Adolescent-Peer Relationships, Separation and Detachment From Parents, and Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors: Linkages and Interactions

Justin Jager, Cynthia X. Yuen, Diane L. Putnick, Charlene Hendricks, Marc H. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most research exploring the interplay between context and adolescent separation and detachment has focused on the family; in contrast, this investigation directs its attention outside of the family to peers. Utilizing a latent variable approach for modeling interactions and incorporating reports of behavioral adjustment from 14-year-old adolescents (N = 190) and their mothers, we examine how separation and detachment relate to adolescent-peer relationships, and whether peer relationships moderate how separation and detachment relate to adolescent internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Positive peer relationships were both associated with lower detachment and sharply attenuated relations between detachment and higher adolescent internalizing and externalizing. Separation from parents was unrelated to peer relationships, and regardless of whether peer relationships were positive, separation was not related to adolescent internalizing and externalizing. We integrate these findings with those from family-focused investigations and discuss their substantive and clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-537
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 27 2015

Keywords

  • detachment
  • externalizing
  • internalizing
  • latent variable interactions
  • separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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