Socio-demographic Characteristics and Contextual Predictors of Adolescent Boredom: Results from National Samples of 8th and 10th Graders
Abstract: High levels of boredom among adolescents may contribute to maladaptation, such as juvenile delinquency and school difficulties. Yet the prevalence and predictors of boredom at a population level are unknown. Drawing from a broad psychosocial framework, the present examined socio-demographic characteristics and social contexts predictive of adolescent boredom. Respondents included nationally representative, multi-cohort samples of 8th and 10th grade students (N=21,173) from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey study. Comparisons of high boredom across socio-demographic groups showed variability by grade, gender, race/ethnicity, urbanicity, and parent education. In terms of context, results from logistic regression analyses indicated that school, parent, peer, and extracurricular contexts were associated significantly with high boredom. These findings provide new insights for the study of boredom, and also for prevention and intervention programs that promote optimal adolescent development.
Meghan Martz is a third-year doctoral candidate working with Drs. John Schulenberg and Dan Keating. Meghan’s research investigates the psychosocial and neural mechanisms that underlie health-risk behavior, primarily substance use and abuse, during adolescence and the transition to adulthood. She received her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies from Indiana University. Prior to entering Michigan’s developmental psychology program, Meghan studied adolescent psychopathology and worked as Project Director for a fMRI study on ADHD and conduct disorder at University of Chicago. She now works primarily with the Monitoring the Future Study at the Institute for Social Research.