This volume is the result of a 3-year enterprise sponsored jointly by the Society for Research on Adolescence and the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development. The Study Group on Adolescence in the 21st Century brought together an international set of scholars to consider possible life scenarios for adolescents over the next 30 to 50 years. With primary support from the W. T. Grant Foundation, the study group was chaired by Reed W. Larson, with Jeylan T. Mortimer and B. Bradford Brown playing a collaborative role in organizing the study group's activities.
To assist the study group in its work, 2 sets of papers were commissioned. For the set represented in this volume, each scholar was asked to describe current conditions and near-future possibilities for adolescents in a particular nation or region of the world. Mindful of the diversity of experiences among adolescents in their regions, the authors were asked to provide empirically based analyses of the transformation from childhood to adulthood with regard to a standard set of issues and social contexts that affect adolescents' lives. For the other set of commissioned papers, published as a separate volume (Mortimer and Larson 2002), the study group approached a set of experts knowledgeable about external institutions and changes that affect adolescents (e.g., education, health care, the criminal justice system).