Peer Influences and The Paradox of Adolescent SocializationJoe AllenUniversity of Virginia Copies of related papers are available at:WWW.TEENRESEARCH.ORG
How Do We Socialize Our Youth? How Do We Turn Our Young People From Dependent Children Into Productive Adults Or Fail to Do So…
Why It Matters: The Social Security Problem Historical Trends and Projections Ratio of Workers : Retirees 1930’s: 10 : 1 1970’s: 6 : 1 Currently: 3.4 : 1 2029: 2 : 1 Social Security Administration, 2008
Adolescents are Largely Socialized by Their Peers Time spent interacting in give and take with peers/week: 60 hours Time spent interacting in give and take with adults/week: 16 hours 100 years ago this ratio was Exactly Reversed (Steinberg, 2008)
Why It Matters: Age Trends in Property Crime In U.S. Annual Incidence per 1000 Individuals Age (Uniform Crime Reports, 2008)
Why It Matters: Age Trends in Violent Crime In U.S. Annual Incidence per 1000 Individuals Age (Uniform Crime Reports, 2008)
Why it Matters: Peaking Rates of Peer-Linked Problems • Delinquency • Unwanted pregnancy • Alcohol & Drug Abuse • School Dropout
Why It Matters: Effects of Lack of Peers • Effects of Social Rejection • Depression and/or Aggression • Effects of Social Isolation • Long-term physical implications Meta-analysis: James House, Science, 1988: The risks of social isolation for early mortality… are greater than the risks from cigarette smoking.” Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris Columbine High School
Three Questions 1. Is There Continuity from Parent to Peer Relationships? 2. Is there a safe route through the minefield of peer relationships in adolescence? 3. Why not? …and What can we do about it?
Three Questions • Is There Continuity from Parent to Peer Relationships? What to Focus Upon? Pressure Affection Arguments Shared Activities Yelling Time Spent Together Affiliation Consensus Anger
A Developmental Task Approach • Identifying the key tasks of adolescent social development • One set of key tasks: Establishing Autonomy in Relationships while Maintaining a Sense of Connection or Relatedness
See-saw Model of Autonomy & Relatedness Autonomy Relatedness Ideal Balance Point
Orthogonal Model of Autonomy & Relatedness Autonomy Autonomous Relatedness Relatedness
Assessing Autonomy and Relatedness • Video of two individuals handling disagreements. • Autonomous Behaviors: Focus on reasoning and persuasion • Relatedness-Promoting Behaviors: Acknowledging other’s points; validating; carefully listening. • Behaviors Undermining Autonomy Enmeshing, overpersonalizing, pressuring behavior • Behaviors Undermining Relatedness Rudeness and hostility
Two Samples • Harvard Adolescent to Adult Development Study • 145 Adolescents and Parents observed age 14-18 • Adolescents followed up at age 25 • Upper Middle-class • Very Low Attrition (2% by age 25) • Virginia Institute of Development in Adulthood Study • 184 Adolescents, their Parents, Best Friends, and Other Friends • Intensive Annual Interviews and Observations (Total N over first 10 years ~ 1600). • Socio-economically & Racially Diverse • Very Low Attrition from age 13 to 21 (< 1%)
Continuity from Parents to Peers • How does one negotiate disagreements with a best friend? Age 14 Age 16 .27*** Teen Autonomy with Best Friend Teen Autonomy with Best Friend -.24** R2 = .23*** Mother Undermines Teen Autonomy (Observed) -.22* Maternal Psychological Control (Reported) (McElhaney et al., 2008)
Popularity/likeability • Preference-based popularity/likeability • Number of peers in your school who name a teen as someone with whom they would like to spend time together. • Actually being “liked” …as opposed to: • Social Status • Being “looked up to” • Who teens think is popular (not necessarily who they like) We focus on preference-based popularity/likeability.
Popularity • Do Others Name a Teen as Being LIKED? Age 13 Age 14 .74*** Teen Popularity Teen Popularity .21** Fathers’ Promotion of Teen Autonomy & Relatedness (McFarland, Schmidt, Kaufmann, & Allen, 2003)
Hostility in the Long Run Age 25 Age 16 .40* Hostility (Peer-reported) Hostility with Father (obs’d) .32* R2 = .280** Fathers’ Hostility to Teen .50*** Fathers’ Undermining Teen Autonomy (Allen et al., Development & Psychopathology, 2002)
Attachment Security Age 14 Ages 15-17 Observed Peer Engagement in Supportive Behavior .43*** Attachment Security Secure teens are better able to engage their friends’ support.
Three Questions 1. Is There Continuity from Parent to Peer Relationships? YES. 2. Is there a safe route through the minefield of teen peer relationships? 3. Why not? …and What can we do about it?
Three Questions 1. Is There Continuity from Parent to Peer Relationships? 2. Is there a safe route through the minefield of teen peer relationships? 3. Why not? …and What can we do about it?
Short-term Correlates of Popularity/Likeability at Age 13 • Higher Quality Close Friendships • Higher Quality Interactions with Parents • Higher Ego Development • Greater Attachment Security • No negative correlates whatsoever at age 13 (Allen et al., 2005, Child Development)
Predictions from Popularity & Social Acceptance Age 13 Age 14 .24* Withdrawal (Peer Report) Withdrawal (Peer Report) -.19* R2 = .19** Popularity (Sociometric) -.23** Felt Acceptance (Self-report) (McElhaney, Antonishak, & Allen, Child Development, 2008)
Predicting Friendship Quality & Depression Age 13 Age 18 Age 20 -.22** -.02 Close Friendship Quality Close Friendship Quality Close Friendship Quality -.19* -.21* -.22** Undermining Autonomy With Close Friend .28*** .12+ Depressive Symptoms Depressive Symptoms Depressive Symptoms .27*** .29*** (Chango et al., 2009)
Predicting Early Sexual Activity Age 13 Age 16 Early Initiation of Sexual Intercourse .21* Autonomy Struggles with Mother (Observed) -.23* Maternal Emotional Support (Tn. Report) -.33* Companionship with Same Gender Close Friend (Friend report) (Rosenbaum, et al., under review)
ey y1 y2 y3 y4 y1 y2 y3 y4 y0* βy βy βy y0 σy0,xs Δy2 Δy3 Δy4 αy ys* ys γx γy γx γy γx γy σx0,y0 K xs αx xs* Δx2 Δx3 Δx4 σx0,ys x0 βx βx βx x0* x1 x2 x3 x4 x1 x2 x3 x4 ex Warmth & Aggression: A Latent Difference Score Model AGE: 13 14 15 16 Aggression Warmth with Close Friend
Warmth and adolescent aggression Teen aggression ΔTeen aggression Less Warmth with a Friend Predicts Increasing Aggression Over Time -.43* -.34* ΔWarmth & Connection with Friend Warmth & Connection with Friend (Antonishak & Allen, 2006, Society for Research in Adolescence) CFI=.95, RMSEA=.03
Being Well-Socialized With One’s Peers Seems Like a Great Thing… But What Does It Mean to be Well-socialized by a Group of Early Adolescents?
Risks for the Well-socialized Teen:The Popularity-Socialization Effect Popular teens will be highly attuned to socializing influences within their peer group.
Risks for the Well-socialized Teen:The Popularity-Socialization Effect Popular teens will be highly attuned to socializing influences within their peer group. This will reflect their advanced social development…
Risks for the Well-socialized Teen:The Popularity-Socialization Effect Popular teens will be highly attuned to socializing influences within their peer group. This will reflect their advanced social development… but The peer group may also socialize popular teens toward some deviant behaviors that are normative for early adolescents.
Measures: Minor Delinquency • Self-report of Delinquency Scale (Elliott, Huizinga, & Menard, 1989) • Items include: • shoplifting items worth less than $50 • sneaking into a movie theater without paying • minor vandalism • Estimated costs of shoplifting: $25 million per day. • Some retail stores catering to young shoppers experiencing ‘shrinkage’ rates approaching 20% of their sales.
Predicting Relative Changes in Minor Delinquency From Baseline Popularity Age 13 Age 14 Minor Delinquency Minor Delinquency .42*** ns Popularity Popularity .23** (Allen, Porter, McFarland, Marsh & McElhaney, 2005, Child Development) Popular teens show greater relativeincreases in minor delinquency from 13 to 14.
Interaction of Popularity and Peer Values Predicting Change in Minor Delinquency (Age 13 to 14) For Less Popular teens: Slight increase in deviance over time if peers value misbehavior Low High Peer Valuing of Misconduct Age 13 (Allen, Porter, McFarland, Marsh & McElhaney, 2005, Child Development)
Interaction of Popularity and Peer Values Predicting Change in Minor Delinquency (Age 13 to 14) Peer values predict delinquency most strongly among popular teens. Low High Peer Valuing of Misconduct Age 13 (Allen, Porter, McFarland, Marsh & McElhaney, 2005, Child Development)
If Socialization Depends upon what’s valued by peers… What about misbehavior that isn’t valued within the peer group.
Predicting Changes in Self-reportedSerious Delinquency from Popularity Age 13 Age 14 Serious Delinquency Serious Delinquency .48*** .04ns Popularity (Allen, Porter, McFarland, Marsh & McElhaney, 2005, Child Development) Popular kids do NOT show relative increases in levels of serious criminal behavior over time.
Predicting Changes in Peer-reportedHostility from Popularity Age 13 Age 14 Hostility Hostility .26*** -.16* Popularity (Allen, Porter, McFarland, Marsh & McElhaney, 2005, Child Development) Popular teens become less hostile over time. Sometimes Peer Socialization is a Good Thing!
Socialization has Worked Out OK in the End for Popular Teens • At least for delinquency • What about other behaviors?
Measures: Alcohol & Marijuana Use • Self-reported use in past six months of alcohol and marijuana (Elliott, Huizinga, & Menard, 1989) • Estimated annual cost to society of teen alcohol use: $58 billion • 20% of teen drivers admit to driving within an hour of smoking marijuana • 29% of teens have driven in a car within the past month with someone who had been drinking. • Alcohol use accounts for > ¼ of all teen automobile crash fatalities.
Change in Percentage of Youths Who Have Recently Used Alcohol/Marijuana (Allen & Antonishak, 2008)