Childhood, Adolescence, and Covid-Related Risk and Protective Factors in the Development of Adjustment in Early Adulthood Across Cultures

Project Description

Building on the ongoing Parenting Across Cultures longitudinal study that began in 2008 with recruitment of a sample of 1,417 8-year-old children and their mothers and fathers from 9 countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States), this project will continue to follow participants in their early to mid-twenties. The original child participants will be 22 to 26 years old, providing an unprecedented opportunity to understand how childhood and adolescent experiences in the most diverse long-term longitudinal study ever conducted culminate in adjustment during early adulthood. We will conduct interviews annually to assess family and cultural influences on decisions, risks, competencies, and opportunities during this developmental period that is characterized by major health risks and transitions in education, work, residential status, intimate partnerships, and parenthood.


We address three aims:

  1. Build a developmental model of young adult adjustment and maladjustment using mediators and moderators at the individual, family, and culture levels, including potential risk and protective factors.
  2. Examine predictors of parent-young adult relationships across cultures that normatively differ in how changes in family relationships are experienced and negotiated in early adulthood.
  3. Examine the impact of COVID-related disruptions in education, work, and other important domains on subsequent adjustment. We have collected data on COVID-related experiences every 3 months since the start of the pandemic, situating us well to be able to examine these experiences in relation to adjustment in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Addressing these aims in the most diverse, prospectively studied, multi-national sample to date will have major public health implications in informing scientific understanding of predictors of adjustment during early adulthood, a developmental period characterized by high morbidity and mortality due to mental health problems, substance use, and other largely preventable causes, as well as opportunities for positive adaptation. This work will inform programming and policy to improve population health and well-being by identifying novel targets for prevention and intervention in the United States, while also advancing the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations to guide the international development agenda through 2030.

Related Resources


Project Team Members

Liane Alampay (Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, Philippines), Suha Al-Hassan (Hashemite University, Amman, Jordan; and Emirates College for Advanced Education, Abu Dhabi, UAE), Dario Bacchini (University of Naples, “Federico II,” Naples, Italy), Marc H. Bornstein (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., USA), Lei Chang (University of Macau, Macau, China), Kirby Deater-Deckard (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass., US), Laura Di Giunta (Rome University ‘LaSapienza’, Rome, Italy), Kenneth A. Dodge (Duke University, Durham, N.C., USA), Jennifer W. Godwin (Duke University, Durham, N.C., USA), Jennifer E. Lansford (Duke University, Durham, N.C., USA), Paul Oburu (Maseno University, Kisumu, Kenya), Concetta Pastorelli (Rome University ‘La Sapienza,’ Rome, Italy), Ann Skinner (Duke University, Durham, N.C., USA), Emma Sorbring (University West, Trollhättan, Sweden), Laurence Steinberg (Temple University, Philadelphia, Penn., USA), Sombat Tapanya (Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand), Liliana M. Uribe Tirado (Universidad San Buenaventura, Medellin, Colombia), Saengduean Yotanyamaneewong (Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand)