• Journal Article

A Longitudinal Study of Adolescents' Attitude-Behavior Consistency


Kahle, L. R., Klingel, D. M., & Kulka, R. (1981). A Longitudinal Study of Adolescents' Attitude-Behavior Consistency. Public Opinion Quarterly, 45(3), 402-414.


The attitudes and self-reported behaviors of outgoingness toward other people among a group of over 100 male adolescents were measured each semester for the last five semesters of high school. Cross-lagged panel correlation differences show a tendency (seven of nine times) for attitudes to be nonspuriously antecedent to behaviors. During the first three semesters different observational composites of behaviors correlated positively with the self-reported measures of behaviors. Theoretical implications of these findings are discussed from the perspective of social adaptation theory. A distinction is drawn between assimilatory and accommodative situations. It is suggested that attitudes and behaviors are more likely to be consistent in assimilatory than accommodative situations