Adolescents' perceptions of parent and peer norms about externalizing behaviors influence the extent to which they adopt similar attitudes, yet little is known about how the trajectories of perceived parent and peer norms are related to trajectories of personal attitudes across adolescence. Neural development of midline regions implicated in self–other processing may underlie developmental changes in parent and peer influence. Here, we examined whether neural processing of perceived parent and peer norms in midline regions during self-evaluations would be associated with trajectories of personal attitudes about externalizing behaviors. Trajectories of adolescents' perceived parent and peer norms were examined longitudinally with functional neuroimaging (n = 165; ages 11–16 years across three waves; 86 girls, 79 boys; 29.7% White, 21.8% Black, 35.8% Latinx, 12.7% other/multiracial). Behavioral results showed perceived parent norms were less permissive than adolescents' own attitudes about externalizing behaviors, whereas perceived peer norms were more permissive than adolescents' own attitudes, effects that increased from early to middle adolescence. Although younger adolescents reported less permissive attitudes when they spontaneously tracked perceived parent norms in the ventromedial and medial pFCs during self-evaluations, this effect weakened as they aged. No brain–behavior effects were found when tracking perceived peer norms. These findings elucidate how perceived parent and peer norms change in parallel with personal attitudes about externalizing behaviors from early to middle adolescence and underscore the importance of spontaneous neural tracking of perceived parent norms during self-evaluations for buffering permissive personal attitudes, particularly in early adolescence.

You do not currently have access to this content.