Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 187–198

Psychological adjustment and experiences with peers during early adolescence: Reciprocal, incidental, or unidirectional relationships?

  • Eric M. Vernberg

DOI: 10.1007/BF00910730

Cite this article as:
Vernberg, E.M. J Abnorm Child Psychol (1990) 18: 187. doi:10.1007/BF00910730


This study examined the relationship over time involving three types of experiences with peers (amount of contact with friends, intimacy with best friend, rejection by peers) and two indices of psychological adjustment (self-perceived social acceptance and depressive affect) using longitudinal and causal analytic procedures developed within the life stress paradigm. Data were collected twice on a sample of 73 young adolescents, with a 6-month interval between measurements. The results provide partial support for a model of reciprocal influences between experiences with peers and adaptation, since adaptation was predictive of change over time in peer experiences in several instances as well as vice versa. Implications for intervention and further research are presented.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric M. Vernberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral Cables