Parental Autonomy Granting And Its Protective Effects Against Delinquent Peer Influence
MetadataShow full item record
The author examined the relation between peer reports of peer delinquency and adolescent self-report of their own delinquency. Possible mechanisms of peer influence in relation to delinquent behavior were derived from differential association theory and social learning theory. In addition, it was examined to what extent the hypothesized relationship was moderated by parental autonomy granting. The sample existed of 602 adolescents (mean age = 13.4 years) from 28 school districts in Iowa and Pennsylvania, USA. The results of multi-level negative binomial regression on five waves of panel data showed that peer delinquency and adolescent delinquency were positively associated on the between-person level. The within-person results reveal no effects of changes in exposure to peer delinquency over time. Parental autonomy granting as reported by parents negatively moderated the association on the between-person level, as for adolescents whose parents report high levels of autonomy granting the association was no longer significant. Adolescent reported parental autonomy granting was found to positively moderate the association on the between-person level, meaning that the positive association between peer delinquency and self-reported delinquency was only significant for adolescents who reported high levels of autonomy granting. The findings implicate that further research to the more refined mechanisms of parental autonomy granting as a potential protective factor is needed. Policy interventions aimed at reducing adolescent delinquency and protecting adolescents from the maladaptive effects of delinquent peer associations should take into account more well-established linkages between the peer and parent contexts.