18-06-2019 | Empirical Research
Prosocial Peers as Risk, Protective, and Promotive Factors for the Prevention of Delinquency and Drug Use
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 3/2020Log in om toegang te krijgen
Risk, protective, and promotive factors are instrumental in predicting and, in some cases, explaining human behavior. In the current study, an attempt was made to determine which of these three functions prosocial peers served with respect their effect on future delinquency and drug use. A sample of 2905 youth (51% female, 47% White, 21% Hispanic, 17% Black, mean age = 12.14 years) from the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) project were included in this study. Longitudinal analyses, conducted over a period of one year and controlling for age, sex, race, parental knowledge, parental support, unsupervised routine activities, peer delinquency, and prior delinquency/drug use, revealed that associating with prosocial peers led to significant reductions in property offending and drug use. Although there was no evidence that prosocial peers moderated or neutralized the risk generated by delinquent peer associations, they did serve as risk and promotive factors. Hence, associating less often with prosocial peers predicted a rise in property offending and drug use (risk effect), whereas associating more often with prosocial peers predicted a decline in future property offending and drug use (promotive effect).