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Adolescents' cognitive capacity reaches adult levels prior to their psychosocial maturity: Evidence for a "maturity gap" in a multinational, cross-sectional sample
Icenogle,Grace1; Steinberg,Laurence1; Duell,Natasha1; Chein,Jason1; Chang,Lei2; Chaudhary,Nandita3; Di Giunta,Laura4; Dodge,Kenneth A.5; Fanti,Kostas A.6; Lansford,Jennifer E.5; Oburu,Paul7; Pastorelli,Concetta4; Skinner,Ann T.5; Sorbring,Emma8; Tapanya,Sombat9; Tirado,Liliana M.Uribe10; Alampay,Liane P.11; Al-Hassan,Suha M.12,13; Takash,Hanan M.S.12; Bacchini,Dario14
2019-02-01
Source PublicationLaw and Human Behavior
ISSN01477307
Volume43Issue:1Pages:69-85
AbstractAll countries distinguish between minors and adults for various legal purposes. Recent U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning the legal status of juveniles have consulted psychological science to decide where to draw these boundaries. However, little is known about the robustness of the relevant research, because it has been conducted largely in the U.S. and other Western countries. To the extent that lawmakers look to research to guide their decisions, it is important to know how generalizable the scientific conclusions are. The present study examines 2 psychological phenomena relevant to legal questions about adolescent maturity: cognitive capacity, which undergirds logical thinking, and psychosocial maturity, which comprises individuals' ability to restrain themselves in the face of emotional, exciting, or risky stimuli. Age patterns of these constructs were assessed in 5,227 individuals (50.7% female), ages 10-30 (M = 17.05, SD = 5.91) from 11 countries. Importantly, whereas cognitive capacity reached adult levels around age 16, psychosocial maturity reached adult levels beyond age 18, creating a "maturity gap" between cognitive and psychosocial development. Juveniles may be capable of deliberative decision making by age 16, but even young adults may demonstrate "immature" decision making in arousing situations. We argue it is therefore reasonable to have different age boundaries for different legal purposes: 1 for matters in which cognitive capacity predominates, and a later 1 for matters in which psychosocial maturity plays a substantial role.
KeywordAdolescence Age of majority Cross-national Law Maturity
DOI10.1037/lhb0000315
URLView the original
Language英语
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Cited Times [WOS]:4   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionUniversity of Macau
Corresponding AuthorIcenogle,Grace
Affiliation1.Department of Psychology,Temple University,,United States
2.Department of Psychology,University of Macau,,Macao
3.Department of Human Development and Childhood Studies,Lady Irwin College,University of Delhi,,India
4.Department of Psychology,Università di Roma 'La Sapienza',,Italy
5.Center for Child and Family Policy,Duke University,,United States
6.Department of Psychology,University of Cyprus,,Cyprus
7.Department of Educational Psychology,Maseno University,,Kenya
8.Centre for Child and Youth Studies,University West,,Sweden
9.Department of Psychiatry,Chiang Mai University,,Thailand
10.Consultorio Psicologico Popular,Universidad San Buenaventura,,Colombia
11.Department of Psychology,Ateneo de Manila University,,Philippines
12.Queen Rania Faculty for Childhood,Hashemite University,,Jordan
13.Emirates College for Advanced Education,,United Arab Emirates
14.Department of Humanistic Studies,University of Naples 'Federico II',,Italy
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Icenogle,Grace,Steinberg,Laurence,Duell,Natasha,et al. Adolescents' cognitive capacity reaches adult levels prior to their psychosocial maturity: Evidence for a "maturity gap" in a multinational, cross-sectional sample[J]. Law and Human Behavior,2019,43(1):69-85.
APA Icenogle,Grace.,Steinberg,Laurence.,Duell,Natasha.,Chein,Jason.,Chang,Lei.,...&Bacchini,Dario.(2019).Adolescents' cognitive capacity reaches adult levels prior to their psychosocial maturity: Evidence for a "maturity gap" in a multinational, cross-sectional sample.Law and Human Behavior,43(1),69-85.
MLA Icenogle,Grace,et al."Adolescents' cognitive capacity reaches adult levels prior to their psychosocial maturity: Evidence for a "maturity gap" in a multinational, cross-sectional sample".Law and Human Behavior 43.1(2019):69-85.
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