Socialization Ambiguity in Samoan Adolescents: A Model for Human Development and Stress in the Context of Culture Change

Thomas W. McDade*, Carol M. Worthman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rapid globalization is forcing youth around the world to confront new developmental challenges, and conceptual models are needed that can capture this experience and its developmental implications. Exposure to nontraditional lifestyles opens up new socialization opportunities and raises the possibility of stress-inducing dissonance between participating socializing agents and the messages they deliver. Socialization ambiguity is introduced as a model for culture change and adolescent stress, and it is applied to a sample of 10- to 20-year-olds (N = 295) in the islands of Samoa. A physiological marker of stress (antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus) is employed to overcome some of the difficulties associated with measuring stress outcomes. Socialization ambiguity is found to be a significant source of stress on the remote island of Savai'i and the transitional area of rural Upolu, although the direction of the association is different, possibly reflecting divergent socialization goals in these two regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-72
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Socialization Ambiguity in Samoan Adolescents: A Model for Human Development and Stress in the Context of Culture Change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this