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date: 24 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the interpersonal influence of friendships in the amplification of problem behavior during adolescent development. Two dynamic influence processes are described: deviancy training and coercive joining. The actor–partner interdependence model (APIM) framework is applied to videotaped observations of adolescent friendships, looking at selection and influence processes underlying the amplification of problem behavior through deviancy training and coercive joining dynamics. As such, it is revealed that antisocial youths tend to bring in antisocial friends, a finding consistent with results from several other studies. Together, selection and influence processes contribute to the degree of deviancy training and coercive joining. The amount of observed deviancy training predicts future antisocial behavior, whereas coercive joining uniquely predicts escalations to more serious forms of violence. Implications of these findings are discussed for developmental and intervention science, with the explicit goals of preventing and reducing problem behaviors in childhood and adolescence.

Keywords: externalizing spectrum behaviors, adolescence, friendship, coercion, deviancy training

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