Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development


Troy Beckert


This study examined the relationship between areas of cognitive autonomy and adolescent development. Differences in cognitive autonomy between age groups were analyzed. Students attending Grades 7, 9, and 11, and college students in Northern Utah participated in this study. Three hundred and ninety-six participants responded to the Cognitive Autonomy and Self-Evaluation(CASE) inventory, which examined the subcategories of evaluative thinking, voicing opinions, comparative validation, decision making, and self-assessment. Scores were compared by grade and by gender. Results showed that college students scored significantly higher in three of the five areas of cognitive autonomy. Additionally, females in both ninth grade and college scored themselves significantly higher in two areas of cognitive autonomy. Areas of academic grades, time watching television, time spent reading, and weekly computer use were also analyzed. Implications of these findings for future programs and future research are also discussed.