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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Explorations into adolescents' perceived maturity with parents and peers Vytasek, Jovita Maria


Many social relationships have the potential to influence perceived maturity. Previous research has not examined the possibility of distinct perceptions emerging from different relationships. This initial investigation focuses on parents and peers as the two groups with which social perceptions of maturity might vary. This investigation also addresses potential changes in perceived maturity over time, and its association with chronological age and gender of the adolescent. Additionally, Moffitt’s (1993) developmental taxonomy and an alternative model for adolescents’ association with deviant peers are tested. Three hundred and twenty six adolescents (129 boys, 197 girls) from a high school in a large urban city in western Canada participated in this study. Students ranged from 12 to 17 years of age and were in grades 8 through 11 at the first wave of data collection. Two waves of data, one year apart, were used. Analyses found support for a differentiation between perceived maturity with parents and peers for about 40% of participants. Changes in perceived maturity over a one-year period were also found for parents (53%) and for peers (52%). Results indicated that there was no statistically significant relationship between chronological age or gender of the adolescent and perceived maturity. Neither Moffitt’s (1993) model nor the alternative model was supported. Implications for the differences in perceived maturity between parents and peers as well as changes in perceived maturity are discussed.

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