Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Adolescence (12–18)

Do cultures vary with regard to the emphasis on peers?

Cultures vary significantly with regard to the emphasis on peers. In cultures that place high value on interdependence and family ties and less value on self-sufficiency and independence, peer relationships are less central to adolescent development. Additionally, there is greater respect for authority and less tolerance for nonconformity. As a significant emphasis is placed on individuality and independence in the United States, peer relationships have assumed tremendous importance in the lives of many adolescents. Relatedly, there is more tolerance of challenges to authority, rebellion, and nonconformity in American culture than in more traditional cultures.


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