Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

The Role of Peers in Personality Development

  • Betsi LittleEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1931-1


Peers, or a group of people who have similar interests, age, background, or social status, serve as an important source of information, feedback, and support to individuals as they develop a sense of self. Peers help socialize an individual by reinforcing or punishing behaviors or interpersonal interactions. Peers are essential throughout one’s social development, but research suggests this is particularly true during adolescence.


While most research suggests that family is the most influential in personality development (Hutteman et al. 2014), the role of peers can be highly influential, particularly in childhood and adolescence.

Socialization is the process by which an individual acquires the behavioral and social skills needed and learns the social norms of his or her culture, in order to become a functioning and accepted member of the group. However, the process of socialization not only teaches appropriate behaviors within a group but can also influence how...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National UniversityLa JollaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • John F. Rauthmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA