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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228441 Find in a Library
Title: Understanding the Association Between Maltreatment History and Adolescent Risk Behavior by Examining Popularity Motivations and Peer Group Control
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:38  Issue:9  Dated:October 2009  Pages:1253-1263
Author(s): Wendy E. Ellis; David A. Wolfe
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Ontario Mental Health Foundation
Toronto, Ontario M4V 1K9, Canada
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined how peer-group dynamics of pressure and control and individual motivation for popularity added to and moderated the link between childhood maltreatment and risky behavior in adolescence.
Abstract: The study found that beyond the significant impact of childhood maltreatment, peer-group control predicted risky alcohol use and delinquent behavior. Peer-group control and the motivation to be popular with one’s peer group exacerbated the negative effects of parental physical maltreatment on delinquent behavior. Boys' experiences of peer group control were more strongly linked to alcohol use and delinquent behavior than the peer-group experiences of girls. The findings suggest that efforts to mitigate the effects of childhood maltreatment should include a focus on the nature of and motivation for peer-group associations during adolescence. Schools and communities should develop youth-related activities that promote positive development and guided interaction that sets norms for the values and objectives of peer interaction. A total of 1,558 (804 girls) high school students from 3 schools in Southwestern Ontario (Canada) participated in this study. A participant's experiences of maltreatment were assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. The assessment of peer-group processes involved several measures of group control, leadership/hierarchy, and peer pressure to behave in antisocial ways. Twelve items measured adolescents’ motivation for peer popularity and associated control behavior. Measures of the frequency of alcohol use and binge drinking were taken from the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth. Fifteen items measured general delinquency, including weapon use, theft, school suspension, selling drugs, and physical violence. 3 tables, 5 figures, 50 references, and appended peer-group control items
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Child abuse as delinquency factor; Children at risk; Long term health effects of child abuse; Peer influences on behavior; Risk taking behavior
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