Peer influences on risk behavior: An analysis of the effects of a close friend

James Jaccard, Hart Blanton, Tonya Dodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cross-sectional research suggests that peer influence has a moderate to strong impact on adolescent risk behavior. Such estimates may be inflated owing to third-variable confounds representing either friendship selection effects or the operation of parallel events. Approximately 1,700 peer dyads in Grades 7 to 11 were studied over a 1-year period to estimate the influence of closest friends on sexual activity and binge drinking. Analyses suggested that peer influence was small but reliable when both selection effects and parallel events were taken into account. Peer influence varied as a function of individual-peer similarity and maternal relations but not in accord with other theoretical predictions. It is suggested that the magnitude of peer effects in previous research may be overestimated in many contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-147
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2005

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Risk-Taking
risk behavior
Binge Drinking
Adolescent Behavior
Research
Sexual Behavior
event
dyad
Mothers
friendship
school grade
adolescent
Peer Influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Peer influences on risk behavior : An analysis of the effects of a close friend. / Jaccard, James; Blanton, Hart; Dodge, Tonya.

In: Developmental Psychology, Vol. 41, No. 1, 01.2005, p. 135-147.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jaccard, James ; Blanton, Hart ; Dodge, Tonya. / Peer influences on risk behavior : An analysis of the effects of a close friend. In: Developmental Psychology. 2005 ; Vol. 41, No. 1. pp. 135-147.
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