Adolescent peer relations, friendships, and romantic relationships: do they predict social anxiety and depression?

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2005 Mar;34(1):49-61. doi: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3401_5.


This study examined multiple levels of adolescents' interpersonal functioning, including general peer relations (peer crowd affiliations, peer victimization), and qualities of best friendships and romantic relationships as predictors of symptoms of depression and social anxiety. An ethnically diverse sample of 421 adolescents (57% girls; 14 to 19 years) completed measures of peer crowd affiliation, peer victimization, and qualities of best friendships and romantic relationships. Peer crowd affiliations (high and low status), positive qualities in best friendships, and the presence of a dating relationship protected adolescents against feelings of social anxiety, whereas relational victimization and negative interactions in best friendships predicted high social anxiety. In contrast, affiliation with a high-status peer crowd afforded some protection against depressive affect; however, relational victimization and negative qualities of best friendships and romantic relationships predicted depressive symptoms. Some moderating effects for ethnicity were observed. Findings indicate that multiple aspects of adolescents' social relations uniquely contribute to feelings of internal distress. Implications for research and preventive interventions are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Friends*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Phobic Disorders / etiology
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology*
  • Prognosis