Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 995–1009 | Cite as

The Role of Peer Groups in Adolescents’ Educational Expectations and Adjustment

  • Noona KiuruEmail author
  • Kaisa Aunola
  • Jukka Vuori
  • Jari-Erik Nurmi
Original Paper


The present study investigated to what extent the members of adolescents’ peer groups share similar educational expectations, and to what extent overall and school-related adjustment are associated with these expectations. Three hundred and ninety-four ninth-graders facing the transition to secondary education filled in questionnaires measuring their short-term and long-term educational expectations, and their academic achievement, learning difficulties, negative attitudes towards school, problem behavior, and self-esteem. Multilevel modeling showed that peer group members shared similar educational expectations. Among girls, adjustment typical of the peer group was associated with the group members’ educational expectations. By contrast, among boys, only problem behavior typical of the peer group was associated with the group members’ educational expectations.


Adolescence Peer groups Educational expectations Adjustment Multilevel modeling 



This study forms part of a larger project under the title Towards Working Life and was funded by grants from the Finnish Academy (720 1822, 720 7421). We are grateful to Esko Leskinen for his valuable comments on the earlier drafts of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noona Kiuru
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kaisa Aunola
    • 1
  • Jukka Vuori
    • 2
  • Jari-Erik Nurmi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Finnish Institute of Occupational HealthHelsinkiFinland

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