Can adolescent development change according to culture and upbringing?

A studio portrait of a group of young adults.
Teens from different backgrounds are influenced by different cultural norms and parental expectations. These different social norms may affect the adolescent's development regarding individual identity and social behaviour. MoMo Productions / Getty Images

Adolescence is a stage of development, a period of transition between childhood and adulthood. All teens go through changes; physical changes, social and emotional changes, and the process of developing their individual identity. Teens who come from different backgrounds are influenced by different cultural norms and parental expectations that stem from different attitudes toward values and norms in society. These different social norms may change the rate of development and affect the adolescent's development in terms of individual identity, social behavior and separation from parents, which are major factors in the teen years.

Parents and family life are the foundations for building an adolescent's personality and identity, instilling values and social norms that are the basis for the teen's decision-making process and social behavior. Parenting practices are influenced by culture, and an adolescent's upbringing is affected by the ethnic group, values, and traditions that he belongs to, as well as his socio-economic situation. An adolescent that grows up in a family where the nature of adolescence, parental control and family obligations are different from that of his or her peers, may encounter an identity crisis that creates conflicts with the family. Culture has a strong influence on development, behavior, values and beliefs. Family rituals and good communication have a positive affect on teens. Parents who instill positive cultural values and beliefs in their children help raise their self-esteem and academic success.


A family's socio-economic condition has an effect on adolescent development as economic crisis negatively affects families. There are racial and ethnic disparities in poverty rates that directly affect adolescent development. Growing up in poverty impacts children and teens at every developmental level; physically, socially and academically. Conversely, in more affluent families adolescents face other challenges. Parental pressure that focuses on social and academic achievement can cause adolescents to suffer from a higher rate of depression and anxiety.