Physical Attractiveness and Psychosocial Functioning among Early Adolescents

Richard M. Lerner, Jacqueline V. Lerner, Laura E. Hess, Jacqueline Schwab, Jasna Jovanovic, Rachna Talwar, Joseph S. Kucher

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35 Scopus citations


Male and female adolescents who differed in physical attractiveness (PA) were also expected to differ in peer and parent relations, classroom behaviors, and self-perceptions, with adolescents higher in PA expected to score more favorably than those lower in PA. To test these expectations, Sixth graders from the Pennsylvania Early Adolescent Transitions Study were longitudinally assessed at the beginning, middle, and end of sixth grade. Across time, adolescents who saw themselves as competent were rated similarly by their teachers and had better peer and parent relations than was the case with the adolescents who saw themselves as less competent. As expected, PA was associated with these differences. Within and across time, adolescents higher in PA tended to have more favorable ratings than did adolescents lower in PA. The stimulus information value of PA for cuing a stereotype regarding attractiveness is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-320
Number of pages21
JournalThe Journal of Early Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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