Few studies have examined differences in risk factors for adolescent externalizing behavior (i.e., delinquency and aggression) based on level of risk (i.e., community vs. Teen Court samples). The purpose of the current study was to explore the relationship between perceived peer/community social norms and externalizing behavior for two samples of rural youth (N = 4,461): a community sample and a sample of rural youth who were referred to a juvenile justice diversion program (Teen Court). Using multiple regression, results indicated that individual factors (i.e., internalizing symptoms, susceptibility to peer pressure, parent-child conflict) and social norms factors (i.e., perceived peer delinquency, perceived community criminal behavior) were significantly associated with externalizing behavior. Further, sample (i.e., community vs. Teen Court samples) moderated the impact of social norms factors such that the relationship between perceived peer delinquency and externalizing behavior was stronger for Teen Court youth and the relationship between internalizing symptoms and externalizing behavior was stronger for the community sample.
- Externalizing behavior
- Rural youth
- Social norms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science