Friendship Context Matters: Examining the Domain Specificity of Alcohol and Depression Socialization Among Adolescents

Matteo Giletta*, Ron H. J. Scholte, Mitchell J. Prinstein, Rutger C. M. E. Engels, Emanuela Rabaglietti, William J. Burk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Driven by existing socialization theories, this study describes specific friendship contexts in which peer influence of alcohol misuse and depressive symptoms occurs. In the fall and spring of the school year, surveys were administered to 704 Italian adolescents (53 % male, M (age) = 15.53) enrolled in Grades 9, 10 and 11. Different friendship contexts were distinguished based on two dimensions referring to the level (i.e., best friendships and friendship networks) and reciprocity (i.e., unilateral and reciprocal) of the relationships. Social network and dyadic analyses were applied in a complementary manner to estimate peer socialization effects across the different friendship contexts. Results showed that within friendship networks both male and female adolescents' alcohol misuse was affected by friends' alcohol misuse, regardless of whether the relationship was reciprocated or not. Conversely, peer socialization of depressive symptoms only emerged within very best friendship dyads of female adolescents. Findings suggest that the effects of peer socialization depend on the friendship context and specific types of behaviors. The theoretical and methodological implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1043
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Peer influence
  • Friendship
  • Networks
  • Dyads
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Alcohol misuse
  • PEER INFLUENCE
  • GENDER-DIFFERENCES
  • RISK BEHAVIOR
  • SUBSTANCE USE
  • INTERPERSONAL STRESS
  • SHORT QUESTIONNAIRE
  • SEX-DIFFERENCES
  • CLOSE FRIEND
  • TRADE-OFFS
  • SAME-SEX

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