Understanding Peer Influence in Children and Adolescents

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Mitchell J. Prinstein, Kenneth A. Dodge
Guilford Press, May 13, 2008 - Psychology - 255 pages
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Scientists, educators, and parents of teens have long recognized the potency of peer influences on children and youth, but until recently, questions of how and why adolescents emulate their peers were largely overlooked. This book presents a comprehensive framework for understanding the processes by which peers shape each other's attitudes and behavior, and explores implications for intervention and prevention. Leading authorities share compelling findings on such topics as how drug use, risky sexual behavior, and other deviant behaviors "catch on" among certain peer groups or cliques; the social, cognitive, developmental, and contextual factors that strengthen or weaken the power of peer influence; and the nature of positive peer influences and how to support them.


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Peer Influence Mechanisms
Moderation Mediation Modification and theMedia
Dynamics and Ecology of Adolescent Peer Influence
Applications to Adolescent Social Influence
Implications for Alcohol
Identity Signaling Social Influence and Social Contagion
Underexplored Contexts

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About the author (2008)

Mitchell J. Prinstein, PhD, is Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research examines interpersonal models of internalizing symptoms and health-risk behaviors among adolescents, with a focus on the unique role of peer relationships in the developmental psychopathology of depression, self-injury, and suicidality. Currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and a member of the National Institutes of Health?s Study Section on Psychosocial Development, Risk, and Prevention, Dr. Prinstein is a recipient of the Blau Early Career Award from the Society of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA). He is a Fellow of the APA Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.


Kenneth A. Dodge, PhD, is the William McDougall Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, and Director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. He is interested in how problem behaviors such as chronic violence, school failure, drug use, and child abuse develop across the lifespan; how they can be prevented; and how communities can implement policies to prevent these outcomes and promote children?s optimal development. Dr. Dodge has been honored with the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the APA; the Boyd McCandless Award from APA Division 7, Developmental Psychology; and the Senior Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health.?