The multifaceted impact of peer relations on aggressive-disruptive behavior in early elementary school

the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group

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49 Scopus citations


Following a large, diverse sample of 4,096 children in 27 schools, this study evaluated the impact of 3 aspects of peer relations, measured concurrently, on subsequent child aggressive- disruptive behavior during early elementary school: peer dislike, reciprocated friends' aggressiveness, and classroom levels of aggressive- disruptive behavior. Teachers rated child aggressive- disruptive behavior in 1st and 3rd grades, and peer relations were assessed during 2nd grade. Results indicated that heightened classroom aggressive- disruptive behavior levels were related to proximal peer relations, including an increased likelihood of having aggressive friends and lower levels of peer dislike of aggressive- disruptive children. Controlling for 1st grade aggressive- disruptive behavior, the three 2nd grade peer experiences each made unique contributions to 3rd grade child aggressive- disruptive behavior. These findings replicate and extend a growing body of research documenting the multifaceted nature of peer influence on aggressive- disruptive behavior in early elementary school. They highlight the importance of the classroom ecology and proximal peer relations in the socialization of aggressive-disruptive behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1186
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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