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Disruptiveness, Friends' Characteristics, and Delinquency in Early Adolescence: A Test of Two Competing Models of Development
Frank Vitaro, Richard E. Tremblay, Margaret Kerr, Linda Pagani and William M. Bukowski
Vol. 68, No. 4 (Aug., 1997), pp. 676-689
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1132118
Page Count: 14
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This study tested 2 competing models of friends' influence on the development of delinquency in disruptive boys. In so doing, we examined whether highly disruptive, moderately disruptive, moderately conforming, and highly conforming boys' delinquency increased or decreased depending on their friends' characteristics. A sample of 868 boys was classified into the 4 groups according to teacher ratings at ages 11 and 12. Each group was then subdivided by mutual friends' peer-rated aggressiveness-disturbance at the same ages: aggressive-disturbing friends, average friends, nonaggressive-nondisturbing friends, and no friends. Subgroups were next compared on self-reported delinquency at age 13 while controlling for average self-reported delinquency and socioeconomic variables at ages 11 and 12. Results indicate that moderately disruptive boys with aggressive-disturbing friends were more delinquent at age 13 than other subgroups of moderately disruptive boys. Highly disruptive and conforming boys, however, were unaffected by their friends' characteristics. We conclude that the results partially support each theoretical model, suggesting that both individual characteristics and deviant peer association might play causal roles.
Child Development © 1997 Society for Research in Child Development