Teens Use Peers as Gauge in Search for Autonomy


Christopher Daddis
Assistant Professor of Psychology
The Ohio State University at Marion

As teens push their parents for more control over their lives, they use their peers as metrics to define appropriate levels of freedom and personal autonomy. They also tend to overestimate how much freedom their peers actually have. Those are the conclusions of new research that appears in the journal Child Development; the research was conducted at The Ohio State University.

The studies found that teens used their peers as a gauge to figure out when and in what areas to seek more autonomy in their own lives. Moreover, younger teens and girls wanted autonomy more than older teens and boys.

“The findings help illuminate sources of individual differences among teens in their development of autonomy,” according to Christopher Daddis, assistant professor of psychology at The Ohio State University, who conducted the studies. “Although all teens’ decision-making autonomy increases, their experiences differ in when and how they develop that autonomy.”

Read the full article at:

> http://www.osumarion.osu.edu/news/teens-use-peers-gauge-search-autonomy

Additional articles on Daddis research:

> http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/datingdisclose.htm

> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/fashion/13studied.html

Washington post:
> http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/05/07/teens-prefer-not-to-talk-about-dating/13608.html