We consider the dynamic process linking coercion within adolescent friendships to coercion within committed adult romantic relationships. Previous research has found that hostile talk among male friends towards women was prognostic of men’s aggressive exchanges with their female romantic partners (Capaldi et al., 2001). However, there has been little research on the impact of female friendships on future coercion in romantic relationships. Therefore, we examined gender as a moderator of the socializing influence of friendships on romantic relationships ten years later using direct observations. At age 17, friends were videotaped during an observational interaction task. At age 27 (n= 222), participants and their romantic partners were videotaped discussing relationship topics. Hierarchical regression revealed that deviancy training with friends significantly predicted coercive relationship dynamics in the romantic relationship ten years later (b= 0.76, p<0.05). Surprisingly, gender significantly moderated this effect, such that it was stronger among females (ΔR2= 0.05, b= -0.56, p<0.05). This finding suggests the need for consideration of the unique needs of adolescent girls with respect to the long-term risk of developing unhealthy and conflictual relationships, and to consider intervention strategies that promote adjustment in adolescent girls.
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