Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 253–272 | Cite as

Expectations regarding development during adolescence: Parental and adolescent perceptions

  • Maja Deković
  • Marc J. Noom
  • Wim Meeus


The aims of this study were (1) to compare the age-related expectations of parents and adolescents concerning the timing of achievement in a number of developmental tasks, (2) to examine whether personal characteristics of the adolescent affect developmental expectations, and (3) to examine whether discrepancies between the adolescent’s and the parent’s expectations are related to the amount of parent-adolescent conflict. The sample consisted of 508 families with adolescents (12–18 years old). During a home visit, a battery of questionnaires was administered individually to mothers, fathers, and adolescents. A new 24-item instrument to assess expectations for adolescents’ mastery of developmental tasks was developed for this study. Analyses showed that when the expectations of adolescents and those of their parents are compared at aggregate level, parents consistently indicate later ages for the achievement of developmental tasks than adolescents. Although parents have later timetables, parents and adolescents have strikingly similar views of the sequence in which achievement of developmental tasks should occur. The adolescent’s age appears to be the most potent predictor of developmental timetables, followed by gender, pubertal timing, and temperament, respectively. The amount of conflict within the parent-adolescent relationship was associated with differences in developmental expectations. The utility of the new instrument for research and clinical work is discussed.


Health Psychology Personal Characteristic Home Visit Potent Predictor Aggregate Level 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maja Deković
    • 1
  • Marc J. Noom
    • 2
  • Wim Meeus
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Youth, Family, and Life Course, Faculty of Social SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Youth, Family, and Life CourseUtrecht UniversityThe Netherlands

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