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Peer Processes and Adolescent Behaviour

While research suggests that peer influence can lead to increases in undesirable behaviours of adolescents, there has been little focus on the specific mechanisms of influence. A relatively small literature examining social interactions between peers has found that the discussion of rule breaking topics by pairs of boys relates to how much problem behaviour the boys engage in. This research is limited by its reliance on a set of similar samples from a North American population base. This thesis explored the relationship between social interaction and behaviour with sample from New Zealand Aotearoa. Nine pairs of Year 10 boys were recruited primarily from two high schools. A half-hour conversation was video taped for each pair. These conversations were coded on the basis of the nature of the talk between pairs of participants following the coding system proposed by Poe, Dishion, Griesler and Andrews (1990). The coded behaviours were analysed and compared to measures of previous rule breaking behaviours. The duration of rule breaking talk was found to correlate with the level of previous rule breaking behaviour. It was not clear whether the amount of rule breaking talk was related to the amount of laughter following it. Possible explanations are discussed. While generalisations from these results are limited by an unexpectedly small sample size, they show similarity to the previous research findings. The findings, the difficulties in recruitment to the research and the implications of these for future research are discussed.
Type of thesis
Pope, J. G. (2008). Peer Processes and Adolescent Behaviour (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2476
The University of Waikato
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