Title: Adolescent Development in the US and Implications for Child Marriage
Abstract: Advocacy efforts around child marriage are commonly centered outside of the United States. However, findings from U.S.-based research may have important implications for more effectively tackling child marriage, both domestically and globally. This talk focuses on three areas of research that are largely being conducted in the U.S. (and in other high-income countries) to inform strategies globally. The first area is adolescent development, generally, and the improved understanding we have of this unique period of opportunity and vulnerability. The second is pubertal development, more specifically, and the implications of puberty starting earlier worldwide. The third is a deeper understanding of sexual development and sexual norms and values, and how this work can be translated from the U.S. into other settings. Finally, we will conclude with an open discussion about how these research streams may be informative for efforts to prevent child marriage and empower young people around the world.
About the speaker: Julianna Deardorff, PhD
Dr. Deardorff is Associate Professor and Program Head of the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health program at the Berkeley School of Public Health and the King Sweesy and Robert Womack Endowed Chair in Medical Science and Public Health. She is project director for the HRSA-funded MCH Center of Excellence at UC Berkeley. An adolescent psychologist by training, her research focuses on sexuality, culture, and adolescent reproductive health, including health outcomes in adolescence and adulthood. She leads a longitudinal study of young Mexican Americans health and mental health in an agricultural setting in California and is currently examining the contribution of family contextual factors, cultural context and girls sexual and mental health outcomes.