Deviancy training; Deviant peers; Peer influence; Problem behavior
Peer contagion (Dishion and Tipsord 2011) refers to the transmission of deviant behaviors between youth (i.e., children and adolescents). Behaviors are considered deviant if they violate social norms and expectations. This includes, but is not limited to, substance use, delinquency, and violence. Compared to other risk factors, deviant peer affiliation is often the strongest predictor of conduct problems in youth (Deković 1999). Deviant peer affiliation also undermines normative developmental trajectories and places youth at risk for antisocial behaviors in adulthood (Piehler 2016). An understanding of peer contagion is necessary to clinical decision-making that promotes positive youth development.
The social augmentation hypothesis suggests that youth enter into relationships with deviant peers because it is adaptive in their immediate environment (Dishion et al. 2008). Youth...
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