College or School
Psychology, Justice Studies
Faculty Research Advisor
During adolescence, peers are very influenced by the behavior of others. Some researchers have propose that delinquency predicts peer delinquency. Other researchers predict that peer delinquency leads to delinquent behavior. These delinquent acts are referred to as rule-violating behavior (RVB) (Cohn et al., 2012). The purpose of this study was to test whether peer delinquency leads to rule violating behavior or if rule violating behavior leads to peer delinquency. Findings revealed that the RVB of boys in Middle School is influenced by their peers, while the opposite is true for High School Boys in that peer delinquency is influenced by their own RVB. For Middle School girls, both peer delinquency and RVB are influenced by each other, while for High School girls it is the opposite in that neither RVB nor peer delinquency influence the other. Explanations for these differences are discussed as to why there may be a relationship between associating with peers that are delinquent and future RVB, and why RVB might lead to association with delinquent peers.
Benner, Casey; Maliakkal, Nadine; and Zimmerman, Shannon, "When Does Rule Violating Behavior Affect Peer Delinquency Between Middle School and High School Boys and Girls?" (2013). Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) Student Presentations. 118.