In This Chapter

Middle School Transitions and Adolescent Development

Authored by: Eric M. Anderman , Christian E. Mueller

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872


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Adolescence is a period of enormous change. The transformations that occur during adolescence emanate both from within the developing child (i.e., physiological and biological development), and in the social worlds in which adolescents interact (i.e., their schools, families, and social networks). Although the changes that occur during adolescence are often portrayed by the media as being troublesome and difficult, research actually indicates that unpleasant experiences are not inevitable outcomes during adolescence (Eccles, Midgley, et al., 1993; R. Epstein, 2007; Midgley, 1993; Simmons & Blyth, 1987). One of the most prominent experiences during early adolescence is the transition from elementary to middle school. Whereas this transition is not universal, it is quite common across a variety of cultures, and it often coincides with the simultaneous pubertal changes occurring during that time.

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