Changes in self-control during adolescence

Investigating the influence of the adolescent peer network

Ryan C. Meldrum, Jacob Young, Frank M. Weerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Previous research on changes in self-control during adolescence provides evidence of stability for most individuals but change for some, drawing attention to the role of factors that may account for change. We contribute to this area of research by examining the extent to which changes in peer self-control and peer delinquency within peer networks is related to individual self-control during adolescence. Method: This study uses longitudinal social network data from three waves of the NSCR School Project to construct growth curve models of self-control and MLM models to examine the factors that contribute to changes in self-control. Results: Growth curve models demonstrate within and between-individual differences in changes to self-control that occur between ages 12-17. Furthermore, multilevel models reveal that changes in levels of self-control and delinquency among respondent's peers are related to between-individual differences and within-individual changes in self-control, net of parental social control. Conclusions: This study finds that self-control continues to evolve during adolescence as a result of processes that take place within adolescent peer-networks, calling into question Gottfredson and Hirschi's contention that peers are inconsequential for explaining differences in self-control across individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-462
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

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self-control
adolescence
adolescent
delinquency
Individuality
Self-Control
Peer Influence
Growth
social control
Research
Social Support
Longitudinal Studies
social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Changes in self-control during adolescence : Investigating the influence of the adolescent peer network. / Meldrum, Ryan C.; Young, Jacob; Weerman, Frank M.

In: Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 40, No. 6, 11.2012, p. 452-462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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