Over the past 50 years, a large body of work has demonstrated that during childhood and adolescence peers are strong socialization agents influencing youth development across a wide array of behavioral domains. In this report, we highlight how this long-standing research focus on peer influence may benefit from undertaking new directions that have been largely neglected in prior work. Specifically, we propose and discuss five main issues that we believe future peer influence studies should aim to address: (1) extending the examination of peer influence to multiple potential sources of socialization beyond close friends; (2) examining peer influence effects over shorter time frames and in real time; (3) testing indirect forms of peer influence; (4) extending the conceptualization and measurement of peer influence susceptibility; and (5) examining positive and adaptive forms of peer influence. The integration of recent theoretical and methodological advances from other disciplines will enable peer influence researchers to answer these and other exciting questions to better elucidate how and when peers are more likely to influence youth development.
Prinstein, Mitchell J. and Giletta, Matteo
"Five Priorities for Future Research on Child and Adolescent Peer Influence,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 67:
4, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol67/iss4/2