Adolescence can be a time of unconstructive behavior for many youth. This research examined if an intervention countering youth's stereotypes of teens as irresponsible fosters their constructive behavior. In two experimental intervention studies (Ns = 124 and 319) with seventh graders, stereotypes of teens as irresponsible were described as inaccurate portrayals; youth then provided their own observations of teens acting responsibly. Youth in this counterstereotyping intervention (vs. the control) held higher intentions for academic engagement and performed better on an academic task (i.e., a word-search puzzle). Over the 3 days following the intervention, their academic engagement was higher. Youth's risk taking was also reduced. Redirecting youth to see teens as responsible has the potential to provide a foundation for flourishing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology