NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, Phase 4
As a developmental transition, adolescence is marked by dramatic changes in biological, cognitive, emotional, and social development. In this period, experiences set the stage for future functioning, as individuals sort into trajectories of risk and opportunity that become increasingly difficult to alter. Accordingly, research on adolescence may illuminate individual and group differences in the processes through which individuals pass into adult roles of work, family, and citizenship. Despite the potential for problems, adolescence is also a time of marked growth in competencies, skills, and psychosocial maturity. This project has two broad aims: To investigate how earlier functioning and experiences, in concert with contextual and maturational factors in adolescence, influence social relationships, health, adjustment, and intellectual and academic development during middle adolescence; and To extend into middle adolescence an intensive and extensive study of patterns of health and human development from infancy onward that generates data that can be used by the broader scientific community to study a wide range of basic and applied questions.