The Forgotten Peer for Black Adolescents
McGloin, Jean M.
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Efforts to understand peer influence among adolescents have established the robust relationship between having deviant peers and future deviant behavior. Nonetheless, research suggests peer influence affects different types of adolescents in different ways. Specifically, Black adolescents may be less susceptible to friends compared to White adolescents and possess stronger family-orientation, suggesting that another peer may assume a heightened salience. Namely, siblings may affect deviance of Black adolescents whereas friends will have a minimal impact. This thesis used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to evaluate the relative strength of friend and sibling influence on Black and White adolescent deviant behavior. Results indicate that siblings explain Black and White adolescent drinking and smoking; however, the effect of siblings is stronger among Black adolescents. Friends only emerge as a significant predictor of delinquency for White adolescents. Methodological and theoretical implications for future research on peer processes are discussed.