Conceptions and perceived influence of peer groups: interviews with preadolescents and adolescents.

S. F. O'Brien, K. L. Bierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


72 fifth-, eighth-, and eleventh-grade boys and girls were interviewed to investigate developmental changes in perceptions of peer groups and group influence. Results indicated that preadolescents defined groups on the basis of common activities and social behavior and considered group influence to be greatest in these domains. Older adolescents were more likely to describe peer-group influence as global and far reaching, affecting one's appearance, illicit acts, attitudes, and values. Corresponding to increases in peer-group conceptions emphasizing group attitudes/norms and global influence were increases in the extent to which subjects felt that peer-group acceptance or rejection influenced self-evaluation. Developmental changes in the apparent reference-group functions of peer groups for adolescent identity formation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1360-1365
Number of pages6
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Conceptions and perceived influence of peer groups: interviews with preadolescents and adolescents.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this