[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethnically harassed immigrant youth are at risk for experiencing a wide range of school adjustment problems. However, it is still unclear why and under what conditions experiencing ethnic harassment leads to school adjustment difficulties. To address this limitation in the literature, we examined two important questions. First, we investigated whether self-esteem and/or depressive symptoms would mediate the associations between ethnic harassment and poor school adjustment among immigrant youth. Second, we examined whether immigrant youths' perception of school context would play a buffering role in the pathways between ethnic harassment and school adjustment difficulties. The sample (n = 330; M age = 14.07, SD = .90; 49 % girls at T1) was drawn from a longitudinal study in Sweden. The results revealed that experiencing ethnic harassment led to a decrease in immigrant youths' self-esteem over time, and that youths' expectations of academic failure increased. Further, youths' relationships with their teachers and their perceptions of school democracy moderated the mediation processes. Specifically, when youth had poor relationships with their teachers or perceived their school context as less democratic, being exposed to ethnic harassment led to a decrease in their self-esteem. In turn, they reported low school satisfaction and perceived themselves as being unsuccessful in school. Such indirect effects were not observed when youth had high positive relationships with their teachers or perceived their school as offering a democratic environment. These findings highlight the importance of understanding underlying processes and conditions in the examination of the effects of ethnic devaluation experiences in order to reach a more comprehensive understanding of immigrant youths' school adjustment.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2013; · 2.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the receipt of peer sexual harassment in schools has been linked to deliberate self-injury, the direction of association over time has not been tested. Two longitudinal studies examined whether receipt of peer sexual harassment within schools predicts engagement in deliberate self-injury or vice versa. Differences between boys and girls were also tested.
Surveys were conducted in two countries, Canada and Sweden. Measures of sexual harassment and deliberate self-injury were administered yearly in classrooms. Two waves of data were collected in the Canadian study (N = 161, 59.6% girls, mean age = 13.82 years); three waves of data were collected in Sweden (N = 513, 47% girls, mean age = 13.23 years).
In the Canadian study, deliberate self-injury predicted subsequent peer sexual harassment; the converse relationship was not significant. No significant gender differences were found. Across the three waves of the Swedish study, peer sexual harassment predicted self-injury from T1 to T2, and self-injury predicted peer sexual harassment from T2 to T3. However, self-injury did not mediate peer sexual harassment at T1 and T3. Tests of gender differences revealed self-injury predicted sexual harassment from T2 to T3 among Swedish girls but not boys.
Adolescents who deliberately self-injure may be vulnerable to sexual harassment by peers at school. Cultural norms may have a role in whether this process applies primarily to girls or to both genders. Sexual harassment by peers may also increase self-injury, but this is not subsequently linked to increases in receipt of sexual harassment.
Journal of Adolescent Health 07/2013; · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We tested whether parents can reduce affiliation with delinquent peers through 3 forms of peer management: soliciting information, monitoring rules, and communicating disapproval of peers. We examined whether peer management interrupted 2 peer processes: selection and influence of delinquent peers. Adolescents' feelings of being overcontrolled by parents were examined as an additional moderator of delinquent selection and influence. Using network data from a community sample (N = 1,730), we tested whether selection and influence processes varied across early, middle, and late adolescent cohorts. Selection and influence of delinquent peers were evident in all 3 cohorts and did not differ in strength. Parental monitoring rules reduced the selection of delinquent peers in the oldest cohort. A similar effect was found in the early adolescent cohort, but only for adolescents who did not feel overcontrolled by parents. Monitoring rules increased the likelihood of selecting a delinquent friend among those who felt overcontrolled. The effectiveness of communicating disapproval was also mixed: in the middle adolescent network, communicating disapproval increased the likelihood of an adolescent selecting a delinquent friend. Among late adolescents, high levels of communicating disapproval were effective, reducing the influence of delinquent peers for adolescents reporting higher rates of delinquency. For those who reported lower levels of delinquency, high levels of communicating disapproval increased the influence of delinquent peers. The results of this study suggest that the effectiveness of monitoring and peer management depend on the type of behavior, the timing of its use, and whether adolescents feel overcontrolled by parents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown a consistent positive association between non-suicidal self-injury and depressive symptoms. However, the direction of the effects has not been examined. To understand whether non-suicidal self-injury predicts depressive symptoms or vice versa, we examined the relations between non-suicidal self-injury and depressive symptoms across three waves of self-report data collected 1 year apart from 506 Swedish adolescents (47 % girls; M age = 13.21; SD = .57) who were attending 7th grade at the onset of the study. The results suggest that depressive symptoms predict increases in non-suicidal self-injury 1 year later between the first and second waves of the study. Between the second and third waves of the study depressive symptoms and non-suicidal self-injury were significantly correlated indicating co-occurrence with no direction of effect rather than depressive symptoms predicting non-suicidal self-injury or vice versa. Group comparisons revealed no differences for boys and girls. The findings help clarify the relationships between non-suicidal self-injury and depressive symptoms during middle adolescence.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 02/2013; · 2.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prior research has indicated that shy adolescents are more motivated to form friendships online than to form
friendships offline. Little is known about whether having friendships found exclusively online may impact self-esteem and forming offline friendships for these adolescents. This study therefore aimed to provide insight into the moderating role of shyness in the longitudinal interplay between friendships in online and offline contexts in early adolescence. Adolescents and their friends (193 girls, 196 boys;Mage=13.29) were followed with three consecutive measurements with intervals of eight months. Results showed that particularly for shy adolescents, having friends exclusively online predicted increases in self-esteem. Self-esteem, in turn, was found to predict forming more friendships found both offline and online and forming more friendships found exclusively offline. Thus, findings supported the social compensation perspective that shy adolescents may benefit from having friends exclusively online, as these friendships may increase self-esteem, thereby facilitating the formation of friendships found partially and completely offline.
European Journal of Personality 01/2013; · 2.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We tested the peer-socialization/contextual-amplification explanation for the link between early female puberty and problem behaviour. We propose that in cultures with high tolerance for adolescent heterosexual involvement, early puberty should be linked with problem behaviour—not in other cultures. We compared girls in two cultures (Slovakia and Sweden) that differ in acceptance of adolescent girls’ heterosexual involvement. Findings supported the hypothesis by showing that in Sweden, a culture that facilitates adolescent heterosexual involvement, early-maturing girls reported more problem behaviours than in Slovakia. The mediation link (heterosexual involvement as the mechanism linking early puberty with problem behaviour) was moderated by culture. The findings expand our understanding of the role of macro-cultural contexts in the developmental significance of female puberty.
International Journal of Behavioral Development 01/2013; 37(4):357-365. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To what extent do adolescents and their friends socialize each others' attitudes toward immigrants? Can friends' positive attitudes toward immigrants counter adolescents' negative attitudes toward immigrants, and do friends' negative attitudes decrease adolescents' positive attitudes? These questions were examined by following a large (N = 1,472) friendship network of adolescents (49.2 % girls; M (age) = 13.31 at first measurement) across three annual measurements. Selection and influence processes regarding tolerance and xenophobia were distinguished with longitudinal social network analyses, controlling for effects of age, gender, and immigrant background. Findings showed that friends' tolerance predicted increases in adolescents' tolerance and friends' xenophobia predicted increases in adolescents' xenophobia. Moreover, friends' tolerance predicted a lower likelihood of adolescents' xenophobia increasing. The current results suggest that interventions should distinguish between tolerance and xenophobia, as these appear to represent two separate dimensions that are each influenced in specific ways by friends' tolerance and xenophobia.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 11/2012; · 3.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies have shown that parents reduce control
and support in response to youths’ drinking. Why
they react this way, however, is still unknown.
From cognitive dissonance theory, we derived
hypotheses about parents’ reactions. We used a
longitudinal, school-based sample of 494 youths
(13 and 14 years, 56% boys) and their parents.
General Linear Model (GLM) analyses were
used to test the main hypotheses. In accord
with our hypotheses, parents who encountered
their youths intoxicated became less opposed to
underage drinking over time. In addition, parents
who remained strongly opposed to youth
drinking experienced more worries than parents
who became less opposed. Alternative explanations
for the results were tested, but were not
supported. The findings suggest that to eliminate
the dissonance between their strict attitudes
against youth drinking and their knowledge of
their own youths’ drinking, parents changed
their attitudes and became more lenient.
Family Relations 10/2012; 61:629-641. · 0.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A crossed-lagged regression model was tested to investigate relationships between friendship support, bullying involvement, and its consequences during adolescence. Students, 12-16 years (N = 880), were administered questionnaires twice, one year apart. Using structural equation modeling, a model was specified and higher levels of support from friends were related to lower levels of bullying and victimization one year later. Additionally, a bidirectional relationship between victimization and depression was found, and greater property crimes commission was related to higher levels of future bullying. These findings support the 'friendship protection hypothesis' and suggest the quality of support in friendships can protect against bullying victimization and perpetration. Prior research has shown that friendships can protect against victimization; however this is one of the few longitudinal studies to focus on the quality of friendship, rather than other characteristics of the friends. It is suggested that interventions should focus on increasing perceptions of support within existing friendships.
Journal of Adolescence 03/2012; 35(4):1069-80. · 2.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present research on parenting and adolescent behavior, there is much focus on reciprocal, bidirectional, and transactional processes, but parenting-style research still adheres to a unidirectional perspective in which parents affect youth behavior but are unaffected by it. In addition, many of the most cited parenting-style studies have used measures of parental behavioral control that are questionable because they include measures of parental knowledge. The goals of this study were to determine whether including knowledge items might have affected results of past studies and to test the unidirectional assumption. Data were from 978 adolescents participating in a longitudinal study. Parenting-style and adolescent adjustment measures at 2 time points were used, with a 2-year interval between time points. A variety of internal and external adjustment measures were used. Results showed that including knowledge items in measures of parental behavioral control elevated links between behavioral control and adjustment. Thus, the results and conclusions of many of the most highly cited studies are likely to have been stronger than if the measures had focused strictly on parental behavior. In addition, adolescent adjustment predicted changes in authoritative and neglectful parenting styles more robustly than these styles predicted changes in adolescent adjustment. Adolescent adjustment also predicted changes in authoritativeness more robustly than authoritativeness predicted changes in adjustment. Thus, parenting style cannot be seen as independent of the adolescent. In summary, both the theoretical premises of parenting-style research and the prior findings should be revisited. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined developmental trends of peer selection and socialization related to friends' alcohol use in early-, middle-, and late-adolescent peer networks, with the primary goal of identifying when these mechanisms emerge, when these mechanisms exert their strongest effects, and when (or if) they decrease in importance. Gender and reciprocity are also tested as moderators of selection and socialization.
Cross-sequential study (three age cohorts assessed at three annual measurements) of 950 youth (53% male) initially attending classrooms in Grade 4 (n = 314; M = 10.1 years), Grade 7 (n = 335; M = 13.1 years), and Grade 10 (n = 301; M = 16.2 years).
Similarity between friends' drinking behaviors emerged in Grade 6, peaked in Grade 8, and decreased throughout late adolescence. Adolescents in all three age groups selected peers with similar drinking behaviors, with effects being more robust for early-adolescent males and for late-adolescent females. Peers' alcohol use emerged as a significant predictor of middle-adolescent alcohol use and remained a significant predictor of individual drinking behaviors throughout late adolescence. Socialization did not differ as a function of gender or reciprocity.
Alcohol-related peer selection was relatively more important than socialization in early-adolescent friendship networks; both mechanisms contributed to explaining similarity between the drinking behaviors of friends in middle and late adolescence. Effects of peer socialization emerged in middle adolescence and remained throughout late adolescence.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 01/2012; 73(1):89-98. · 1.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examines selection and influence related to delinquent behaviors of immigrant and nonimmigrant adolescents attending three majority-immigrant schools (54% to 65.2% immigrant) and four minority-immigrant schools (11.1% to 25.1% immigrant) in one community. The sample included 1,169 youths (50.4% male; 24.2% immigrant) initially between the ages of 12 and 16 years (M =13.92, SD = 0.85). Results showed that immigrant and nonimmigrant adolescents were similar to their peers on delinquent behaviors, and peer selection and social influence operated in a complementary manner to explain this similarity. The processes did not differ between immigrants and nonimmigrants or between school contexts, suggesting that immigrants do not differ from nonimmigrants on either the prevalence or the processes behind delinquency.
International Journal of Behavioral Development 01/2012; 36(3):178-185. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Geographic proximity is a determinant factor of friendship. Friendship datasets that include detailed geographic information are scarce, and when this information is available, the dependence of friendship on distance is often modelled by pre-specified parametric functions or derived from theory without further empirical assessment. This paper aims to give a detailed representation of the association between distance and the likelihood of friendship existence and friendship dynamics, and how this is modified by a few basic social and individual factors. The data employed is a three-wave network of 336 adolescents living in a small Swedish town, for whom information has been collected on their household locations. The analysis is a three-step process that combines (1) nonparametric logistic regressions to unravel the overall functional form of the dependence of friendship on distance, without assuming it has a particular strength or shape; (2) parametric logistic regressions to construct suitable transformations of distance that can be employed in (3) stochastic models for longitudinal network data, to assess how distance, individual covariates, and network structure shape adolescent friendship dynamics. It was found that the log-odds of friendship existence and friendship dynamics decrease smoothly with the logarithm of distance. For adolescents in different schools the dependence is linear, and stronger than for adolescents in the same school. Living nearby accounts, in this dataset, for an aspect of friendship dynamics that is not explicitly modelled by network structure or by individual covariates. In particular, the estimated distance effect is not correlated with reciprocity or transitivity effects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peer influence on adolescent delinquency is well established, but little is known about moderators of peer influence. In this study, we examined adolescents' (targets) and their peers' psychopathic personality traits as moderators of peer influence on delinquency in peer networks. We used three separate dimensions of the psychopathic personality: grandiose-manipulative traits, callous-unemotional traits, and impulsive-irresponsible traits.
We used a peer network approach with five waves of longitudinal data from 847 adolescents in one community. Peer nominations were not limited to the school context, thus allowing us to capture all potentially important peers. In addition, peers reported on their own delinquency, thus allowing us to avoid problems of false consensus or projection that arise when individuals report on their peers' delinquency. We used simulation investigation for empirical network analyses (SIENA), which is the only program currently available that can be used to study peer influence effects in peer networks of multiple relationships while controlling for selection effects.
Targets' and peers' callous-unemotional and grandiose-manipulative traits uniquely moderated peer influence on delinquency. Relative to those with low levels, targets who were high on these traits were less influenced by peers' delinquency, and peers who were high on these traits were more influential on targets' delinquency. Selection effects were found for impulsive-irresponsible traits, but these traits did not moderate peer influence on delinquency.
As the first study to look at moderating effects of psychopathic traits on peer influence, this study advances knowledge about peer influence on delinquency and about psychopathic traits in adolescents. In addition, the study contributes to the literature by looking at unique effects of the three dimensions of psychopathy and taking a peer network approach, in which network effects, self-selection, and other selection effects are controlled when examining influence and moderators of influence.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 11/2011; 53(8):826-35. · 5.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Girls' early pubertal timing has been linked in many studies to behavioral problems such as delinquency and substance use. The theoretical explanations for these links have often involved the girls' peer relationships, but contexts have also been considered important in some explanations. By integrating two theoretical models, the peer-socialization and the contextual-amplification hypotheses, we propose a contextual framework for explaining the link between early pubertal timing and external problem behavior in girls. We hypothesize that early developing girls engage in unhealthy, dangerous, and risky behavior under contextual conditions that promote access to older friends and opposite-sex relationships. Under other conditions it is less likely. We tested this integrated hypothesis in two studies conducted in Sweden. The first was a cross-sectional study with information about school and free-time friends in a community sample (N = 284). Early pubertal timing was linked to having older, more normbreaking friends outside of school, but not in school, thus suggesting that the school context interferes early-developing girls' selection of older peers. The second study involved both a longitudinal (N = 434) and a cross-sectional sample of girls (N = 634), where we examined a leisure setting that is known to attract delinquent youth. Results showed that early pubertal timing was most strongly linked to delinquency for girls who spent time in this context and were heavily involved with boys and peers. In sum, results from both studies supported our predictions that certain contexts would amplify the peer-socialization effect. Overall, we conclude that the integrated peer-socialization/contextual-amplification model satisfactorily explains the link between pubertal timing and external problem behavior.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 07/2011; 40(10):1271-87. · 2.72 Impact Factor