The fact that many adolescent girls are showing remarkable strength, resiliency, and "hardiness" during the stressful time of adolescence needs to be explored.Instead of focusing on the storm and stress of adolescence, a new understanding of adolescent girls that affirms their strength and resilience needs to be developed.They view themselves as strong and confident and are not afraid to say what they think.
To make the rich, diverse voices of actual girls in the United States heard above the statistics, questions from a research survey conducted by the task force on adolescent girls are included in this research agenda.
A summary of the survey, "The State of the Hearts of Adolescent Girls," is found at the end of this research agenda.
Through its activities, the task force will chart directions into the new frontiers of the next century through a critical examination of the policy issues, current knowledge, and research approaches to understanding adolescent girls.
The following work is excerpted from Beyond Appearance: A New Look at Adolescent Girls , a book written by psychologists across the country whose work focuses on adolescent girls, including psychologists serving on the APA task force on adolescent girls.
These expectations present a variety of pressures for adolescent girls as they develop into womanhood.
Between the ages of 8 and 11 years, girls tend to be androgynous.
And yet, across cultural groups, adolescent girls hold more flexible and liberal attitudes than boys about the rights and roles of women.
White adolescent girls who hold traditional attitudes toward women's roles tend to have lower self-esteem than do girls who hold more liberal views.
Girls have higher expectations of success than boys in their general academic abilities across domains and in their social skills, whereas boys are more confident about their math and sports abilities.