Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

June 2000


Published in Negotiating Adolescence in Times of Social Change, edited by Lisa J. Crockett and Rainer K. Silbereisen. Cambridge University Press, 2000. Copyright © 2000 Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.


In February 1996, a diverse group of social scientists (psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists) from Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States convened at the Pennsylvania State University to discuss the ways in which social change may affect adolescent development, the likely consequences for adolescent functioning and well-being, and the kinds of social interventions needed to support healthy development in a changing society. Entitled "Negotiating Adolescence in Times of Social Change," the conference was organized to consider the abrupt and more gradual social changes affecting Western industrialized countries. Drawing on the ecological and life course perspectives, we were especially interested in the processes through which societal changes exert an impact on (1) the course of adolescent development and (2) adolescents' social and psychological adjustment. Additionally, we sought to identify individual and contextual factors that can modify the impact of social change and enhance the likelihood of a successful transition to adulthood. The conference presentations formed the basis of the present volume, and we have retained the conference format in which some presenters focused on their own research and others provided integrative commentaries. The original presentations have been revised, however, in the light of discussions and exchanges that occurred during and following the conference.