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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Crime and delinquency have long been linked to peer and friendship relationships. Compared to children and adults, adolescents spend more time with friends, give them greater importance, and are more strongly influenced by their friends' behaviors and attitudes. This article investigates the role of friendship networks in adolescence. After discussing the theories that have been put forward to explain the role of peer networks for understanding crime, the article describes methodological considerations that must be addressed when studying the link between peers and delinquency. It then examines a number of research applications that have adopted a social network approach to better understand crime/delinquency. It also discusses how social networks are used to understand criminal behavior beyond adolescent delinquency.

Keywords: friendship, peer networks, social networks, delinquency, adolescence, crime, criminal behavior, friends, adolescents

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