reported on their organized activity involvement (volunteering, church, sports, arts/music, school and community clubs) and sociopolitical values (materialism, social dominance, authoritarianism, patriotism, spirituality) at baseline and one year later. Greater involvement in arts/music predicted lower spirituality and patriotism one year later and greater involvement in church predicted higher levels of spirituality and lower levels of social dominance one year later. Higher levels of materialism predicted less involvement in arts/music one year later and higher social dominance values predicted less involvement in volunteering one year later. Findings support the importance of organized activities in sociopolitical development, and suggest that sociopolitical values may guide decisions concerning future organized activity involvement.
Violence exposure in adolescence can disrupt ongoing adjustment, yet few studies have examined potential mechanisms that can explain these effects. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we examined associations among adolescent violence exposure and indicators of adjustment in young adulthood, and tested whether maladaptive trajectories of binge drinking could mediate these associations. Adolescents (N = 3,342; Mage = 16.09) reported on their violence exposure and binge drinking in an initial assessment (Wave 1). Adolescents were subsequently reassessed for binge drinking at one (Wave 2) and six years (Wave 3) post, and completed measures of adjustment (education, physical health, life satisfaction, depression, and delinquency) at six years post (Wave 3). Latent growth mixture modeling revealed four binge drinking trajectories: High Increasers (low baseline, large positive slope), Adolescence Elevated (high baseline, negative slope), Mid-Tier Stable (mid-level baseline, flat slope), and Slight Increasers (low baseline, small positive slope). Violence exposure was indirectly associated with: (a) lower educational attainment and greater delinquency through an increased likelihood of being in the Adolescence Elevated binge drinking class; (b) lower life satisfaction through an increased likelihood of being in the High Increasers binge drinking class; and (c) worse physical heath through an increased likelihood of being in the Mid-Tier Stable binge drinking class. Violence-exposed adolescents may exhibit varying trajectories of binge drinking that both carry differential risks for adverse outcomes, and disrupt adjustment during the transition to young adulthood. Implications for intervention and theory are discussed.
Objective Childhood bereavement is linked to suicide‐related behaviors in adolescence and adulthood, but candidate mechanisms through which bereavement may lead to suicide‐related behaviors have not been explored. One candidate pathway is that grief reaction arising from bereavement lead to increased perceived burdensomeness and/or thwarted belongingness, resulting in increased suicide ideation. This cross‐sectional study of bereaved adolescents explored indirect effects between grief reactions as distal predictors, perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness as proximal predictors, and suicide ideation. Method Participants were 58 bereaved youth, 12–17 years of age (mean = 14.21, SD = 1.65; 81.0% female; 51.7% Hispanic, 17.2% African American, and 22.4% Caucasian), and their parents/guardians seeking services at a trauma and grief specialty outpatient clinic. Results The indirect effect of grief reactions on suicide ideation via thwarted belongingness, but not perceived burdensomeness, was statistically significant. Conclusions Clinicians may wish to consider signs of thwarted belongingness as possible indicators of suicide risk among bereaved youth.
This study provides a meta-analysis of 21 published and unpublished studies using over 32,000 participants to evaluate how individual differences in disease avoidance (i.e., disgust sensitivity, germ aversion) are correlated with personality factors. Greater disease-avoidance traits were associated with greater neuroticism/emotionality (r = .19) and conscientiousness (r = .08), as well as lower openness to experience (r = -.11) and extraversion (r = -.04). Disease-avoidance traits were not significantly associated with agreeableness. Effect sizes were generally consistent across disease avoidance and personality measures and sample characteristics. Findings support behavioral immune system models of disease avoidance and underscore the importance of disease avoidance for behavioral tendencies.
Associations between adolescent civic and organized activities (volunteering, standard political, social movement, school/community, religious) and civic beliefs (comprised of should, obligation, and respect judgments) were examined. Cross‐sectional models (N = 703, Mage = 15.87) indicated domain specificity between adolescent civic beliefs and behaviors. Longitudinal models (n = 219, Mage = 15.39) indicated that adolescents' standard political beliefs predicted greater levels of standard political involvement one year later, and school/community activities predicted greater standard political beliefs a year later. Youth volunteering predicted lower standard political beliefs, and standard political involvement predicted lower community service beliefs one year later. Findings support the assessment of adolescent sociomoral civic beliefs and demonstrate how civic experiences and civic beliefs can mutually promote each other during adolescence.
The inclusion of Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder (PCBD) in the DSM-5 appendix signifies a call for research regarding the distinguishing features and clinical utility of proposed PCBD criteria. Rigorously constructed tools for assessing PCBD are lacking, especially for youth. This study evaluated the validity and clinical utility of the PCBD Checklist, a 39-item measure designed to assess PCBD criteria in youth aged 8 to18 years. Test construction procedures involved: (a) reviewing the literature regarding developmental manifestations of proposed criteria, (b) creating a developmentally informed item pool, (c) surveying an expert panel to evaluate the clarity and developmental appropriateness of candidate items, (d) conducting focus groups to evaluate the comprehensibility and acceptability of items, and (e) evaluating psychometric properties in 367 bereaved youth (Mage = 13.49, 55.0% female). The panel, clinicians, and youth provided favorable content validity and comprehensibility ratings for candidate items. As hypothesized, youth who met full PCBD criteria, Criterion B (e.g., preoccupation with the deceased and/or circumstances of the death), or Criterion C (e.g., reactive distress and/or social/identity disruption) reported higher posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms than youth who did not meet these criteria, ηp² =.07–.16. Youth who met Criterion C reported greater functional impairment than youth who did not, ηp² =.08–.12. Youth who qualified for the “traumatic bereavement specifier” reported more frequent posttraumatic stress symptoms than youth who did not, ηp² =.04. Findings support the convergent, discriminant, and discriminant-groups validity, developmental appropriateness, and clinical utility of the PCBD Checklist.
ABSTRACT Background and scope of the problem. High prevalence rates of deaths by accidents, suicides, and homicides, coupled with expanding social networks, place adolescents at significant risk for traumatic bereavement occasioned by the traumatic deaths of their friends, romantic partners, and family members. Conceptual analysis. This conceptual paper focuses on the interplay between posttraumatic stress symptoms and grief reactions that can arise following traumatic bereavement in adolescence. We begin with a review of “building block” key concepts needed to construct a scientifically sound and clinically useful theory of traumatic bereavement in adolescence. We briefly review earlier conceptual contributions and discuss the utility of unpacking and distinguishing between trauma exposure and bereavement as causal risk factors, and posttraumatic stress reactions and grief reactions as their respective primary causal consequences. Multidimensional grief theory. We introduce multidimensional grief theory as a useful framework for conceptualizing a broad range of grief reactions, both adaptive and maladaptive, in traumatically bereaved adolescents. We use the theory to explore the interplay between posttraumatic stress and grief reactions, including ways in which each set of reactions may exacerbate the other and contribute to adverse outcomes. Implications for evidence-based assessment. We conclude with recommendations for trauma- and bereavement-informed risk screening, clinical assessment, and case formulation of potential consequences of traumatic bereavement in adolescence across multiple psychosocial domains. These domains include posttraumatic stress and grief reactions, school functioning, suicide ideation and behavior, risk-taking behavior, and developmental progression. Key words: bereavement, grief, posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic bereavement, adolescence, evidence-based assessment
Civic developmental theory anticipates connections between normative developmental competencies and civic engagement, but little previous research has directly studied such links. The current study sought to contribute to civic development theory by examining associations between emotional and sociocognitive competencies (empathy, emotion regulation, prosocial moral reasoning, future-orientation) and civic engagement (volunteering, informal helping, political behaviors and beliefs, environmental behaviors, social responsibility values, civic skills). Data came from a geographically and racially diverse sample of 2467 youth (Mage = 13.4, Range: 8–20 years, 56% female). The results indicated that empathy and future-orientation significantly predicted nearly all forms of civic engagement, whereas emotion regulation and prosocial moral reasoning were uniquely associated with specific forms of civic engagement. Exploratory multi-group models indicated that empathy and emotion regulation were more strongly associated with civic engagement among younger youth and prosocial moral reasoning and future-orientation were more strongly related to civic engagement among older youth. The findings help to advance developmental theory of youth civic engagement.
Objective. Bereavement due to sudden loss may disrupt positive adjustment among youth, yet few studies have examined the age at which youth are most likely to first encounter sudden loss, the co-occurrence of sudden loss with other traumatic events, and the independent effects of sudden loss on academic functioning. Method. Data were analyzed from the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (N = 10,148, Mage = 15.18, 51.1% female). Youth reported on whether they had experienced sudden loss (along with 17 other traumatic events), the age at which they had first experienced sudden loss, and multiple indicators of academic functioning. Results. Sudden loss was the most frequently-occurring traumatic event among youth; approximately 30% of adolescents reported at least one sudden loss in their lifetime. Youth were most likely to have first experienced sudden loss during middle adolescence (15 to 16 years of age). Although sudden loss co-occurred with several other traumas, about 10% of youth reported experiencing only sudden loss. After accounting for demographic characteristics and other traumatic events, experiencing sudden loss was associated with lower academic achievement, lower ability to concentrate and learn, less enjoyment of school, lower school belongingness, and lower beliefs that teachers treat youth fairly. Conclusions. Sudden loss is common among adolescents and has important implications for school functioning. Schools can may improve academic functioning by adopting routine screening for sudden loss and assessing potential need for bereavement-informed mental health services.
This study examined adolescents’ beliefs about the amount of punishment individuals should receive for violating different laws and whether these beliefs are connected with their informational assumptions (i.e., perceived facts) about crime, laws, and authority. American adolescents (N=340; Mage=16.64, 58.2% female) reported their judgments concerning the appropriate punishment for violating laws regulating domain-specific behaviors and their informational assumptions regarding the prevalence and causes of crime, beliefs that authority is knowledgeable, and the purpose of punishment. Greater internal attribution for crime was associated with stronger punishment judgments for violating laws that regulate moral and conventional issues. Greater beliefs that punishment teaches right from wrong was associated with stronger punishment judgments for violating laws that regulate drug-related prudential issues, and lower punishment judgments for violating laws that regulate personal issues. Greater beliefs that authorities are more knowledgeable than others was associated with stronger punishment judgments for violating laws that regulate personal issues.
Using data from N = 10,148 American youth (Mage = 15.18) who participated in the National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement, we tested whether duration of involvement in specific organized activities was associated with different sources of social support, and whether these links explained the health-related benefits affiliated with participation. Duration of involvement in certain activities was differentially associated with support from peers, teachers, and other adults, and many of these links partially mediated associations between involvement and well-being. Specifically, greater duration of sports involvement was indirectly associated with higher self-esteem and greater physical activity through greater adult support. Greater duration of club involvement was indirectly associated with greater physical activity through higher adult support and greater duration of music involvement was indirectly associated with lower substance use and greater self-esteem through greater teacher support. Prolonged engagement in specific activities may cultivate certain types of supportive relationships, which may promote adolescent well-being.
Considerable evidence suggests that political liberals and conservatives vary in the way they process and respond to valenced (i.e., negative versus positive) information, with conservatives generally displaying greater negativity biases than liberals. Less is known about whether liberals and conservatives differentially prioritize certain forms of negative information over others. Across two studies using eye-tracking methodology, we examined differences in visual attention to negative scenes and facial expressions based on self-reported political ideology. In Study 1, scenes rated high in fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with less attentional engagement (i.e., lower dwell time) of disgust scenes and more attentional engagement toward neutral scenes. Socially conservative political attitudes were not significantly associated with visual attention to fear or sad scenes. In Study 2, images depicting facial expressions of fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with greater attentional engagement with facial expressions depicting disgust and less attentional engagement toward neutral faces. Visual attention to fearful or sad faces was not related to social conservatism. Endorsement of economically conservative political attitudes was not consistently associated with biases in visual attention across both studies. These findings support disease-avoidance models and suggest that social conservatism may be rooted within a greater sensitivity to disgust-related information.
Sleep problems in youth reliably forecast the development of anxiety and mood disorders, presumably due to increased emotional difficulties. However, precise emotional mechanisms have yet to be delineated. The current study investigated how sleep problems in adolescence are associated with different emotion regulation strategies, and how sleep and psychiatric risk may be indirectly associated via poor emotion regulation. This study utilized data from the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement, a nationally representative sample from the United States (N = 10,148; age range 13-18 years). A diagnostic interview determined if adolescents qualified for a mood or anxiety disorder within the past year. Participants provided reports of their sleep, emotion regulation, and current life stress. Adolescents who reported greater sleep problems were more likely to qualify for a mood or anxiety disorder and generally reported poorer emotion regulation strategy use, even when accounting for demographic characteristics and current stress. Specifically, adolescents with greater sleep problems reported less problem solving, and greater avoidance, suppression, rumination, and acceptance. Sleep problems were indirectly associated with anxiety disorders through greater suppression and rumination, and indirectly associated with mood disorders through greater rumination and lower problem solving. Although cross-sectional, this study extends current research by suggesting that certain emotion regulation strategies may be more difficult for youth struggling with sleep problems, and provides initial evidence that poor emotion regulation may be one factor contributing to sleep-based psychiatric risk. These findings can inform more efficacious intervention efforts
A growing body of research indicates that disgust sensitivity plays an important role in politics. Indeed, preliminary evidence indicates that disgust sensitivity predicts voting behavior. However, the processes that explain this association are unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether disgust sensitivity predicted voting intentions and behavior in the 2012 U.S. presidential election and to test whether these associations were mediated by sociopolitical values, party affiliation, and attitudes towards political candidates. Prior to the 2012 election, participants completed measures of disgust sensitivity, right-wing authoritarianism, party affiliation, attitudes toward the political candidates (i.e., Barack Obama and Mitt Romney), and voting intentions. After the 2012 election, participants reported their voting behavior. After accounting for prejudice toward African Americans, greater disgust sensitivity was significantly associated with lower intention to vote for Obama versus Romney and lower likelihood of actually voting for Obama. Disgust sensitivity was also associated with more conservative sociopolitical values, a greater likelihood of Republican Party affiliation, a lower likelihood of Democratic Party affiliation, more negative attitudes toward Obama, and more positive attitudes toward Romney. Conservative sociopolitical values, party affiliation, and attitudes toward political candidates independently mediated the association between disgust sensitivity and voting intentions. Conservative sociopolitical values and political candidate attitudes mediated the association between disgust sensitivity and voting behavior. These findings demonstrate the importance of disgust sensitivity for political attitudes and behavior. Further, mechanisms through which disgust sensitivity is implicated within voting tendencies are identified.
Disgust promotes evolutionary fitness by reducing contact with stimuli that pose pathogenic, sexual, and moral threats. One behavior that may be viewed as a threat to evolutionary fitness is substance use, which is associated with disease transmission, reproductive issues, and engagement in moral transgressions. However, the extent to which individual differences in disgust sensitivity are related to substance use is unclear. Across three studies, associations were examined among sexual, moral, and pathogen disgust sensitivity and beliefs and behaviors regarding substance use. Individuals with higher sexual and moral disgust sensitivity viewed drug laws as more important, endorsed greater punishment for breaking those laws, reported less engagement in substance use, and had lower intentions of engaging in future substance use. Greater sexual disgust was uniquely associated with stronger feelings of obligation to obey drug laws and fewer opportunities to engage in substance use offered by others. Furthermore, associations among sexual disgust, substance use intentions, and self-initiated behavior were partially mediated by beliefs about the harmfulness of substance use. Findings support the adaptive role of disgust, and suggest that disgust sensitivity is an important individual difference in substance use beliefs and behaviors.
The parent–child relationship has been recognized as an important micro-ecological context that is thought to influence child anxiety and depression. Much contemporary research has examined child-reports of broad parenting behaviors (e.g., rejection, overprotection) and has overwhelmingly focused on the mother–child relationship. Little research has examined specific parenting behaviors that may be associated with child anxiety and depression, and whether these processes are similar for mothers and fathers and boys and girls. Using a parent–child interaction task, we examined associations among specific mother and father behaviors and child-reported general anxiety, social anxiety, and depression, and explored whether these associations were moderated by child gender. Participants were 90 children (50 % female) aged 9–12 years (Mage = 10.28, SD = 1.22), 90 fathers (Mage = 43.78, SD = 6.31) and 90 mothers (Mage = 40.67, SD = 4.97). Children completed measures of social anxiety, general anxiety, and depression. Families participated in a video-recorded blindly rated interaction task that provided indices of verbal and nonverbal rejection and controlling behaviors. Mothers’ physical takeovers (unsolicited physical assistance) were associated with greater child social anxiety and mothers’ denial of requests for reassurance were associated with greater child general anxiety. Fathers’ critical statements were associated with child-reported depression. Several child gender differences were noted. Findings from our study suggest that mothers’ and fathers’ specific parenting behaviors are differentially associated with children’s social anxiety, general anxiety and depression—and these processes may vary by child gender.
Using detailed vignettes and scale measures, concepts of laws regulating domain-specific issues and engagement in delinquency were assessed among 340 9th through 12th graders (Mage = 16.64, SD = 1.37). Adolescents distinguished between laws that regulate moral, drug-related prudential, conventional, personal, and multifaceted issues in their criterion judgments and justifications. Youths’ ratings of the importance of laws, obligation to obey laws, and deserved punishment for breaking different laws also followed domain-consistent patterns. Adolescents’ engagement in moral, drug-related prudential, and multifaceted forms of delinquency was associated with less supportive judgments about laws within the same domain. Findings contribute to civic development research by demonstrating domain specificity in adolescents’ beliefs about laws and suggest that these beliefs are linked with engagement in similar types of delinquency.
The development of civically engaged citizens is vital for democratic societies. Although several studies have explored children and adolescents' conceptualizations of civic engagement, less is known about youths' understanding of the individual skills and attributes best suited for civic action. The current study utilized a Q-sort methodology to explore the types of character strengths children and adolescents (n = 87; M age = 13, 9-19, 52% female) assigned to people who engage in different types of civic activities. and thrifty) into five categories ranging from " most like " to " least like " based on their perceptions of individuals engaged in four distinct civic activities: volunteering, voting, protesting, and engaging in environmental or conservation behaviors. Youth not only differentially applied certain character strengths to individuals engaged in distinct civic activities but also identified a set of character strengths (future-minded, leader, purposeful, and responsible) as core to multiple forms of civic engagement. Results provide new insights into youths' budding conceptualization of the individual characteristics, attributes,
The behavioral immune system (BIS) is a set of psychological mechanisms that evolved to serve a disease-avoidance function (Schaller, 2006). As other people are a primary source of disease transmission, the BIS plays a role in the development of social attitudes and beliefs. In particular, considerable evidence has demonstrated that the BIS is associated with higher levels of social conservatism (see Terrizzi, Shook, & McDaniel, 2013, for a review). Recently, Tybur and colleagues (2015) have argued that the BIS is only indirectly associated with social conservatism through sexual strategies. In this commentary, we outline several theoretical, methodological, and data analytic problems with the Tybur et al. (2015) paper. We also present empirical evidence that refutes the proposed model, demonstrating a direct link between the BIS and social conservatism, even after accounting for sexual strategies.
Sociopolitical values are hypothesized to form during adolescence, but the developmental and contextual origins of these values have been largely unexplored. A sample of 846 adolescents (Mage = 15.96, SD = 1.22, range = 13-20 years) reported on their organized activity involvement (volunteering, sports, church, community clubs, arts/music, school clubs) and their sociopolitical values (patriotism, authoritarianism, spirituality, social dominance, materialism). Structural equation models (controlling for demographics and accounting for shared variance among variables) indicated that there were unique associations between activities and values. Greater church and sports involvement was related to higher levels of spirituality. Involvement in sports was also related to higher levels of materialism and authoritarianism. Greater volunteer involvement was related to lower social dominance, and involvement in arts/music was associated with less patriotism. These findings suggest that organized activity involvement may provide a context for adolescents’ developing sociopolitical values. Implications and future directions are discussed.
The current study examined demographic and civic behavior correlates of observed messages concerning civic duty coded from dyadic, semi-structured interactions between 160 adolescents (M age = 14.42, range = 12-18) and their parents (144 mothers, 52 fathers). Anecdotal statements are provided to illustrate the eight themes that emerged within parent-adolescent civic discussion. Three themes concerned community and political involvement—community service, voting, and other standard political involvement (e.g., keeping up with current events)—and five themes concerned informal civic duties—be productive (e.g., working and becoming educated), follow regulations, help others, respect country, and respect others. In mixed-effect logistic regression models, coding categories were differentially associated with parent and adolescent demographic characteristics and parent-reported civic behavior. 563931J ARXXX10.1177/0743558414563931Journal of Adolescent ResearchOosterhoff et al. research-article2014 by guest on December 23, 2014 jar.sagepub.com Downloaded from
This study used a sample of 467 middle and high school students (M age = 15.26) from a mid-Atlantic state. Structural equation models controlling for demographic variables (age, gender, and parents’ education) examined associations between three developing sociopolitical values (spiritualty, patriotism, and authoritarianism) and adolescents’ social and moral judgments (obligation and social praise) concerning four civic activities (community service, standard political involvement, social movement, and community gathering). Spirituality was associated with judgments for community service and community gathering involvement while authoritarian values were associated with the prioritization of all forms of civic activity. Multigroup analyses indicated that associations between authoritarianism and both community service and social movement judgments were stronger for younger adolescents while spirituality was more strongly associated with community service judgments for older adolescents. Patriotic beliefs were associated with civic judgments for children of college-educated parents, but not children of noncollege-educated parents.
The current study examined associations between organized activity involvement, academic achievement, and problem behavior in a sample of youth from a non-agricultural based rural community (M age = 15.26, Age range = 11-19 years, N = 456). Analyses examined whether associations varied as a function of adolescent gender and age. Participants reported their involvement in a broad range of organized activities across multiple contexts, including community and school clubs, volunteering, arts/music, and church and sports involvement. Results from a multi-group structural equation model controlling for adolescent age and parental education indicated that for all youth, participation in school clubs was associated with higher grade point average (GPA), and church involvement was associated with lower problem behavior. For boys, church involvement and arts/music were associated with higher GPA, and volunteering was associated with lower GPA. For girls, participation on sports teams was associated with higher GPA and lower levels of problem behavior. Several of these findings differ from previous organized activity research on urban and suburban youth, indicating that involvement in organized activities provides unique developmental benefits for adolescent boys and girls living in a rural context. 2003; Metzger, Crean, & Forbes-Jones, 2009). Adolescents derive unique benefits from specific types of organized activity involvement (Hansen, Larson, & Dworkin, 2003; Larson, Hansen, & Moneta, 2006), which additionally vary depending on whether the activity occurs at school or in the community (Irvin, Farmer, Leung, Thompson, & Hutchins, 2010; Mahoney, Larson, Eccles, & Lord, 2005). To date, research on rural youth's organized activity involvement has primarily focused on the context (e.g., school, community, church; see Irvin et al., 2010; Ludden, 2011; Mahoney et al., 2005), whereas few studies have explored rural youth involvement in specific organized activities (Blackwell & McLaughlin, 1999; Wallace, Moak, & Moore, 2005). The current study expands research on rural youth organized activity involvement by examining how participation in a wide variety of activities influences educational and behavioral outcomes.