“I Am So Bored!”: Prevalence Rates and Sociodemographic and Contextual Correlates of High Boredom Among American Adolescents

Adolescent boredom is associated with maladaptation and negative developmental outcomes, yet little is known about the prevalence and correlates of high boredom. Drawing from a broad psychosocial framework, the present study examined rates of high boredom and sociodemographic and contextual correlates among nationally representative samples of 8th and 10th graders (N = 21,173; 51.8% female) from the Monitoring the Future survey. Results indicate that approximately 20% of adolescents reported high levels of boredom. Those who were more likely to report high boredom were eighth graders; females; youth who identified as Black, Biracial, or Native American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; rural youth; and youth of lower socioeconomic status. Results of multivariable logistic regression analyses show significant associations between high boredom and many elements of school, parent, peer, and extracurricular contexts, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Findings highlight the pervasiveness of high boredom among American youth and may benefit prevention and intervention efforts by identifying multiple contextual associations with adolescent boredom.