Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 45–56

An 18-Year Model of Family and Peer Effects on Adolescent Drug Use and Delinquency

  • Helen E. Garnier
  • Judith A. Stein

DOI: 10.1023/A:1014085016511

Cite this article as:
Garnier, H.E. & Stein, J.A. Journal of Youth and Adolescence (2002) 31: 45. doi:10.1023/A:1014085016511


The interrelationship of family and peer experiences in predicting adolescent problem behaviors was examined in an 18-year longitudinal sample of adolescents (N = 198) from conventional and nonconventional families. Positive associations among early childhood predictors and adolescent problem behaviors were consistent with problem behavior theory. The most powerful predictors of teen drug use and delinquent behaviors were similar behaviors by peers. Peer behaviors, however, were in turn predicted by earlier family-related variables and the quality of peer relationships in childhood. This study provides supporting evidence that strong peer effects in adolescence reflect even earlier processes in childhood and highlight the importance of linkages from early childhood experiences in family and peer contexts to the development of problem behaviors in adolescence. Implications for prevention and intervention programs are discussed.

adolescent problem behaviors longitudinal structural equation model peer effects family effects 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen E. Garnier
    • 1
  • Judith A. Stein
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles