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The transition into middle school may be a risky period in early adolescence. In particular, friendships, peer status, and parental monitoring during this developmental period can influence the development of problem behavior. This study examined interrelationships among peer and parenting factors that predict changes in problem behavior over the middle school years. A longitudinal sample (580 boys, 698 girls) was assessed in Grades 6 and 8. Peer acceptance, peer rejection, and their interaction predicted increases in problem behavior. Having high-achieving friends predicted less problem behavior. Parental monitoring predicted less problem behavior in general, but also acted as a buffer for students who were most vulnerable to developing problem behavior on the basis of being well liked by some peers, and also disliked by several others. These findings highlight the importance of studying the family–peer mesosystem when considering risk and resilience in early adolescence, and when considering implications for intervention.
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- Predicting Change in Early Adolescent Problem Behavior in the Middle School Years: A Mesosystemic Perspective on Parenting and Peer Experiences
Thomas J. Dishion
- Springer US