Peer Influence on Ethnic-Racial Identity Development: A Multi-Site Investigation

Carlos E. Santos, Olga Kornienko, Deborah Rivas-Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The peer context features prominently in theory, and increasingly in empirical research, about ethnic-racial identity (ERI) development, but no studies have assessed peer influence on ERI using methods designed to properly assess peer influence. We examined peer influence on ERI centrality, private, and public regard using longitudinal social network analysis. Data were drawn from two sites: a predominantly Latina/o Southwestern (SW) school (N = 1034; Mage = 12.10) and a diverse Midwestern (MW) school (N = 513; Mage = 11.99). Findings showed that peers influenced each other's public regard over time at both sites. However, peer influence on centrality was evident in the SW site, whereas peer influence on private regard was evident in the MW site. Importantly, peer influence was evident after controlling for selection effects. Our integration of developmental, contextual, and social network perspectives offers a fruitful approach to explicate how ERI content may shift in early adolescence as a function of peer influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-742
Number of pages18
JournalChild development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Peer Influence on Ethnic-Racial Identity Development: A Multi-Site Investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this