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Conduct Disorder

Peer Deviance

As development progresses, children become more involved in choosing and shaping their environments. In particular, adolescents are more active in shaping the constituency of their peer environment, and unfortunately may select settings with greater prevalence of problem behavior and substance use. Parent involvement and monitoring of adolescent activities can be an important counteractive force in the drift to deviant peers.

Evidence is compelling that the peer group can cause escalations in drug use, delinquency, and violent behavior in adolescence (Dishion, Spracklen, and Andrews 1996). Problem behavior becomes a mechanism for making friends and eventually in selecting relationship partners with similar values. When peers encourage deviance, youngsters may become especially difficult to monitor and display more resistance to parenting efforts.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily Health IssuesConduct Disorder - A Model Of Conduct Problems, Biological Factors, Family Management, Peer Deviance, Contextual Influences