A conceptual framework for early adolescence: A platform for research

Robert W. Blum, Nan Marie Astone, Michele R. Decker, Venkatraman Chandra Mouli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Early adolescence (ages 10-14 years) is among the most neglected stages of development, yet there are few stages during the life course where changes are as dramatic. The present conceptual framework proposes four central goals to be achieved by early adolescence: engagement with learning, emotional and physical safety, positive sense of self/self-efficacy, acquisition of life/decision-making skills. The framework proposes an ecological model where the macro level factors (economic forces, historical events, national priorities, laws/policies/norms and values, national events, and political realities) all set the contexts that influence community, family, school and peer factors that all in turn influence the adolescent. Existing indicators for points of development are noted as are future areas of research priority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014


  • adolescence
  • conceptual framework
  • early adolescence
  • very young adolescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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