Volume 85, Issue 5 p. 1866-1880
Empirical Article

What Ever Happened to the “Cool” Kids? Long-Term Sequelae of Early Adolescent Pseudomature Behavior

Joseph P. Allen

Corresponding Author

Joseph P. Allen

University of Virginia

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Joseph P. Allen, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400. Electronic mail may be sent to [email protected].Search for more papers by this author
Megan M. Schad

Megan M. Schad

University of Virginia

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Barbara Oudekerk

Barbara Oudekerk

University of Virginia

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Joanna Chango

Joanna Chango

University of Virginia

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First published: 11 June 2014
Citations: 28
This study and its write-up were supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health (9R01 HD058305-11A1 and R01-MH58066).

Abstract

Pseudomature behavior—ranging from minor delinquency to precocious romantic involvement—is widely viewed as a nearly normative feature of adolescence. When such behavior occurs early in adolescence, however, it was hypothesized to reflect a misguided overemphasis upon impressing peers and was considered likely to predict long-term adjustment problems. In a multimethod, multireporter study following a community sample of 184 adolescents from ages 13 to 23, early adolescent pseudomature behavior was linked cross-sectionally to a heightened desire for peer popularity and to short-term success with peers. Longitudinal results, however, supported the study's central hypothesis: Early adolescent pseudomature behavior predicted long-term difficulties in close relationships, as well as significant problems with alcohol and substance use, and elevated levels of criminal behavior.