Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 675–695 | Cite as

Influences of Risk Behaviors on the Quality of Peer Relations in Adolescence

  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels
  • Tom ter Bogt


The majority of young people experiment with alcohol use, smoking, drug use, and delinquency. In order to understand why adolescents are engaged in potential risk behaviors, it is important to look at the functions of these behaviors for adolescents' social and personal functioning. In this study, we examined whether substance use, transgressive behavior, and delinquency are related to the quality of peer relations. Univariate analyses of data of a study on five hundred eight 12–18-year-olds showed that substance use and transgressive behavior are positively related to both the quantity (chumship, size of network, and time spent with peers) and the quality (attachment, support, acceptance, and competence) of peer relations. The association with peer relations were less straightforward for adolescent delinquency. Hierarchical regression analyses, however, showed that when the associations of quantitative aspects of peer relations are controlled for, no additional effects of substance use and transgressive behavior emerged. This suggests that social functions of risk behaviors may be understood as providing the opportunity to intensify contacts with peers or initiate new relations that, in turn, may be related to peer relations in a positive sense.


Alcohol Regression Analysis Young People Univariate Analysis Potential Risk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels
    • 1
  • Tom ter Bogt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent StudiesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent StudiesUtrecht University, UtrechtThe Netherlands

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