About Us


Study Goals

The Global Early Adolescent Study seeks to better understand how gender socialization in early adolescence occurs around the world, and how it shapes health and wellness for individuals and their communities.

Why early adolescence?

The ages 10 to 14 are among the most critical for human development, yet one of the most poorly understood stages of the life course. While biological processes are universal, the social contexts within which they occur vary considerably. During this transition, young people are expected to assume socially defined gender roles that shape their future sexual and reproductive health.

A Global Perspective

A cross-cultural comparison offers a unique perspective on the commonalities and contrasts of the social processes shaping young people's health; with particular attention to the ways gender norms inform adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

The focus is on urban poor adolescents, a vulnerable and fast growing population worldwide This data will help to inform parents, teachers, youth workers, researchers, policymakers, program implementers and youth themselves that will shape programs and services.

A Gender Focus

We are exploring young people’s perceptions of the gender norms that regulate their behavior, how they form their own beliefs about gender, and how these beliefs align with social norms in their communities


Outcomes of Interest

Body Comfort and Pubertal Satisfaction

Body Comfort and Pubertal Satisfaction

Gender-Based and Interpersonal Violence

Gender-Based and Interpersonal Violence

Mental Health

Mental Health

School Retention

School Retention

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Sexual and Reproductive Health


Study Design and Objectives

Following our formative research, the GEAS launched a longitudinal study that will follow the experiences of over 15,000 adolescent boys and girls ages 10-14 years old on five continents for up to five years.

The GEAS will conduct two types of research.

OBSERVATIONAL RESEARCH: GEAS sites function as observational research studies among approximately 1,400 adolescents.
These studies provide insight into the evolution o f gender norms over time and the impact of gender norms on key behavior and health outcomes.

IMPACT EVALUATION OF INTERVENTIONS: In some sites, the GEAS survey is used to evaluate the impact of interventions aimed at shifting the trajectory toward greater gender equality. Intervention sites enroll a larger sample of adolescents, equally divided into intervention and control arms.

The GEAS Survey

The GEAS survey instrument is comprised of three measures: a ten module health instrument, a vignettes-based measure of gender equality and a measure of gender norms. Together, these three components assess a range factors and outcomes in adolescence including: gendered norms and processes; adolescent empowerment; risk and protection; exposure to violence and adversity; cohesion and connectedness among peers, family, school, neighborhood, and community; and a range of health outcomes.



Our vision is to provide the evidence that will create a more gender equal world for both boys and girls around the world by:

  1. Understanding the evolution of gender norms through adolescence

  2. Exploring the influence of gender norms on health trajectories

  3. Investigating how these processes vary by site and change across time

  4. Examining how gender transformative interventions shift gender norms and shape adolescent health in the short and medium terms.