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04-02-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 5/2019

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 5/2019

Adolescents’ Social Norms across Family, Peer, and School Settings: Linking Social Norm Profiles to Adolescent Risky Health Behaviors

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 5/2019
Auteurs:
Yijie Wang, Mingzhang Chen, Ji Hyun Lee
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Abstract

Social norms around adolescent risky health behaviors have been often studied in separate developmental settings (e.g., family norms, peer norms), and little is known regarding the overall patterns of social norms across contexts and how they influence adolescent risky health behaviors. This study explored profiles of social norms around risky health behaviors across family, peer, and school settings, using data from 11,086 adolescents (50% female; 49% White, 22% Black, 18% Latinx, 8% Asian American, 3% other race/ethnicities) in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Five profiles of social norms around risky health behaviors emerged. Only a small portion of the sample experienced either congruent-restrictive (6%) or congruent-permissive (10%) social norms across settings. The majority experienced incongruent social norms, including the developmentally normative-low risk (39%), developmentally normative-high risk (40%), and resilient (5%) profiles. Adolescents with the congruent-restrictive profile and developmentally normative-low risk profiles exhibited the least risky health behaviors over time, followed by those with the resilient profile, and adolescents with the developmentally normative-high risk and the congruent-permissive profile exhibited the greatest risky health behaviors over time. Each profile was associated with unique developmental, socio-demographic, and psychosocial characteristics. The findings highlighted the complexity of social norms across contexts and the developmental versus risky natures of these social norm profiles.

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