Forbidden friends as forbidden fruit: Parental supervision of friendships, contact with deviant peers, and adolescent delinquency

Loes Keijsers, Susan Branje, Skyler T Hawk, Seth J Schwartz, Tom Frijns, Hans M Koot, Pol van Lier, W.H.J.M. Meeus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spending leisure time with deviant peers may have strong influences on adolescents' delinquency. The current 3-wave multi-informant study examined how parental control and parental prohibition of friendships relate to these undesirable peer influences. To this end, annual questionnaires were administered to 497 Dutch youths (283 boys, mean age = 13 years at baseline), their best friends, and both parents. Cross-lagged panel analyses revealed strong longitudinal links from contacts with deviant peers to adolescent delinquency, but not vice versa. Parent-reported prohibition of friendships positively predicted contacts with deviant peers and indirectly predicted higher adolescent delinquency. Similar indirect effects were not found for parental control. The results suggest that forbidden friends may become "forbidden fruit," leading to unintended increases in adolescents' own delinquency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-66
Number of pages16
JournalChild Development
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder/prevention & control
  • Choice Behavior
  • Female
  • Friends/psychology
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Juvenile Delinquency/prevention & control
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Parenting/psychology
  • Peer Group
  • Social Conformity
  • Social Desirability
  • Social Facilitation
  • Social Identification

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