Adolescents' transitions to behavioral autonomy after German unification

Claudia M. Haase*, Rainer K. Silbereisen, Matthias Reitzle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The present study examined the timing of behavioral autonomy transitions in two same-aged cohorts of East German adolescents assessed in 1991 and 1996. An earlier timing of autonomy privileges was associated with higher deviant behavior. A later timing of autonomy privileges and responsibilities was linked to structural constraints, specifically, to parental unemployment. Between 1991 and 1996 significant timing differences were observed for some autonomy transitions in the East, implying an adaptation to Western timetables. Our findings illustrate the plasticity of autonomy transitions under conditions of social change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-353
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Behavioral autonomy
  • Developmental tasks
  • Social change
  • Timing
  • Unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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