Parents, peers, and problem behavior: a longitudinal investigation of the impact of relationship perceptions and characteristics on the development of adolescent problem behavior

Dev Psychol. 2005 Mar;41(2):401-13. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.41.2.401.


This study examined longitudinal relations among adolescents' family relationships, peer relationships, and problem behavior. Participants were 1,357 African American and European American adolescents who were interviewed at 3 time points: 7th grade (mean age = 12.7 years), the summer after 8th grade (mean age = 14.2 years), and 11th grade (mean age = 17.1 years). For all racial and gender groups, 7th-grade family characteristics (youth perceptions of autonomy and warmth) predicted a risky peer context during 8th grade, which in turn predicted problem behavior during 11th grade. Additionally, problem behavior in the 7th grade predicted 11th-grade problem behavior, directly as well as indirectly through the peer context. Racial and gender differences are discussed, as are implications for future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child Behavior Disorders*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting
  • Parents*
  • Peer Group*
  • Social Environment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires