A review study about creativity in adolescence: Where is the social context?

Petrie J. A. C. van der Zanden, Paulien C. Meijer, Ronald A. Beghetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Although adolescent creativity development is a promising area of research in the field, there is still much to be known with respect to the factors involved in adolescent creativity development and the role played by the social context. The purpose of this systematic review study was to identify and summarize factors associated with enhancing or inhibiting adolescent creativity in a sample of 65 published studies. We classified supportive and inhibiting factors into four categories: individual factors, parental factors, educational factors, and social contextual factors. Individual factors supportive of adolescent creativity development included: openness to experience, intrinsic motivation, creative self-efficacy, attributing adversity to external factors, and academic achievement. State and trait anxiety were associated with inhibitory factors. Supportive parental factors included parental support and autonomous motivation with maternal involvement. Educational factors supportive of adolescent creativity development included: balancing freedom and necessary guidance; flexible, open-ended activities with clear learning expectations; openness to and encouragement of student ideas; atmosphere of trust and respect; and varied learning resources. Finally, supportive social contextual factors included providing interactions that encourage expression or challenging of ideas; and encouraging adolescents to view issues from multiple global and temporal perspectives. Inhibitory social contextual factors included increased pressures placed on teachers to prepare students to perform well on assessments; and increased emphasis placed on standardized curricula and related assessments. We also noted that the vast majority of studies in our sample (n = 61, 94 %) did not take into account the role played by social contextual factors. We conclude by discussing implications for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100702
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Adolescence
  • Adolescent Development
  • Creativity
  • Creativity Development
  • Creativity Research
  • Education
  • Parents
  • Social Context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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