Peer relations, adolescent behavior, and public health research and practice

Fam Community Health. 2008 Jan-Mar:31 Suppl 1:S71-80. doi: 10.1097/01.FCH.0000304020.05632.e8.


Peer relations are central to adolescent life and, therefore, are crucial to understanding adolescents' engagement in various behaviors. In recent years, public health research has increasingly devoted attention to the implications of peer relations for the kinds of adolescent behaviors that have a direct impact on health. This article advocates for a continuation of this trend. With this aim, we highlight key themes in the rich literature on the general developmental significance of adolescent-peer relations, provide an overview of how these themes have been incorporated into public health research and practice, and suggest future avenues for peer-focused public health research that can inform adolescent health promotion in the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Peer Group*
  • Public Health / trends*
  • Research*