Identity development as a buffer of adolescent risk behaviors in the context of peer group pressure and control.

Abstract

We examined identity development as a moderator of the relation between peer group pressure and control and adolescents' engagement in risk behaviors. Participants (n=1070; M(age)=15.45 years) completed a self-report measure of identity exploration, the degree to which they have explored a variety of self-relevant values, beliefs and goals, and identity commitment, the degree to which they have secured a personal identity. Participants further reported on their frequency of risk behaviors (substance use and general deviancy) and experienced peer group pressure and control. Results confirmed that identity commitment was a buffer of substance use and identity exploration was a buffer of general deviancy in more pressuring peer groups. In more controlling peer groups, teens with greater identity commitment engaged in less risk behavior than teens with low-identity commitment. Thus, identity development may be a suitable target to deter negative effects of peer pressure in high-risk adolescents.

DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.12.012

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Cite this paper

@article{Dumas2012IdentityDA, title={Identity development as a buffer of adolescent risk behaviors in the context of peer group pressure and control.}, author={Tara M. Dumas and W. E. Ellis and David A. Wolfe}, journal={Journal of adolescence}, year={2012}, volume={35 4}, pages={917-27} }