Adolescent friendship groups are often heterogeneous and thus involve exposure to both deviant and nondeviant influences. This longitudinal study examined whether the addition of nondeviant peer influences in early high school protected against the negative socialization effects of deviant affiliation on both concurrent and future smoking, alcohol problems, and depressive symptomatology. Adolescents (9th and 10th grade students, N = 1,128) completed self-report questionnaires at both a baseline and 24-month assessment. Nondeviant affiliation consistently reduced the effects of deviant influences on smoking and alcohol problems but not on depressive symptoms. Findings reinforce the complexity of adolescent friendship influences and the notion that distinct mechanisms may drive the associations between deviant affiliations and behavioral and emotional outcomes throughout adolescence. Implications for prevention are also discussed.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 30, 2011
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