Puberty + Interpersonal Relationships + Adjustment

Welcome to the AIR lab!

We study girls as they pass through important life transitions that have the potential for significantly affecting their social and emotional development. The transitions we examine include the major biological changes of puberty and the social transition into new types of interpersonal relationships. Our research is based on theoretical models that consider the inherent interaction between developing individuals, and their environment, with a focus on how perceptions of biological transitions amid critical developmental task (e.g., identity development) and social contexts elucidates the interpersonal experiences of pubescent girls.

Our research also recognizes that perceptions of biological transitions are embedded within a system of interpersonal relationships including interactions with peers, parents, and teachers. It is reasoned that these relationships can either facilitate or impede pubertal timing effects on girls’ emotional and social development through the opportunities, norms and expectations, and implicit reward and punishment structures that they provide.

Select Publications

  • Carter, R., Seaton, E., & Rivas-Drake, D. (2017). Racial identity in the context of pubertal development: Implications for adjustment. Developmental Psychology53, 2170 – doi: 10.1037/dev0000413
  • Butler-Barnes, S. T., Leath, S., Williams, A., Byrd, C. M., Carter, R., & Chavous, T. M. (2017). Promoting resilience among African American girls: Racial identity as a protective factor. Child Development. doi:10.1111/cdev.12995.
  • Carter, R., Mustafaa, F., Leath, S., & Butler-Barnes, S. T. (2018). Teachers’ academic and behavioral expectations and girls’ pubertal development: Does the classroom learning environment matter? Social Psychology of Education, 1-28. doi: 1007/s11218-018-9450-1
  • Seaton, E., & Carter, R. (2018). Pubertal timing, racial identity, neighborhood and school context among Black adolescent females. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24, 40 – doi: 10.1037/cdp0000162
  • Carter, R., Halawah, A., & Trinh, S. L. (2018). Peer exclusion during the pubertal transition: The role of social competence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47, 121 – doi: 10.1007/s10964-017-0682-8