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Peer Pressure

Topics: Adolescence, Peer group, Peer pressure / Pages: 25 (6064 words) / Published: Dec 29th, 2012
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Adolescent Autonomy with Parents as a Predictor of Low Susceptibility to Peer Pressure Charlotte A. Geary Distinguished Majors Thesis University of Virginia

Advisor: Joseph P. Allen Second Reader: E. Mavis Hetherington


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Abstract Theorists have proposed that adolescents who are independent from their parents become dependent on their peers and susceptible to peer pressure (Blos, 1979; Steinberg & Silverberg, 1986). This paper examines the relationship between adolescent autonomy within the family and susceptibility to peer pressure. Autonomy was measured from the teen reports, parent reports, and observed family interaction of 88 adolescents when the teens were 16 years old. Then susceptibility to peer pressure was measured from teen reports when they were 18. The study examined three aspects of family relationships that affect teens’ behavioral or socialcognitive autonomy: parental control, decision-making, and conflict resolution. Results indicated that high parental control and decision-making by parents or teens alone was related to high susceptibility to peer pressure. In addition, teens whose mothers undermined their autonomy during conflict resolution were also high in susceptibility to peer influence. However teens who participated in joint decision-making were lower in susceptibility to peer influence. Overall, it was found that autonomy at age 16 could predict low susceptibility to peer pressure at 18. These findings suggest that adolescents may not move from a dependency on parents to a dependency on peers. Instead, autonomy seems to be a consistent trait over time and across different social relationships.

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Adolescent Autonomy with Parents as a Predictor of Low Susceptibility to Peer Pressure Peers become an important influence on behavior during adolescence. As adolescents search for identities separate from those of their parents, they experiment with new identities by participating in the different behaviors of their peers (Allen, Moore, & Kuperminc, 1995). Because they are unsure of their own identities, peer acceptance is important to many adolescents. Acceptance enables a teen to join a particular peer group and identify with the behaviors and attitudes of that group. Adolescents are often willing to conform to their peers’ behaviors in order to be accepted (Newman & Newman, 1976). Conformity may create problems, however, when peers influence each other to participate in deviant activities. For instance, several studies have revealed connections between peer pressure and substance abuse (Flannery, et al., 1994; Dielman, 1994; Thomas & Hsiu, 1993), cigarette smoking (Newman, 1984), and early sexual behavior (Duncan-Ricks, 1992; Janus & Janus, 1985). Certain teens show more susceptibility to such deviant peer pressures than others (Berndt, 1979; Wall, Power, & Arbona, 1993). Therefore it is important to determine the factors that may predict high susceptibility, in order to find ways to prevent adolescents from conforming to deviant peer pressures. Developmental theorists have offered conflicting explanations for the differences in susceptibility to peer influence among various adolescents. Psychoanalysts and other early theorists viewed the growth in peer influence as the result of adolescents’ increased emotional autonomy, which involves individuation from parents, deidealization of parents, and relinquishing of childish dependencies on them for basic needs (Douvan and Adelson, 1966). In this perspective, adolescents establish identities by detaching emotionally from the family and shifting attachments to their peers. These theorists suggested that teenagers become dependent on their peers as they become independent from their parents (A. Freud, 1969; Blos, 1979; Steinberg & Silverberg, 1986). Current researchers, however, emphasize the importance of the ongoing emotional

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attachment to parents as adolescents become more independent (Hill & Holmbeck, 1986; Allen, Aber, & Leadbeater, 1990). In this theory, supportive parents who encourage negotiation and self-regulation raise adolescents who think and behave autonomously (Allen, Hauser, Bell, & O’Connor, 1994). Teenagers without supportive family relationships are less likely to learn to act independently, and are therefore more likely to conform both to their parents and to their peers (Ryan & Lynch, 1989). In this perspective, susceptibility to peer pressure is related to low levels of autonomy in adolescence. The literature therefore has used two different concepts of autonomy, one based on detachment from parents (Blos, 1979; A. Freud, 1958; Steinberg & Silverberg, 1986), and one based upon close relationships with parents (Hill & Holmbeck, 1986; Ryan & Lynch, 1989; Allen, Moore, & Kuperminc, 1995). Both theories define autonomy as independent and selfregulated thought and behavior, but they differ in their explanations of the means by which adolescents reach autonomy. The two theories also offer opposite descriptions of the relationship between autonomy and susceptibility to peer pressure, although few researchers have directly compared the two variables. Steinberg and Silverberg (1986) conducted a study exploring susceptibility to peer pressure and its relationship to emotional autonomy. They operationalized emotional autonomy with a measure designed to assess ? individuation? and ? the relinquishing of childish dependencies.? The researchers used self-report questionnaires to examine certain aspects of adolescents’ relations with their parents. The participants were rated high in emotional autonomy if they demonstrated parental deidealization, nondependency on parents, individuation, and perception of parents as people. Steinberg and Silverberg also measured the participants’ tendencies to conform, by presenting them with a series of hypothetical peer pressures, and asking them how they would respond to each situation. The researchers found that the adolescents who were susceptible to peer pressure were more likely than others to be high in emotional autonomy. Steinberg and Silverberg inferred from their results that emotional

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autonomy from parents does not necessarily correlate with autonomous behavior with peers. They concluded that adolescence is characterized by a trading of dependency on parents for dependency on peers. Ryan and Lynch (1989), however, responded to the study by Steinberg and Silverberg (1986) with a criticism of their operational definition of autonomy. Ryan and Lynch argued that the construct of emotional autonomy did not evaluate an adolescent’s independence; instead it represented a reluctance to rely on parents and an emotional detachment from parents. They conducted a study in which they found that adolescents who were high in Steinberg and Silverberg’s measure of emotional autonomy were low in reported family connectedness and emotional security. Ryan and Lynch suggested that susceptibility to peer pressure is related to the security of attachment to parents. Teens who do not receive support and acceptance from their parents may seek such acceptance from their peers, making them more likely to conform. On the other hand, adolescents with more secure attachments to their parents are also more emotionally secure with their friends. The data from this study suggest, therefore, that a close, supportive relationship with parents can lead to lower susceptibility to peer pressure. Most current researchers agree that adolescents optimally achieve autonomy not through emotional detachment, but rather through an ongoing supportive relationship with parents (Hill & Holmbeck, 1986; Allen, Aber, & Leadbeater, 1990). Research has provided evidence in support of this position. A study by Kandel and Lesser (1972), for example, found that adolescents’ self-reported autonomy correlated with positive family interaction. Adolescents who felt that their parents granted them freedom reported fewer family conflicts than other adolescents. Autonomous teenagers also were more likely to report that they felt close to their parents, that they enjoyed spending time with them, and that they wanted to be like them. These results suggest that autonomy is related to positive family interaction rather than emotional detachment (Hill & Holmbeck, 1986). More recent studies have also supported this position (Grotevant & Cooper, 1985; Allen, Hauser, Eickholt, Bell, & O’Connor, 1994).

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Because of the evidence demonstrating the benefits of close family relationships in adolescence, many current theorists recognize a need to redefine the original concept of autonomy. Early research, such as that of the psychoanalysts or Steinberg and Silverberg (1986), measured emotional autonomy, or the detachment of adolescents from their parents. Today several researchers focus instead on autonomy in the context of family relationships, such as behavioral or social-cognitive autonomy. Behavioral autonomy refers to the degree to which adolescents show responsibility for their actions and regulate their own behavior and attitudes (Douvan and Adelson, 1966). Social-cognitive autonomy, on the other hand, refers to adolescents’ abilities to negotiate and compromise conflicts, express their own opinions, and appreciate differing perspectives from their own (Coser, 1975; Youniss, 1980). The past research on autonomy and susceptibility to peer pressure, however, has focused only on emotional autonomy. Few studies have been conducted examining the connection between susceptibility to peer pressure and behavioral or social-cognitive autonomy. The current study will explore autonomy in the context of family relationships, unlike the past research that focused on detachment. This study will compare susceptibility to peer pressure to three aspects of family relationships that have been shown by past research to influence adolescent behavioral or social-cognitive autonomy. The first aspect of family relationships that this study will address is parental control. Theorists suggest that one of the ways adolescents can best achieve autonomy is by gradually assuming the control previously held by their parents (Hill & Holmbeck, 1986). By having small opportunities to govern their own actions, adolescents develop a sense of self-reliance and the confidence to make autonomous decisions (Sessa & Steinberg, 1987). As teens become more self-reliant, they acquire more responsibilities, until they can eventually depend on themselves for their basic needs (Hill & Holmbeck, 1986). This increased self-regulation, responsibility, and independence are defining characteristics of behavioral autonomy (Douvan & Adelson, 1966).

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Excessive parental control, however, can undermine an adolescent’s development of autonomy. Teens who feel that their parents constantly try to manipulate or change them will likely have difficulty recognizing their own adequacy or trusting their own ideas (Hoffman, 1970). When parents are restrictive and unwilling to provide opportunities for teen selfregulation, adolescents learn to have neither power in their interactions with others, nor confidence in their self-worth. As a result, they fail to learn to express personal initiative or self-reliance (White, 1989). Feelings of parental overcontrol and rejection have been connected with maladaptive classroom behaviors (Emmerich, 1977), substance abuse (Wilcox, 1985; Pandina & Schuele, 1983), and peer advice seeking (Fuligni & Eccles, 1993). The current study will also examine patterns of decision-making, which is another aspect of family relationships that influence adolescent autonomy. Parents who assert unqualified control and insist on making all of the family decisions tend to raise teens who are low in autonomy (Dornbusch et al., 1985; Litovsky & Dusek, 1985). When teens have little opportunity to participate in decision-making, they do not learn to take responsibility for their own behavior or to understand their competencies (Hoffman, 1970). Eccles and her colleagues (1991) report that teens whose parents control family decisions tend to be more dependent on the support of their peers and are more likely to disobey their parents in order to be popular with their friends. Decision-making by parents alone has also been associated with low selfesteem (Litovsky & Dusek, 1985), low self-regulation (Grolnick & Ryan, 1989), and low achievement (Eccles et al., 1991), and therefore can inhibit adolescent behavioral autonomy. Decision-making by adolescents, however, can also lead to low behavioral autonomy. Parents who allow their children make all of their own decisions may not be providing all of the support and guidance that adolescents need in order to become autonomous (Eccles et al., 1991). Without proper parental supervision, teens have difficulty learning proper behavior and may therefore make inappropriate decisions. Studies have indicated that excessive adolescent decision-making is associated with teens who are impulsive and dependent (Baumrind, 1971)

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and more likely to participate in deviant peer activities (Simmons & Blyth, 1987). The most autonomous teens are likely to have parents who encourage joint decisionmaking and cooperation (Dornbusch et al., 1985). Joint decision-making, in which both parents and their teens negotiate to make decisions, gives teens control over their lives without sacrificing parental supervision and guidance. Adolescents whose families use joint decisionmaking tend to be more socially responsible, self-assertive, and independent than teens in families where the parents or the teens make the decisions alone (Dornbusch et al., 1985; Baumrind, 1971). Parents that use joint decision-making encourage negotiation and compromise, by teaching their children to express their opinions and to consider alternate perspectives. They respect their children’s opinions, and as a result, the teens learn not only that their own opinions are important, but they also learn to consider the merits of other people’s views (Maccoby & Martin, 1983). These characteristics of negotiation and cooperation lead to social-cognitive autonomy in the adolescents (Youniss, 1980). The third element of this study will examine social-cognitive autonomy in family conflict resolution. When adolescents and their parents discuss sources of conflict, they tend to resolve these conflicts with behaviors that either encourage or undermine adolescent autonomy (Allen, Moore, & Kuperminc, 1995). Families that use negotiation strategies to settle conflicts, such as stating their own opinions confidently while examining opposing positions, tend to encourage social-cognitive autonomy, as previously discussed. On the other hand, families that overpersonalize disagreements, or use pressure instead of rational discussion to make their points, tend to inhibit adolescent autonomy (Allen, Hauser, Eickholt, Bell, & O’Connor, 1995). Adolescents in families that undermine their autonomy do not learn to express their viewpoints or to assert their individuality (Steinberg, 1990), and therefore rely more on the decisions of others (Eccles, 1991). As a result, these teens may also be less assertive and independent with their peers, and therefore more susceptible to peer pressure. The current study will address this possibility by comparing adolescents’ susceptibility to peer pressure with

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their levels of autonomy, as measured by their families’ patterns of conflict resolution, decisionmaking, and parental control. A methodological problem with the past research on autonomy is that it has used primarily self-report measures. Self-reports can lead to inaccurate results, because adolescents who describe their own autonomy may offer biased data. For instance, teens may provide information that they believe will be socially acceptable, or information that will help to present themselves in they way they wish to be seen. Participants may also unknowingly provide inaccurate self-report data, because they may be unaware of their own level of autonomy. Nisbett and Wilson (1977) argue that subjective reports of cognitive processes are inaccurate, because people do not base such statements on true introspection. Instead, they base their reports on inferred causal theories, which could provide biased information. Another problem with self-report measures is that they do not directly assess parenting behavior. Instead, they examine autonomy from the subjective viewpoint of the adolescent. The current study expands upon the literature by collecting data regarding autonomy from multiple sources. This study uses a variety of self-report questionnaires, in order to assess the adolescents’ perceptions of their parents’ behaviors and of their own autonomy. The study also collects data from parentreports of their teens’ autonomy, as well as objective, observed data from family interaction. A final shortcoming of the past research is that it has provided little longitudinal data to examine the long-term effects of parenting styles on susceptibility to peer pressure. The current study, however, uses longitudinal data collected two years apart. This study will investigate whether it is possible to predict susceptibility to peer pressure at age 18 from autonomy at age 16. Because conformity to peers has decreased in most adolescents by late adolescence (Costanzo, 1970), a significant connection between autonomy at 16 and conformity at 18 may indicate a long-lasting effect of autonomy and parental behavior on peer relationships. The present study will examine several aspects of adolescent autonomy. Information

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will be collected about parental control, family decision-making, and conflict resolution, in order to investigate the relationships of these factors to peer influence. The study will address three questions. The first question is whether the amount of control parents exert on their teens at age 16 is related to their susceptibility to peer pressure at age 18. The second question examines whether susceptibility to peer pressure at age 18 is related to patterns of family decision-making at age 16 in which adolescents make shared decisions with their parents, parents make decisions for them, or adolescents make their own decisions. The final question of the study focuses on whether susceptibility to peer pressure at age 18 is related to the exhibiting or undermining of autonomy during family conflict resolution at age 16. Method Participants Data for the analyses in this study were collected in two waves from 48 female and 40 male adolescents. The mean age of the adolescents during the first wave of data collection was 15.99 years (S.D.=0.81), with a range from 14.00 to 18.75. The participants were assessed again two years later, when the mean age of the adolescents was 18.12 years (S.D.=0.95), with a range from 15.92 to 22.00. 65.91% of the adolescents were Caucasian, and 31.10% were African-American. Ninth and tenth grade students were recruited for the study from two public high schools. Students were selected if they exhibited at least one risk factor for academic or social problems. The four risk factors of the selection criteria were school suspension, multiple absences, grade retention, or course failure. The sample included adolescents at various levels of functioning, ranging from serious problem behavior to occasional, minor difficulties. Data were also collected from 85 of the adolescents’ mothers or stepmothers, and 35 fathers or stepfathers. The mothers’ mean level of education was 4.33 on an eight-point scale, where a score of four represented some college or training beyond high school. The mean education level of the fathers was 4.91, with a score of five indicating a four-year college

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degree. The parents’ education levels ranged from eighth grade or less to doctoral degrees. The median family income was $25,000, and ranged from $2,500 to $70,000. The sample consisted of families from rural, urban, and suburban areas. Measures Adolescent Autonomy Monitoring and Control. The Monitoring and Control measure used in this study was a modification of the Assessment of Child Monitoring and Control questionnaire developed by Hetherington and Clingempeel (1992). They derived the original measure directly from the dimension of parental authority-directiveness within Baumrind’s (1979) parental behavior QSort. The revised measure used five-point rating scales to assess the monitoring, attempted control, and actual control that parents had over their adolescents. The current study examined the parents’ attempted and actual control for analyses. Participants were given a list of 13 aspects of adolescent character development and deviant behavior. Aspects of character development included choice of friends, dating behaviors, and intellectual interests. Items that involved deviant behavior included drug use, sexual activity, and problem behavior in school. Participants were asked to rate how often a target parent tried to control and actually controlled the adolescent in each of these 13 items. Participants rated the frequency on a scale of one (never) to five (always). The adolescents completed a separate MC questionnaire for each parent. Each parent also filled out the measure according to their own perceptions of themselves as parents. The present study examined four scales of the MC measure: parents’ attempted control of character, actual control of character, attempted control of deviance, and actual control of deviance. Each parent was assessed individually for each scale, and two reporters, the parent and the teen, provided separate data about each parent’s control. The internal consistencies of the four scales ranged from 0.82 to 0.90. Refer to Appendix A for a complete example of the parents’ version of the Monitoring and Control measure. The items on the teens’ version

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address the same topics as those on the parents’ version. Child Report on Parent Behavior Inventory. This study used Schludermann and Schludermann’s (1988) CRPBI-30 to assess children’s perceptions of parental support, control, and autonomy granting. Schaefer (1965) designed the original CRPBI, which Schludermann and Schludermann revised in 1970 and again in 1988. The revised version, the CRBPI-30, contains fewer items than Schaefer’s measure, but factor analysis has found it to be reliable with the earlier version. This study used the CRPBI-30 to measure adolescents’ perceptions of parental control. The teens read a list of descriptions of parenting styles, and indicated whether each description was ? like,? ? somewhat like,? or ? not like? their parent. The adolescents completed a separate questionnaire for each parent, and each parent completed the measure as well. Parents were directed to fill out the measure the way they believed their adolescent would fill it out about them. The CRPBI measured three dimensions of parenting. The current study used two of these dimensions for analysis. The psychological autonomy vs. psychological control scale was characterized by perceptions of the parent using indirect psychological methods of control, such as guilt, anxiety, or love withdrawal. Items such as ? [My father] is always trying to change me,? and ? If I have hurt [my mother’s] feelings, [she] stops talking to me until I please her again? ] were used to measure this scale. The firm control vs. lax control scale involved direct attempts of parental control, such as rule setting and enforcement. This scale was measured by the participants’ responses to such statements as ? [My mother] is very strict with me,? and ? [My father] lets me do anything I like to do.? Data for the psychological autonomy scale and firm control scale were collected about each individual parent from two reporters, the parent and the teen. The internal consistencies for the scales ranged from 0.55 to 0.82. See Appendix B for a copy of the teens’ version of the measure. The items on the parents’ version are identical to those on the teens’ version. Parent-Child Conflict. This study used a modified version of Hetherington and

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Clingempeel’s (1992) Parent-Child Conflict measure. The PCC questionnaire contained 39 items about which parents and adolescents sometimes disagree. The items on the questionnaire measured conflict in four areas of adolescent behavior, including deviance, which covered topics such as alcohol and drug use; adolescent issues, which included choice of dating partners and music; household routines, which involved topics such as chores and curfews; and behavior toward others, which included items about manners and behavior toward family members. Adolescent participants were asked to indicate on a seven-point scale how often they disagreed with the target parent about each item during the past month. The seven-point scale offered responses ranging from never disagreeing about the item (zero) to disagreeing more than once a day (six). The adolescents then indicated who ultimately made the final decision in each type of disagreement, by selecting ? parent,? ? teen,? ? both,? or ? nobody.? The participants left this section blank for items with no disagreement, but the current study used only the items with reported conflict for analyses. Adolescent participants filled out one PCC measure for each parent. Each parent also completed the measure according to their own views of family disagreements. See Appendix C for the parents’ version of the Parent-Child conflict measure. The items on the teens’ version cover the same topics as those on the parents’ version. Autonomy and Relatedness Coding System. The Autonomy and Relatedness Coding System (Allen, Hauser, Bell, Boykin, & Tate; 1995) used in this study was a revised version of the coding system originally developed by Allen, Hauser, Borman, and Worrell (1991). The coding system was designed to measure family behaviors that may influence adolescent autonomy. Data for the current study were collected in ten-minute videotaped interaction tasks, in which adolescents and their parents were asked to discuss topics about which they disagreed. Trained coders examined the videotapes for speech patterns within the mothers or teens that exhibited or undermined adolescent autonomy. The fathers’ behaviors were not coded for analyses.

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Ten specific spoken behaviors were grouped into four major scales: exhibiting autonomy, undermining autonomy, exhibiting relatedness, and undermining relatedness. This study used only the first two scales for analyses. The scale for exhibiting autonomy contained codes for two of the ten types of spoken behaviors: stating reasons clearly for disagreeing, and demonstrating confidence in stating thoughts and opinions. Three speech types were coded as undermining autonomy: overpersonalizing disagreements, recanting positions without having been persuaded that the positions are wrong, and pressuring other people to agree, instead of making rational arguments. Such behaviors used psychologically controlling techniques that made it difficult for family members to discuss their own reasons for their positions. Both the mothers’ behaviors and the adolescents’ behaviors that exhibited or undermined autonomy were coded. Each occurrence of these behaviors was coded on a scale from zero to four, with halfpoint intervals. Coders followed concrete behavioral guidelines to assign scores to individual speeches, and then the scores for each of the individual speeches within a scale were combined to provide an overall score for that scale. Spearman-Brown correlations between raters ranged from 0.66 to 0.85. Susceptibility to Peer Pressure Monitoring and Control--Peer. The study used a separate version of the Monitoring and Control measure to determine the extent to which peers influenced the adolescents’ behavior. This version examined the same thirteen areas of adolescents’ lives that were listed in the parent measure, but in this version the teens rated the influence that a specific friend had over each area. The teens selected two peers to describe with this measure, and they completed a separate questionnaire for each peer. This measure assessed the peers’ knowledge about the teens’ lives, the peers’ attempted influence over the teens’ lives, and their actual influence over the teens. The current study examined only the peers’ attempted and actual influence for analyses. The adolescents were given a list of thirteen aspects of adolescent behavior, relating to character development and deviant behavior. They were asked to rate how often the target peer tried to

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control and actually influence the adolescent’s lives in each aspect. Participants rated the frequency on a scale of one (never) to five (always). Data were collected for four scales: the peer’s attempted influence of character, attempted influence of deviance, actual influence of character, and actual influence of deviance. The internal consistencies for the scales ranged from 0.84 to 0.87. Refer to Appendix D for the complete MCP measure. Procedure After the adolescents were selected as potential participants, their families were contacted by mail and by telephone to introduce them to the study. The families who agreed to participate were scheduled to attend two interview sessions at the University of Virginia. Each session lasted three hours, and the families were paid $105 upon completion of the interviews. The participants returned two years later for the second wave of this longitudinal study. During the second wave, the families attended two more three-hour interviews, and afterward they were paid $115 for participation. Data regarding adolescent autonomy were collected during the first wave of the study, and then data regarding susceptibility to peer pressure were collected during the second wave. At each interview, the participants provided informed consent, and the researchers emphasized the confidentiality of the participants’ responses. With the exception of two family interaction tasks, each family member was interviewed in a separate room and with a different researcher. The adolescents and their parents completed measures that evaluated various constructs, such as family relationships, delinquent behavior, and psychosocial development. The researchers informed the participants that they were not obligated to answer any question that made them uncomfortable, and that they could end the interview at any time. At the end of each session, the researchers provided the families with lists of community referrals, to enable them to discuss any of the issues mentioned in the interviews. Child care and transportation were also provided when necessary. Results

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Preliminary Analyses Table 1 presents the means and standard deviations of all of the parental control variables that were reported by parents or teens when the teens were 16 years old.

Peer Pressure 17 Table 1 Means and Standard Deviations of Parental Control Variables at Age 16 Mother Report M (s.d.) Parental Monitoring and Control 1. Attempted control of character 2. Attempted control of deviance 3. Actual control of character 4. Actual control of deviance Parental Behaviors 1. Firm vs. lax control 2. Psychological control vs. autonomy N=83 Father Report M (s.d.) N=30 Teen Report of mother M (s.d.) N=87 of father M (s.d.) N=60

17.63 (3.97) 16.73 (3.89) 14.08 (5.06) 12.35 (5.02) 31.44 (8.17) 29.39 (8.28) 26.51 (8.38) 22.06 (9.24) 15.02 (4.32) 14.33 (3.59) 11.70 (4.36) 9.47 (4.54)

26.51 (8.10) 26.73 (7.18) 21.85 (8.90) 18.12 (9.01) N=84 N=31 N=87 N=58

21.27 (4.03) 22.57 (4.21) 18.72 (3.99) 20.14 (5.08) 17.25 (4.11) 16.05 (4.11) 16.52 (4.33) 15.69 (4.82)

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Table 2 presents the means and standard deviations of all of the family decision-making variables that were reported by parents or teens when the teens were 16 years old. Table 2 Means and Standard Deviations of Family Decision-Making Variables at Age 16 Mother Report M (s.d.) N=80 0.29 (0.39) 0.32 (0.32) 0.43 (0.26) 0.36 (0.35) Father Report M (s.d.) N=32 0.25 (0.41) 0.41 (0.37) 0.42 (0.30) 0.40 (0.41) Teen Report of mother M (s.d.) N=88 0.33 (0.40) 0.27 (0.32) 0.42 (0.29) 0.33 (0.38) of father M (s.d.) N=54 0.20 (0.35) 0.22 (0.29) 0.37 (0.33) 0.32 (0.43)

Patterns of Family Decision-Making

Parent decision-making 1. Parent decides deviance 2. Parent decides adolescent issues 3. Parent decides household routines 4. Parent decides behavior toward others Teen Decision-Making 5. Teen decides deviance 6. Teen decides adolescent issues 7. Teen decides household routines 8. Teen decides behavior toward others Joint Decision-Making 9. Both decide deviance 10. Both decide adolescent issues 11. Both decide household routines 12. Both decide behavior toward others

0.11 (0.13) 0.13 (0.22) 0.14 (0.21) 0.09 (0.20)

0.07 (0.21) 0.13 (0.23) 0.14 (0.25) 0.07 (0.17)

0.10 (0.26) 0.22 (0.28) 0.17 (0.21) 0.12 (0.26)

0.10 (0.26) 0.18 (0.29) 0.20 (0.27) 0.08 (0.19)

0.44 (0.46) 0.34 (0.35) 0.28 (0.24) 0.34 (0.36)

0.51 (0.47) 0.36 (0.34) 0.34 (0.28) 0.41 (0.41)

0.42 (0.43) 0.39 (0.37) 0.24 (0.23) 0.29 (0.38)

0.59 (0.46) 0.43 (0.41) 0.30 (0.32) 0.50 (0.47)

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Table 3 presents the means and standard deviations of the autonomy constructs that were observed during family interaction when the teens were 16 years old. Table 3 Means and Standard Deviations of Observed Autonomy Behaviors with Mothers at Age 16 Mean (S.D) Autonomy behaviors 1. Mother exhibiting autonomy with adolescent 2. Mother undermining autonomy with adolescent 3. Adolescent exhibiting autonomy with mother 4. Adolescent undermining autonomy with mother N=77 2.60 (0.76) 0.86 (0.46) 1.88 (0.94) 0.93 (0.62)

Table 4 presents the means and standard deviations of the susceptibility to peer pressure variables, which were reported by the teens when they were 18 years old. Table 4 Means and Standard Deviations of Susceptibility to Peer Pressure Variables at Age 18 Teen-Reported Peer Influence Peer Monitoring and Control 1. Attempted influence of character 2. Attempted influence of deviance 3. Actual influence of character 4. Actual influence of deviance Mean (S.D.) N=88 11.04 (4.42) 16.55 (7.15) 9.51 (3.96) 15.07 (6.97)

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The study next examined the correlations within the parental control variables on the Monitoring and Control measure. The correlations of parents’ attempted control of character with their actual control of character ranged from 0.56 to 0.65. The correlations of parents’ attempted and actual control of deviance ranged from 0.51 to 0.73. These results suggest that when parents tried to control their teens, they were likely to actually control them. Correlations of firm control with psychological control ranged from 0.29 to 0.53 across different parents and reporters, suggesting that parents who used firm rules and limits were also likely to use psychologically controlling guilt or love withdrawal. Then the relationship between parent- and teen-reported decision-making on the Parent-Child Conflict questionnaire was examined, but few significant correlations were found. The correlations between mother’s reports and teens’ reports of decision-making with mothers ranged from -0.02 to 0.55. The correlations between fathers’ reports and teens’ reports of fathers ranged from -0.01 to 0.31. These results suggest that there was little or no relationship between the parents’ and teens’ perceptions of family decision-making. The results are presented in Table 5.

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Table 5 Correlations between parent- and teen-reported family decision-making Style of Decision-Making Mother-reports and teen-reports of mothers 0.15+ 0.06 0.08 -0.02 0.21** -0.01 0.05 0.00 -0.00 0.14+ 0.55 0.01 Father-reports and teen-reports of fathers 0.31* 0.12 -0.00 0.17 0.08 -0.08 0.01 -0.01 -0.01 0.05 0.08 0.11

1. Both decide deviance 2. Both decide adolescent issues 3. Both decide household routines 4. Both decide behavior to others 5. Teen decides deviance 6. Teen decides adolescent issues 7. Teen decides household routines 8. Teen decides behavior to others 9. Parent decides deviance 10. Parent decides adolescent issues 11. Parent decides household routines 12. Parent decides behavior to others **p < 0.01; ; *p < 0.05; +p < 0.10

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Next the study examined the relationship between different patterns of decision-making about four different issues. Correlational analyses of parent and teen reports revealed negative correlations between each of the styles of decision-making. The strongest negative correlations existed between reports of parent- and joint-decision-making. These results indicate that if parents made most of a family’s decisions, then the parents were unlikely to make joint decisions with their teens. These correlations are presented in Table 6. Table 6 Range of correlations between different styles of family decision-making about various issues Deviance Adolescent issues -0.74*** to -0.51*** -0.27*** to -0.16*** -0.48*** to -0.28*** **p < 0.01; Household routines -0.50*** to -0.43*** -0.45*** to -0.33*** -0.34*** to -0.19*** *p < 0.05 Behavior toward others -0.79*** to -0.51*** -0.27*** to -0.15*** -0.29*** to -0.16***

Parent decides with both decides Parent decides with teen decides Teen decides with both decides

-0.68*** to -0.57*** -0.28*** to -0.10*** -0.46*** to -0.35*** ***p < 0.001;

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Correlational analyses also examined the relationships between four different family interaction behaviors during conflict resolution. Analyses revealed positive correlations between mothers’ undermining of autonomy and teens’ undermining of autonomy. These results indicate that the mothers who pressured their teens or overpersonalized arguments were likely to have teens who behaved similarly toward their mothers during conflicts. However contrary to expectations, the teens’ undermining of autonomy was also positively correlated to teens’ exhibiting of autonomy. Table 7 depicts these correlations. Table 7 Correlations between family conflict resolution behaviors Exhibiting autonomy: teen to mother Exhibiting autonomy: teen to mother Exhibiting autonomy: mother to teen Undermining autonomy: teen to mother Undermining autonomy: mother to teen 1.00 Exhibiting autonomy: mother to teen 0.30** Undermining autonomy: teen to mother 0.33*** Undermining autonomy: mother to teen 0.06













*** p < 0.001;

** p

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  • Peer Pressure
  • peer pressure
  • Peer Pressure
  • peer pressure
  • Peer Pressure
  • Peer Pressure