Experiencing Stressful Life Events during Adolescence: Does Gender Matter?

Bethany K. Wexler Rainisch, California State University, Northridge
Dawn Upchurch, University of California, Los Angeles

The years of adolescence are a transitional developmental period often defined as a stressful stage in the life course. While many individuals traverse adolescence relatively unscathed, a number experience stressful life events (SLE), representative of significant life changes. SLEs are events that occur at a discrete point in time, and can be identified as events done to an adolescent, or performed by an adolescent. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) (N = 9,311), this study examined disparities in SLEs done to and performed by adolescents, separately for females and males. Weighted bivariate and multivariate ordered logistic regression was employed. The odds of experiencing and performing greater numbers of SLEs increased with age and by non-traditional family structure, more so among females than males. These findings contribute to those within the stress and life course literature, specifically including SLEs done to and performed by adolescents.

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Presented in Poster Session 9: Children and Youth; Data and Methods