Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 443–459 | Cite as

Sex-role conflicts and personal adjustment: A study of British adolescents

  • Susan Keyes
  • John Coleman


A study employing British adolescents as subjects was conducted to test two hypotheses: (1) In learning to adjust to sex-role prescriptions in adolescence, females are more likely than males to experience conflict over sex-role issues and problems in personal adjustment, with high academically achieving females hypothesized to be most likely to evidence such conflicts. (2) Individuals of both sexes who experience high levels of sex-role conflict are most likely to evidence less adequate personal adjustment. Results were partially supportive of hypothesis 1. Though no sex differences were obtained for measures of personal adjustment, females appeared to experience more conflict over sex-role issues. Males also evidenced conflict, however, and there was not a uniform female disadvantage. No relationship for either sex was found between high academic ambition and less adequate adjustment. Support for hypothesis 2 was more consistent. Individuals of both sexes who experienced the highest levels of sex-role conflict also experienced more problems in personal adjustment, but only when the conflict reflected a perception of the self as deficient in instrumental, “masculine,” attributes in comparison with perceived societal expectations. Results and implications for future research are discussed.


Health Psychology School Psychology Societal Expectation Academic Ambition Personal Adjustment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Keyes
    • 1
  • John Coleman
    • 1
  1. 1.London Hospital Medical CollegeUSA

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