Measuring Beliefs About Adolescent Personality and Behavior

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Abstract

A measure that assesses individuals' expectations and stereotypes concerning adolescents was developed. Initially, 123 adult respondents answered open-ended questions about the personality and behavior of typical and observed adolescents. Based on their responses, a close-ended scale was developed where respondents rate the degree to which 65 traits and behaviors are characteristic of typical adolescents. Refinement and testing of this scale was done with a sample of 361 college students and 112 parents of young adolescents; the final number of items after such refinement was 44. The subscales demonstrated adequate internal consistency, test–retest reliability, and construct validity. The multifaceted nature of the measure and absence of stereotypical language, along with its flexibility for obtaining comparable information on other age groups provide advantages over the small number of previously used measures.

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