Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Impact of the Onset of Puberty on Self Image and Behavior
Baker, Lester James
Dissertation from the University of Michigan 1983

Examine and compare the self-image and behavior of young adolescent males in various stages of puberty. Additional research questions include a comparison of the measurement of change based on developmental stage as opposed to chronological age, behavioral disturbances of subjects at the onset of puberty, and the association of the effect of parental attitudes about puberty on adolescent behavior.

Northern New Jersey privately funded free camp for lower to middle income youth from New York City. 63 white, urban American boys ages 11 - 16 stratified by pubertal development, rather than chronological age.


  • Tanner's (1962) classification system of pubertal development.
  • Self-Image assessment tools used include:
    • Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ), Perceived Competence Scale for Children (PCS), Rosenberg Self-Esteem (RSE), Social Self-Esteem (SSE)Structured Interviews.
  • Additional Tools:
    • Delinquency Behavior Measure (DM), School Behavior, Counselor Evaluation and Camper Competence forms, Parent Interviews.


  • The data supports the hypothesis that self-esteem is lower for subjects at the onset of puberty than for either the pre-pubescent or the more developmentally mature subjects.
  • Stratification by stage of development as contrasted to stratification by chronological age appears to account for more variance in self-image scores and may indicate a more reliable way of stratifying adolescent sampling for studies on self-image.
  • The behavior measures support the hypothesis that adolescents at the onset of puberty show increased behavior problems as compared to pre-pubescent adolescents, however, there is no significant reduction in behavior problems for more mature adolescents.
  • Parental views of adolescence indicate an association between children's self-image and parental beliefs and attitudes about adolescence. The author notes that this result is questionable as it is possible that parental attitudes are shaped by the child's behavior.