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01-08-2007 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 6/2007

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 6/2007

Subjective Age in the Transition to Adulthood for Persons with and without Motor Disabilities

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 6/2007
Nancy L. Galambos, Johanna Darrah, Joyce Magill-Evans


This study examined subjective age (how old one feels) and associated variables in 148 emerging adults, ages 20–30 years. Seventy-six participants had a motor disability (cerebral palsy, spina bifida) and 72 had no motor disability. Participants completed questionnaires and were interviewed. There was no significant difference in subjective age between groups. Consistent with previous research, chronological and subjective ages were significantly negatively related in participants without motor disabilities. Chronological and subjective ages were unrelated in the group with motor disabilities but higher psychosocial maturity was related to an older subjective age. Perceptions of how much parents fostered autonomy did not predict subjective age in either group. In both groups, individuals whose parents treated them as younger reported feeling younger. Number of role transitions did not predict subjective age. The results highlight the importance of exploring motor disabilities as a source of diversity in the subjective ages of young people during the transition to adulthood.

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